Image © Time to Watches

Beyond Palexpo: The Terrific Watch Exhibitions You Should Check Out During Geneva Watch Week

Beyond the official Palexpo floor, a slew of brands are showcasing their wares, and they are not to be missed. That’s why we’ve compiled a marquee list of watch exhibitions that you should check out in order to maximize your time in Geneva.

By Cait Bazemore

This April, Geneva is the place to see and be seen. And, of course, at the center of it all is Watches and Wonders, the industry’s preeminent tradeshow; however, the opportunity to see exceptional watches go far beyond the official Palexpo floor to nearly every nook and cranny of the Geneva area.

So, if you want to expand your horological knowledge beyond the big brands, you’ll not want to miss the other watch exhibitions being held throughout Geneva during what is probably the industry’s most important week of new releases.

As you plan your visit, let us be your guide. Here are some highlights you should check out.

Time to Watches

Escape the hustle and bustle of the Palexpo and take a stroll through the more laidback exhibition at Time to Watches.

Here, 55 unique brands and artisans will be exhibiting at the HEAD (Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design) Geneva campus. The location is a mere 15-minute drive from Watches and Wonders, and, more importantly, Time to Watches is offering free shuttle services to and from Palexpo, the Beau Rivage Hotel, and the Geneva Airport!

Some standout exhibitors include Sinn, a German watchmaker specializing in performance-based mechanical tool watches for 60 years; LACO, another German brand known for its flieger-style watches among a variety of others and who will be celebrating their 100th anniversary next year; and Yema, a French manufacturer run by a third-generation watchmaking family with a focus on sports watches.

Beau-Rivage Hotel

The iconic Beau-Rivage Hotel in the heart of Geneva will be another outpost hosting off-site exhibits throughout the week of Watches and Wonders.

During Geneva Watch Week, independent brands will be on full display within the hotel’s gorgeous suites. The lineup includes names like De Bethune, L’Epee, and HYT.

Swiss watchmaker De Bethune has been particularly hot in recent years, notching countless nominations and awards like the coveted Aiguille Or at the GPHG.

L’Epee brings an incredibly distinctive flair to the art of horology, serving as one of Switzerland’s leading clockmakers for nearly two centuries, and yet, despite its rich history, its designs are ultra-modern and futuristic.

Last but not least, HYT fully lives up to its motto, “challenge everything,” with its patented fluidic module that indicates the passage of time with fluids.

Four Seasons Hotel

Like the Beau Rivage, the Four Seasons will also be home to a selection of brands presenting their latest and greatest watches outside of the official Watches and Wonders exhibition.

The headliner this year is none other than Jacob & Co. You know the brand for its wild, avantgarde, and, at times, audacious designs that incorporate exceptional gem-setting, explore one-of-a-kind approaches to complications, and push the bounds of theme-based watches, from casinos to the cosmos.

When it comes to Jacob & Co., we never know what out-of-the-box idea the brand is going to come up with next, but we’re fully prepared to be delighted and surprised.


To check out even more independent watchmakers, the AHCI (Academie Horlogere des Creators Independents) will be exhibiting at the L’iceBergues venue in Geneva. And like Time to Watches, L’iceBergues is a mere 15-minute drive from the Palexpo, meaning you can easily take a breather from the chaos of Watches and Wonders to check out some alternative brands.

Established in 1985 by Vincent Calabrese and Svend Andersen, the AHCI is a collective of indie watchmakers that want to rewrite the rules of the art form. In nearly 30 years, AHCI members have gone on to receive some of the most prestigious accolades in the field, including 27 prizes at the GPHG, among them the Special Jury Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of Haute Horlogerie.

The legendary George Daniels was one of the first to join the AHCI in its early days, and now, the collective includes other prestigious members like Felix Baumgartner, Konstantin Chaykin, Philippe Dufour, Francois-Paul Journe, and Kari Voutilainen.

Watchland Estate

Last but certainly not least on your list of extracurriculars outside the frenzy of Watches and Wonders: Franck Muller.

If you need a reprieve from the electric energy of Palexpo, you need only take a 10-minute drive outside the city limits to Franck Muller’s headquarter at the Watchland Estate in Genthod. Once you arrive at the stunning restored mansion (originally built in 1905) and walk among its classical terraced gardens, you can experience breathtaking views of the Lake Léman and Mont-Blanc, while you check out the brand’s beautiful watches.

Franck Muller has been a pillar of the industry since 1983, and here, you’re sure to see some of the brand’s most compelling new timepieces.

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