SalonQP – The Extravagant Opening Night!
Less than two weeks ago Luxe Watches was extremely excited to write an ‘all you need to know’ post about the UK’s upcoming luxury watch fair, SalonQP. Well, as usual, the days have flown by and the time has come. Last night, London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery hosted Salon QP’s classy opening night, which saw guests arrive in an elegant black tie dress code, befitting with the theme and exhibition of the evening ‘Black Tie, White Dial’. The gallery floor was bustling with watch connoisseurs, collectors, horologists and first time SalonQP visitors, all of whom were keen to catch a glance of some of the most beautiful, sophisticated and unique pieces of watch artistry on display by independent watchmakers from around the world. This year, the prestigious watch event was extra special because there were far more independent watch brands in attendance than ever before; all of which were just as wonderful and stylish as the next. But, for all of you passionate collectors out there who were unable to join, fear not, Luxe Watches attended the spectacular event and went on the hunt for some of the latest releases to ensure you didn’t miss out.
Kari Voutilainen – The 28 R12
One of the particular timepieces on display that caught our attention was the intricately designed 28 R12 wristwatch from the renowned Finnish watchmaker, Kari Voutilainen. It would be rude not to describe this creative piece as anything but exceptional. The 5.6 mm thick movement was entirely handcrafted in-house at his workshop, which is nestled in Jura, Switzerland. Voutilainen clearly dedicated a large amount of his time and effort to this timepiece, as he incorporated a Phillips over coil with the rare Grossman curve on its hairspring; a technique hardly ever attempted in the world of horology. The quirky and carefully detailed dial enables the wristwatch to constantly emit a sense of sophistication and style. The spectacular design from one of world’s best watch connoisseurs is most certainly a timepiece to be appreciated and admired in the flesh, pictures do not do the unique style justice.
Montblanc – Timewalker Chronograph Automatic
Now, moving onto the more well-known brand, Mont Blanc. The German manufacturer, who is known for its ‘Snow Peak’ logo, made an appearance last night to introduce its newest addition to the ‘Timewalker’ collection. The rich chocolate brown ceramic and 18-carat rose gold automatic chronograph is a welcoming addition to the collection that is otherwise dominated by white, black and red colours. The entire design of the sporty wristwatch was influenced by the appearance of a traditional racing car. The 43 mm rose gold case with a satin finish was inspired by the complexion of a vintage race car’s glossy finish. The warm coloured leather strap has been designed with a triple folding clasp and asymmetrical holes, those similarly found on racing gloves, to ensure maximum comfort and breathability. The polished design certainly did not disappoint.
This year at SalonQP, it wasn’t just the craftsmanship of independent watchmakers that enthralled its guests. Independent retailers like the Swiss brand Formex, and the American watchmaker Armitron, also captivated the audiences with their high-tech devices. Formex, the brand dedicated to focusing on creating a ‘new generation’ of watches that are inspired by the technology behind high performance motor vehicles, allowed guests to envisage a certain timepiece that was not available at the event on their wrist.
The ingenious watchmakers offered snap-around bracelets that could transform into any one of their designs once placed under a smartphone camera that was using the specific Formex app. The creative technology allowed individuals to get a feel of the watch’s appearance without the watch actually being present, and it was a huge hit with the audience. Armitron, the American watch brand who promote stylish, functional timepieces that are accessible to every person, brought a huge tablet along to the event to allow guests to customise any one of their watches, and guaranteed the finish product would be ready in just 8 weeks! It is fair to say that every one of the independent watch brands brought their a-game to the elegant affair, and their performances have left us expecting great things.
So, it is safe to say that Salon QP’s classy and glamorous opening night went off with a bang, and has set the standards sky high. There is some good news for all of you professional or newbie horologists out there who were unable to attend Thursday night’s black tie evening. Tickets for each session are still available for online purchasing, but be quick because in less than 48 hours, the luxury watch fair ends and will not be returning for another year.
For everything you need to know about ticket availability/prices and session summaries click here.