The Gossip, Grandeur, And Good Times Of Geneva Watch Days 2021

The Gossip, Grandeur, And Good Times Of Geneva Watch Days 2021

A true return to society in the watch world is what we have longed for these past eighteen months, and the events of Geneva Watch Days delivered on that long-awaited desire in the form of novelties and news.

By Jessica “J.J.” Owens

The welcoming Swiss sunshine and industry elation made the excitement of Geneva Watch Days’ return palpable. At any given moment, Quai du Mont-Blanc was filled with eager enthusiasts ready to see not only what watch brands had to offer but also what evening festivities were on the technicolored horizon.

With one new novelty released after the other and infinite meetings, it was easy to get lost in the madness. And choosing our favorite novelties and recapping the latest happenings seemed almost impossible, as one thing soon became apparent at Geneva Watch Days, in the words of Breitling CEO Georges Kern, “This is only the beginning.”

Watches That Wowed

With over twenty watchmakers releasing novelties, choosing our favorite releases was harder than resisting a plate of post-appointment frites at La Riviera Du Rhône at Hotel des Bergues. Starting off the list is the all-black Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1.6-3, a one-of-a-kind beauty that has to be seen to be believed.

Another piece that mesmerized us was the limited-edition titanium GMT Earth from Greubel Forsey. Much like the return of Geneva Watch Days, the return of Greubel Forsey to tradeshows, under the helm of recently-appointed CEO Antonio Calce, was surely worth the wait.

Always one to excite, Ulysse Nardin exceeded all expectations by releasing not one but a lucky seven Marine Torpilleur models. A favorite UN novelty among Team Watchonista was the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillion Grand Feu.

Not without praise, Parmigiani Fleurier celebrated its 25th anniversary with the release of the Tonda PF Collection. An ode to the classic design with a modern and minimalist appeal, the new collection appeals to any and all enthusiasts.

What’s New for Watchonista

At Geneva Watch Days, Watchonista cemented itself as a global online and print publication as we began our first European distribution of Watchonista: Volume 01. Straight off the heels of COUTURE, the team used Geneva Watch Days as the official European launch of our new print magazine. Featuring 99% original content created by Watchonista and billed as, "the watch magazine you can't buy."

Moreover, Watchonista Creative Studios launched a video series aptly titled: “Three Questions With,” where the latest novelty releases and Geneva Watch Days events were discussed with brand titans such as Oris’ Rolf Studer and Ulysse Nardin’s Patrick Pruniaux.

Getting Watchonista Volume: 01 to our European readers and launching “Three Questions With” were two main priorities of the team at the show, but only a taste of what is to come for Watchonista.

Social Happenings

Though the novelties will always be the central plot and take the starring role at Geneva Watch Days, the supporting characters of endless dinners and gatherings made attendees long for the event in the eighteen months prior that much more. From an inaugural cocktail hour discussing the rejuvenated Baselworld to a private dinner with Bulgari, the event was a dream for any mover and shaker of the industry.

WatchFemme, a ladies-only group made up of collectors and women who work in the watch industry, hosted an evening meet-up on Thursday evening that was met with the same warmth as the gathering a few weeks back in New York. Founders Laetitia Hirschy and Suzanne Wong have created a global community where women (like myself) have found a home in the watch industry. And now, it not only operates on a global scale, but it will only continue to grow and link women in watches.

Watchbox may as well have jumped in Lac Léman, making quite the splash with the news of its majority stake purchase in independent watchmaker De Bethune. Uncharted territory for the pre-owned heavyweight, the investment is sure to be only the beginning of Danny Govberg’s expansion.

Delighting the industry in new releases and exciting advancements, the news at Geneva Watch Days will only continue into 2022.

(Photography by Watchonista)

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