Watches and Wonders Shanghai, the in-person, invitation-only, five-day watch event kicks off today in the city’s riverside West Bund cultural precinct.
A total of 19 brands, including Cartier, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, IWC Schaffhausen and Piaget, will be exhibiting at the event, twice as many as last year.
With new releases, previews, celebrities, talks, an innovation space as well as workbench demonstrations all on the agenda the event is expected to offer the kind of hands on experience of high-end watches. This is a contrast with the Geneva edition of Watches and Wonders, which was held online from April 8 to 13.
That’s not to say there won’t be an online component to Watches and Wonders Shanghai also. The event is collaborating with Tmall for a Super Brand Day campaign that will see 11 Swiss watch brands participate with exclusive offers on Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion. Super-influencer, Austin Li, will also host a three-hour livestream sales event tomorrow.
As with other luxury segments, high-end watches have seen the Chinese market as something of a saviour over the past year, as the pandemic caused other consumer markets to slow down. In 2020, 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.6 billion) worth of Swiss watches were sold in China, a 20 percent increase over the year earlier.