Watches and cars just seem to go together, and Bal Harbour Shops, located in Bal Harbour, Florida (USA), celebrated both during its inaugural “Collectors Weekend.” From November 3–6, watch and car lovers from all over America and Latin America converged on Bal Harbour.

Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4, were the watch days, where participating brands showcased their finest mechanical watches, offered special events in their boutiques and, in the center of the Shops, panel discussions were held with luminaries from the watch industry.

Hosted by Revolution’s own Keith W. Strandberg, Editor-in-Chief of Revolution USA, the topics of the panels included:

“The History, Present and Future of Independent Brands” (featuring Pierre Halimi, Brand Manager of F.P. Journe; Michael Friedman, historian for Audemars Piguet; and Daniel Novela, head of the Novela Watch Club)

“Watch Design and Creation” (Daniel Partridge, President, Bulgari NA and Pascal Narbeburu, head of watchmaking for Van Cleef & Arpels)

“Trends in Collecting” (Paul Boutros, Head of Americas and International Strategy, Phillips Auction House; Matt Bain, Collector and vintage dealer; and Michael Friedman, Historian, Audemars Piguet)

“Collecting Cars and Watches” (Jim Glickenhaus, collector and supercar producer; Paolo Garella, car designer; and Michael Friedman, Historian, Audemars Piguet).

The panels were very well attended, engendering interesting conversations and discussions.

Some of the special watches displayed included:

The Audemars Piguet Supersonnerie

The Breguet “Be Crazy” Watch

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon

The Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition

The FP Journe Centigraphe F and the rare Jade Tourbillon

The Graff MasterGraff Skeleton Automatic and the MasterGraff Ultra Flat Tourbillon

The Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon

The Officine Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio

The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planetarium

And many more.

For the cars, collector and supercar producer James Glickenhaus proudly displayed his new SCG 003CS supercar and his Ferrari P 4/5 by Pininfarina. Saturday was the day for exotic cars, while Sunday was reserved for vintage autos.

Putting on an event like this is to be applauded, as no one has really tried to involve the public in a multi-brand outside of New York and Las Vegas. In these challenging economic times, it’s important to try new things to generate interest and sales. The participating brands were happy to have the animation and excitement of the Collectors Weekend, and the brands reported increased traffic over the four days and watch sales were made.

“What Bal Harbour has done is very commendable – we have a robust group of collectors in South Florida, but social and educational activities were previously limited, events like this bring our community together, and I hope to see many more,” says Daniel Novela, owner of Casa de Novelas.

“It was an honor to be part of such an esteemed panel discussing the appeal and enduring value of collectible vintage watches,” says Paul Boutros, Head of Americas & International Strategy Advisor, Senior Vice President, Phillips. “Bal Harbour community was so enthusiastic, listening eagerly as we shared our tips, lessons learned, and recommendations for new and established collectors. Seeing so many prestigious brands and industry executives coming together to create this exclusive event was a great pleasure – a well-received and important initiative to reach new clients and spread the word of the greatness of mechanical watches.”

Bringing people together to talk about watches is an important part of the collecting experience. “Watch collecting is as much a social activity as it is a personal pursuit,” says Michael L. Friedman, historian, Audemars Piguet. “Collector events, like what recently occurred in Bal Harbour Shops, bring fellow enthusiasts together to share stories, learn, make new connections, and most importantly to celebrate the creations of great watchmakers and designers.”

Getting these stars of the watch industry together was no easy task, and Bal Harbour Shops are to be commended for putting the event together.

“The panel discussions were fascinating, and I think the people who attended appreciated the quality of the watch industry people in attendance,” says Revolution’s Strandberg. “We had brand presidents, directors of watch production, experts in vintage, collecting and auctions. It was really a watch summit and I applaud what Bal Harbours Shops accomplished.”

Bal Harbour Shops hope to make the Collector Weekend an annual event, so keep an eye out for the 2017 edition. For further info click here.