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First Look


Sarah Potter 7 minute read
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There are so many reasons to visit Geneva. It is one of the world’s most scenic cities, with it’s awe-inspiring architecture, the beauty of Lake Geneva and the very impressive mountains ever-present on the horizon. Of course, it is also heaven for the watch enthusiast. Geneva’s watchmaking history dates back to the mid-16th century, and in 1886 the city introduced the ‘Poincon de Geneve’ or the Geneva Seal, the ultimate standard of excellence that guarantees the origin, quality and reliability of the craft.

It is no wonder then that many luxury Swiss brands choose Geneva as home to their headquarters. As you walk through the city, you notice there are many references to timepieces, both in the logos of the watch brands at their airport, to flags lining the bridge of the Jet d’Eau fountain. Even more apparent are the brands’ Maisons themselves. Beautiful buildings with each brand name carefully constructed atop, like a mini Hollywood sign calling out to those who are interested in luxury. Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Tudor and so many more can be seen no matter which side of the lake you stand on.

It creates the perfect setting to host Geneva Watch Days 2022. We were delighted, here at Calibre, to attend the event as some of the most prestigious luxury watch brands in the world showcased their new novelties and additions through a series of private events, open Q&As and intimate events. Each brand presented across multiple different locations including the impressive Beau-Rivage and the Four Seasons hotels.


Our first stop was the stunning new Jacob & Co. showroom, where we marvelled at some of the most technically complicated timepieces you could ever wish to set your eyes on. From here we turned the corner and walked into the Ulysse Nardin showroom. We were treated to a first look at their new Blast Rainbow, and Lady Diver Rainbow, timepieces adorned with baguette-cut rubies and sapphires in many hues. We were then whisked away upstairs and had the pleasure to listen to Jean-Christophe Sabatier, the brands’ Chief Product Officer who spoke about one of Ulysse Nardin’s most iconic collections : the Freak. They took us through many different impressive numbers, from how many the brand manufacture as well as their heritage and history leading to them being an independent watch brand.

After Ulysse Nardin, we took the short walk and crossed the bridge over the lake to the Beau-Rivage hotel, one of the central destinations for the fair, and where many watch brands were showcasing in various rooms and suites.

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We headed to the second floor and into the room occupied and commanded by Oris. Oris have released many new pieces this year - both at Watches and Wonders and Geneva Watch Days – and within this space we were lucky enough to get our hands on all of their new pieces. As we stood and gaped at the new novelties, we had the privilege of talking to their co-CEO, Rolf Studer, about all about the collections as well as Oris’ mission ‘Change for the Better’. Studer spoke passionately of Oris’s new collaboration with Billion Oyster Project, a pioneering non-profit working to restore New York Harbor's once lost oyster population. The project's vision is ambitious: to restore one billion oysters to the city's iconic waterways by the year 2035. Why? Well, an adult oyster can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day, while oyster colonies create ecosystems for other marine life, and form natural storm barriers. Oyster reefs are to the ocean what trees are to the forest. This was our final appointment for the day, and what an inspiration it was!

We looked to retire for the evening but couldn’t finish the day without immersing ourselves even more into Swiss tradition – can you blame us?! – and sought out a beautiful restaurant serving traditional Swiss fondue! The perfect, cheese-filled end to a day full of inspiring and thought-provoking talks.

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Like a child on Christmas morning, we were up and out early the next day, ready to feast our eyes on more treasure. Our first appointments were with Frederique Constant and DOXA.

We saw some beautiful pieces from Frederique Constant who have a great business model in designing pieces for both men and women for many different price points, allowing their clients to grow their collection from entry level to more complicated pieces.

We met with Jan Edöcs – DOXA CEO - who took us through the inspiration of their new pieces including those in the Army and Army Diver collections. DOXA and the Swiss Army have been in partnership for over 50 years, although it was only recently that the brand were allowed to talk about this, and it is something they are very proud of. Their Army Diver pieces are robust and detailed, and this year they’ve released a model in a bronze bezel.

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After DOXA, we headed to BVLGARI to see what they were showcasing for this years’ fair and we were not disappointed. The brand have opted for a muted colour palette in blacks, neutrals and navies across their collections, which provides a fresh take on some beloved pieces. A favourite was the Serpenti Seddutori Tourbillon, with the brands' prized horological complication featuring multiple precious stones around it, as well as the Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition, a collaboration with the brand and Japanese artist Kazuyo Sejima. This piece is exceptionally intricate with mirror-like dots on the sapphire crystal, forming an almost mesh-like aesthetic.

After BVLGARI, we had a break before our final meeting with Breitling, and so we found a restaurant right near the lake to stop for a drink and delicious Italian dishes! It was so peaceful looking out to the water, and it’s little wonder why Geneva is such a popular destination for those to visit.

Our final stop before departing Geneva was to the Four Seasons where Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, introduced new pieces and news for the brand – however it is all under embargo until October! We will be revealing all here on Calibre in due course, so stay tuned and sign up to our newsletters to be one of the first to get watch and industry news, launch details and so much more.

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