Selling Time: All About the Swiss Watch Show in Las Vegas

The 13th annual Swiss Watch show opens May 29 in Las Vegas

The advent of the smartwatch era has had a curious effect on the traditional watch industry: Sud­­denly, timepieces—connected or not—are the talk of the town.

That bodes well for the 40-plus brands exhibiting at the Swiss Watch show in Las Vegas, running May 29 to June 1 at Mandalay Bay and the Mandarin Oriental in conjunction with JCK Las Vegas. But the hoopla over wristwatches isn’t the only factor expected to affect attendance at the show.

“Retailers are looking for the convenience of a one-stop shopping experience that Swiss Watch by JCK affords,” says event director Sarin Bachmann, citing the fluctuation of the euro as a factor in the rise of Las Vegas as a  buying destination for retailers who bypassed Switzerland’s Baselworld fair in March.

Swiss Watch welcomes eight ­newcomers this year—88 Rue du Rhone, Anonimo, Bremont, Clerc, Corum, Michele, Tutima, and Zodiac—as well as a number of returning brands including Girard-Perregaux, Perrelet, and Zenith.

Buyers can expect to see trends that emerged at watch shows earlier in the year—namely, blue dials paired with blue straps, classic men’s dress styles, and GMT ­models. There’s also the matter of smarts, a hot topic at Baselworld, where connected devices were all the rage.

While there’s no end to the media’s fascination with smartwatches, time will tell if buyers follow suit. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see consumers adding a smartwatch to their collection, but not replacing their fine timepiece,” says Regina Ciarleglio Leadem, a ­consultant working with Swiss Watch. “I see smartwatches ­expanding to a new group of consumers who will ultimately become the next generation of fine timepiece owners.”

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