There’s a new watch show in town—and it’s patterned after buzzy global multi-genre entertainment and comic book event Comic Con.
HorologiCon, a new showcase for high-end watches, will debut Sept. 6–8 at the River Pavilion at New York City’s Javits Center.
It was designed to be an “inclusive” watch show—open to both consumers and the trade—and a spate of very in-demand watch brands, including Grand Seiko, Oris, Frederique Constant, Alpina, Farer, Fiona Krüger Timepieces, and Watches of Switzerland, have already signed on as exhibitors.
“Comic Con consolidated and united the passions of comic enthusiasts around the globe,” event founder Dan Read tells JCK. “The passion for watchmaking runs similarly deep, and we see a big opportunity to unite horology lovers, no matter what stage of enthusiast they may be.”
Read, an events-world veteran and avid watch enthusiast, says the event’s organizers are encouraging brands to “come out from behind the case and engage directly with watch fans.” He and his collaborators are thinking big—plans for HorologiCon London for 2020 and HorologiCon Singapore for 2021 are already under way.
“The idea for HorologiCon was really inspired by my personal background in events coupled with an ever-growing passion for watches,” he adds. “There seemed to be a tremendous opportunity within the watch universe for brands to talk to consumers in a new and modern way—directly and personally.”
Read tapped consumer-driven events company Clarion UX to produce the event, which is a creation of LeftField Media, the event company behind Awesome Con, Anime NYC, and Play Fair.
“We want to make it easier for watch brands to engage a new audience and deepen their relationships with existing fans by building, from scratch, a forum to facilitate live experiences like no other.”
HorologiCon’s biggest differentiator, Read says, “is absolutely our inclusivity.” He explains: “There is no doubt that the watch world is one of the most complex and requires a passion for learning intricate, technical details about engineering, craftsmanship, history.”
All that makes the barrier to entry for the watch-curious individuals high. Designed to bridge that divide, the event is billed as “offering something for everyone, through specifically designed programming tracks for absolute novices to the most seasoned collectors alike”—and presumably everyone in between.
The specifics of the consumer experiences being offered at HorologiCon are under wraps. But a company statement says they will incorporate “highly interactive storytelling,” and that, ultimately, HorologiCon will “act as a conduit platform to embolden watch brands and peripheral suppliers to create a real, lasting connection with their audiences.”
So there you have it. Welcome, HorologiCon.
Top: An Omega and HorologiCon logo posted by Dan Read on Instagram (image via: @horologicondan)