This past weekend, we attended the second edition of Watches & Wonders Miami 2019 which took place at the Miami Design District from February 15th-17th, 2019. This event organized by the Miami Design District Associates in partnership with the FHH —Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie— presented 30 brands including: A. Lange & Sohne, Audemars Piguet, Bvlgari, Cartier, De Bethune, Dior, F.P. Journe, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie., Hublot, HYT, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kari Voutilainen, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Panerai, Piaget, RJ Romain Jerome, Roger Dubuis, Romain Gauthier, Speake-Marin, Tag Heuer, Tiffany & Co., Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels and Zenith.
Following their official release at the SIHH 2019 back in January, we had the opportunity to revisit their novelties along with real watch collectors —that unlike last year— that flooded the event. Our photo recap will give you good taste of what this exciting weekend in our #WatchLife was like.
And just like last year, the Miami Design District Palm Court was the place where people gathered on Friday February 15th for the kick-off of the three-day weekend event. While many watch brands hosted cocktails/parties at their boutique or booths within the Miami Design District, watch panels took place in the area named ‘the Jungle’, where this year, a special enclosed and air conditioned area hosted the independent brands as well as those brands that have no boutiques at the MDD.
Something special that we really liked about this year’s Watches & Wonders was that several brands presented new watches, these include the Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht watch, the Romain Gauthier Prestige HMS Limited Edition in stainless steel and the HYT H1.0 with mint green accents.
With a record attendance with nearly 28,000 people —40% higher than in 2018— Watches & Wonders brought in the movers and shakers of the Miami elite as well as a huge group of real watch collectors wearing everything from modern and vintage Rolex watches to Patek Philippe Nautilus watches, Hublot, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and a huge amount of Panerai watches that we saw in the wild.
Now, while all the cocktails at the boutiques had planned something special for the visitors, the Vacheron Constantin Louis XIII Cognac tasting as well as the discussion panel at the Bulgari boutique on Design inspiration from the Automotive world led by Fabrizio Buonamassa —Bulgari’s Creative Director of Timepieces—, were simply perfect.
However, the real treat for us, was the time we spent talking to Christian Selmoni —Style & Heritage Director at Vacheron Constantin—, while perusing the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar and the special pieces from the ‘Les Cabinotiers’ collection.
And of course in the usual Watch Collecting Lifestyle’s spirit, we had plenty of Möet Ice Imperial to keep us properly hydrated. As the sybarites we are, there is nothing better than watches and enjoying the good life. A thought that takes us back to the AP booth where they had an exact oversized replica of the Audemars Piguet calibre 3120 that is now one of our favorite objects of desire.
In the words of Fabienne Lupo, Chairwoman and Managing Director of the Fondation Haute Horlogerie: “We could not be more pleased with the results of Watches & Wonders Miami 2019, in addition to the significant growth and expansion that we’ve been able to achieve, there has been overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees. Our exhibiting maisons are also thrilled with the success and we are already talking about plans for next year.”
Craig Robins, CEO of Dacra Development and developer of the Miami Design District mentioned about the event: “From watch connoisseurs and car fanatics to locals and first time visitors, we welcomed more people than ever before to the Miami Design District this weekend for the return of Watches and Wonders. Foot traffic almost doubled from last year, a sign of a remarkably successful event which could not have been possible without our partners from the FHH, the Miami Concours and the Miami Yacht Show. As Watches and Wonders continues to grow, we can’t wait to see what next year’s edition will bring to the vibrant city of Miami!”
Additionally, the event coincided with the Miami Design District Concorso —showcasing 100+ cars including iconic examples from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce— and the 31th Annual Miami Yacht Show which features the world’s most extraordinary and uniquely designed yachts from top custom boat builders and brokers.
In our usual Watch Collecting Lifestyle style we made the most of out of this wonderful event in our #watchlife that hopefully resulted in greater brand awareness and incremental watch sales for the brands present. And as we always do, no visit to Miami is complete without our obligated stops for Cuban food at Café Versailles, Latin food at Amara at Paraiso and a closing night at Faena Miami. Thanks to all the participating brands but in special to Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Cartier, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin and Vacheron Constantin for your hospitality.
For more info on the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie click here.