For the first time, WatchTime New York, the luxury watch show run by WatchTime Magazine, is granting the public access to more than 20 luxury watch brands.
Over the past 10 years, the event, which will take place at the Gotham Hall on Friday and Saturday, was a much more intimate, regional affair. According to Joe Thompson, the editor in chief of WatchTime Magazine, he and his staff would travel to five different cities in the U.S. and host events for watch collectors and magazine readers. The evening would include a dinner along with a two-hour exhibit from a participating watch brand.
Thompson told WWD that because of the complicated logistics along with wear-and-tear, it made sense to hold one large event in New York, which typically had the highest WatchTime attendance.
The show begins on Friday with a VIP evening session that runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, attendees can pay $39 to walk the event, which will also include speaker sessions from Thompson, luxury watch expert Anish Bhatt and popular watch collector Jeff Kingston.
Guests will have access to see, try on and order never-before-seen watches from brands including Porsche Design, Emmanuel Bouchet and Nomos, and mingle with collectors and luxury watch executives. Other brands participating include Seiko, Blancpain and Carl F. Bucherer.
According to Thompson, the larger event has allowed WatchTime to broaden the types of watch brands that participate. Thompson told WWD that previously the event was only open to manufacture brands (brands that make their own mechanical movement pieces). Watch brands have to pay to participate.
“In a country with 330 million people, it’s sometimes not easy to find the leaders and the influencers in the watch community,” Thompson said. “This show brings out the guys who are very important and usually like to buy more than one watch.”