There could only be two more years of SalonQP left before the nature of the Swiss watch industry’s relationship with the UK market changes considerably. But at the moment, the Swiss watch industry is keen to tap what is currently the fourth biggest export market for Swiss watches.
One brand that is debuting at SalonQP after securing a new distribution agreement for the UK with Mode9 is Emile Chouriet. The Chinese-owned brand is dominant in the country of its owners but has slowly been making inroads in Europe. Don’t be put off by the ownership either: Emile Chouriet’s CEO Jean Depéry (a distant relative of the man himself) was ahead of the curve in developing his own in-house movement at the first signals of ETA cutting its supply. In a gesture of deference that would not be out of place in the Sloane Square setting of SalonQP, Emile Chouriet surprisingly followed the “ladies first” principle in making its EC 5318 calibre available first of all for its ladies’ collection. But there is something for gents, too, with the latest Ice Cliff model in blue with a blue Cordura strap on show at SalonQP at an unbeatable 1,100 Swiss francs with a self-winding movement.
Ice Cliff © Emile Chouriet
Considering that the “visibility” theme of the motion, one can intimately see the performance of the tourbillon from both sides of this situation. Bovet printed a part of the next scale on the back of the sapphire crystal in order to read it in the front – just another small but enjoyed detail which shows the attempt of the very small watchmaker gnomes in action. If you put money into a timepiece of the ilk you should truly be investing in certain extreme when not obsessive attention to detail.The movement itself is manually wound and has a power reserve of five times – operating at 3Hz (21,600 bph). Its layout might not be to everyone’s tastes (such as I said, Bovet really is not going for this), but it is damn impressive, and I think just about any watch fan would feel fortunate to have one of them in their collection.Bovet proceeds to come out with interesting and massively complicated watches like the Bovet Recital 18 Shooting Star on an yearly basis. Few if some brands push so hard – even in uncertain times – to maintain creating cool and amazing things. Even though you might not like it all, you need to give Bovet credit for keeping things fresh and interesting regularly. There’s also an 18k red gold version of the Bovet Recital 18 Shooting Star that will be made this year. Along with the different case substance, there’s the white lacquered dial choice as well as a blue aventurine dial up (at which the time is signaled) alternative.
Other brands will be using SalonQP to present brand-new watches. This is the case for Bovet, which will be presenting two new versions of its Ottantasei model designed by Pininfarina. The new models come with a grade 5 titanium case with a choice of blue or bronze PVD coatings. Like the other models, these aren’t limited, but Bovet Watch 1822 Replica is only producing 86 movements to equip them, true to the watch’s name.
Ottantsei © Bovet 1822
SalonQP will also offer a chance to see some recently launched watches in public for the first time. Examples include The Alfred, by Urban Jürgensen, the Predator 2.0 collection by Rebellion and the new Laureato 42mm in black ceramic by Girard-Perregaux. Those keeping their cards close to their chest, preferring to wait until the doors open before showing off their latest products, include Czapek & Cie.
The Alfred d’Urban Jürgensen, et Predator 2.0 de Rebellion © Urban Jürgensen / Rebellion
Laureato 42mm céramique © Girard-Perregaux
The SalonQP programme includes themed exhibition on astronomy, showcasing watches such as the Jacob & Co. Astronomia and the Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planetarium. Luca Soprana, the man behind Jacob & Co.’s out-of-this-world collection of highly-complicated Astronomia models will give a presentation of this unique collection.