This year’s Watches and Wonders (WnW) edition is over and is only the third since its inception, and for us, it was the first. It was undoubtedly the most popular edition of the event, with the end of the pandemic that overshadowed previous editions and which is mainly marked by the large turnout from Asian markets to benefit from the lifting of restrictions. Much could be said about this event, but it is worth it mainly for the organization, experience, contacts, and sharing, but above all for the passion that unites a group of people around those small pieces that tell time.
Everything at the fair works thanks to an impeccable organization, the result of a lot of planning, we were really impressed, as nothing (of what is necessary) is missing inside the fair, and it doesn’t matter if we are journalists, visitors, collaborators, influencers, because there is a huge staff that is there (almost) always to help, the standard of treatment borders on exceptional, from technical, logistical, informative means, among others.
But what we liked most about the fair and which deserves our highest marks, without a doubt the friendliness with which some of the people who worked at the event welcomed us, and no, it is not the staff of the brands, despite the fact that in general they received us impeccably, but above all the support staff who often go unnoticed but who actually play a fundamental role in making the whole “show” work, and at the risk of forgetting someone, we remember the couple of Portuguese origin who were part of from the cleaning team and with whom we happily spoke in Portuguese about our Portugal and about life as an emigrant, the French gentleman who worked in the restaurant who gave us precious tips on where to eat well and shop at cheaper prices, the Bulgarian lady who I was in charge of the reception at one of the WnW restaurants who always welcomed us with a huge smile, nice words and always managed to get us a table, avoiding making us wait in the queue for a long time, and also the friendly gentleman who served coffees at the Rolex stand and who wore a Rolex Submariner on the wrist offered by her father, needless to say the topic of our conversation with him.
Another of the highlights of WnW was for us the presentation of the Tudor brand, which proves how simple ideas can work, its show consisted of a huge screen that occupied an entire wall where a video was shown that we would say did not take more than 5 minutes, in an impressive dynamic from start to finish, where everything fits perfectly from the sequence of images to the voice of the narrator, we loved it and can only say “Well done Tudor!”.
Another of the great initiatives brought by WnW are the Keynotes that go far beyond the watch showcase, translating into concrete actions by the brands present at the fair that aim to improve the world we live in, and that is the wonder since it manages to unite the passion of thousands of visitors for watches and at the same time raising the public’s attention to noble causes. We highlight one here, the support of the SORAI program carried out by Hublot since 2019, which aims to help save rhinos from extinction in the face of the extermination carried out by hunters to obtain ivory or simply for the trophy and about which we already had the opportunity to talk and if you want to know more we leave the link here. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend this Keynote but it was reported to us by our friend Carlos Torres who was very impressed.
Having praised the highlights of the event and there were many, let’s now address what least impressed us, starting with the disorganization (almost bordering on chaos) of the entrance to the event on the first day, which forced people to have to issue the “Badge” in the entrance, the event was not prepared for the huge influx of public in the early hours, and also the enormous disorientation shown by the support staff who constantly contradicted each other generating among the attendants even more confusion. Therefore, we do not understand why the organization chooses to issue some of the “Badges” in advance and send them to the hotels while with others it chooses not to do so, resulting in long queues, it’s a point that we believe the organization will fix.
The other negative point we observed was unfriendly of some security teams at the stands of some brands, which we believe has nothing directly to do with the brands, but which the organization should take care of in the next years because we are all there to do our job. We remember, for example, the difficulty of accessing the Chanel stand because security barred us from entering and an email was enough for the Chanel team to receive us sympathetically. At Chopard the situation was a little different, with a security guard positioned about two meters from the people who attended the Touch&Feel session, observing them in an unreasonable and suspicious way whenever we were provided with the exhibited pieces, a very annoying posture that left us uncomfortable.
Final notes, the event is worth above all for the exchange of experiences and coexistence between the different players of this century-old industry that we all want to continue to prosper, in addition to, of course, letting us know the latest news from the brands. See you soon WnW.