It’s November in London, which means grey skies, misty fog and of course international luxury watch event SalonQP. Kicking off with a VIP cocktail party on the evening of the 12th of November, SalonQP will run from the 12th – 14th of November, with the exhibition open to all and sundry (assuming you have your ticket of course) on the Friday and Saturday.
Each year SalonQP seems to get a little bit bigger and a little bit better and has now firmly established itself as one of Europe’s premier events on the annual watch calendar. Major players like Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre have become fixtures at the exhibition, giving fans a chance to get up close and personal with some of the most desirable timepieces in the world as well as ask questions of the experts who helped create them.
Likewise SalonQP is also often the only chance UK watch nerds have to explore the offerings of independent brands such as URWERK and MB&F (amongst many others) in the flesh. Of particular note this year is Antoine Preziuso’s Tourbillon of Tourbillons which was recently awarded the Innovation Prize at the GPHG.
The watch features a rotating plate with three tourbillons mounted to it. All three tourbillons rotate independently of each other, with each individual tourbillon rotating once every minute, however they are all linked up to the watch’s geartrain. As a final touch the whole plate revolves once every ten minutes. Only five pieces of this insane watch will be made and this will probably be one of the few chances to actually see one in the flesh.
Of course if you’re looking for something even more over the top Harry Winston’s recently unveiled Opus 14 (pictured at top) will also be making its public debut at SalonQP. With a movement comprised of over a 1,000 components the Opus 14 has been the talk of the town since it was launched in Germany last week. And if that wasn’t enough watch industry veteran Ian Skellern – co-founder of a little website called Quill & Pad amongst many other things – will be presenting a seminar on the fascinating story of the Opus project and the impact it has had on independent watchmaking. Seats for that are limited however so please click here to book yours now.
SalonQP is not just about ‘looking’ at watches though, there is also a big emphasis on ‘learning’ about them too. For example the ‘Inside a Second Exhibition’ presented in collaboration with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) is dedicated to the history of the chronograph, charting its development over the past 200 years. Some of the most important watches from the humble chronograph’s history will be on display, including the mechanical creations that pre-dated the chronograph as we know it, dating back as far as the 1820s with Nicolas Rieussec’s inking timer for horse races.
If you like your learning to be a little more practically focused however look no further than the SalonQP onsite watchmaking classes, where two Swiss-trained expert watchmakers from Paris-based Objectif Horlogerie will instruct a small group in the dedicated skills of movement assembly during a 90-minute class. There will even be prizes for the quickest learners throughout the show, and all participants will receive a diploma certifying their completion of the class. Again though places are severely limited (the Friday session has already sold out) so click here now if you want to book your spot.
All told there is something for just about everyone this year at SalonQP, even your bored spouse/in-law/neighbour/child, etc so bring them along too because I guarantee they will have a great time, even if they’ve never even expressed even a remote interest in watches.
SalonQP runs from the 12th – 14th of November at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea and you can click here to buy your tickets (and no, I don’t earn a commission, although that would be nice.) Hope to see you there!