This Thursday (November 2nd) will see the start of Telegraph Media Group’s 2017 SalonQP watch fair. Now held annually in London’s Saatchi Gallery, the first SalonQP – then owned and managed by AS&K Media – was held nine years ago in One Marylebone, a converted church in North West London.
The fair’s original Project Manager, Emma Field, says of the inaugural event, “The first SalonQP in 2009 was built on the enthusiasm and drive of the leading watch brands who collectively believed that London was ripe to host a major watch show. Attended by George Daniels and with Blancpain, De Bethune, Harry Winston, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Parmigiani and Vacheron Constantin exhibiting, the show quickly gained international attention. Today, SalonQP has evolved under Telegraph Media Group to cater for an increasing number of independent brands. I remain immensely proud of the show and look forward to discovering new brands there this year.”
SalonQP is now one of the biggest independent watch fairs in the world and is an established highlight in horology’s event calendar. Exhibitors this year include Nomos, A. Lange & Sohne, Christophe Claret, Urban Jurgensen, Vacheron Constantin and Christiaan Van Der Klaauw. Notably, MB&F will be showing its new Legacy Machine, Breguet the No. 2023 Bugatti watch from its achieves, and De Fossard its Solar Time Clock.
Several brands are also set to formally launch pieces at the show: for instance, Montlanc will present a new version of its TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph in red gold with a brown ceramic bezel, and Garrick the S1 and a new version of the Porstmouth with a guilloche dial. The S1 is a skeletonised timepiece entirely hand built by master watchmaker Craig Baird and, along with the Porstmouth’s Garrick-exclusive UT-G01 movement, indicates the beginnings of a new chapter for the small British company. Fears Watch Company, on the other hand, will unveil its first mechanical watch. After lying dormant for six decades, the re-launched and approachably priced Fears was resurrected with a collection of quartz watches last year by the original founder’s great-great-great-grandson, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill. Having had sneak peek at the new mechanical Fears watch, we at Revolution can certainly vouch for its charms.
James Buttery, Editor of QP magazine states, “SalonQP continues to bring the very best watchmakers to London. The show offers a unique opportunity for the public to gain hands-on experience of some truly rare watches from internationally recognised brands, specialist ateliers or homegrown talent and most importantly learn from the people who have made them. This year we’ve increased our focus on editorial content with four special exhibitions that, between them, feature watches as diverse as Humphrey Bogart’s own 1941 Longines to Jacob & Co.’s incredible Astronomia.”
With the aim of educating and entertaining, the four exhibitions mentioned by Buttery will include various seminars and curated displays of relevant and rarely seen-in-public watches. They are: Black Tie, White Dial – The Dress Watch Century, commemorating 100 years of the dress watch, QP has teamed up with Gieves & Hawkes’s Head Cutter, Davide Taube, to explore the past and future of the dinner suit and its horological partner; Astronomy: Time & Space celebrating the influence the solar system has had on watchmaking, from the Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planetarium to more general moonphase and perpetual calendar complication timepieces; Behind The Wheel which will look at the links between motoring and timekeeping, including IWC and Mercedes AMG’s partnership and a host of other automotive-related watches and industry links; and Material Factors looking at the advanced and exotic materials such as ceramic and carbon fibre that are now used by watchmakers.
Running in parallel to the exhibitions and their seminars – and alongside the now expected wine tastings, live watchmaking demonstrations and cocktail parties – more general talks will be held throughout the show’s three-day run. These will include Peter Speake Marine talking about his new educational website at 3pm on Friday, and Kari Voutilainen and Richard Habring discussing the future of independent watchmaking at 3pm on Saturday. And for those feeling charitable, 8:30pm on Thursday will see the sale of the Robert Loomes watch that accompanied an expedition of Ghurkhas up Everest earlier this year. Hosted by Bonhams, all proceeds from the sale will be donated to The Mountain Trust.
SalonQP will run Thursday 2 November to Saturday 4 November at the Saatchi Gallery, London.