Time for 2012’s Swiss Watch at JCK

Can’t go to Switzerland? JCK brings Switzerland to you

Las Vegas may lack Switzerland’s alpine ambience and Euro-style amenities, but for four days in June, the city is a convincing proxy location, as hordes of watchmakers flock to Swiss Watch, held in conjunction with the JCK Las Vegas show.

From June 1 to 4, the appointment-only event—now in its 10th year—will take over a host of luxury hotel rooms at ­Mandalay Bay, THEhotel, Four Seasons, and—for one brand—the Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter. “Breitling is going to be at the Mandarin,” says Steven Kaiser, president of New York City–based Kaiser Time, which produces Swiss Watch in collaboration with JCK Events. “They wanted to be a part of the show but wanted to be a little bit away.”

Exclusivity is, of course, a show signature. Among the 30-some brands participating in Swiss Watch this year—among them Hublot, Ulysse Nardin, and Parmigiani—most will showcase collections introduced in March at the Baselworld fair. Gucci, for example, will focus on models like those in its fashion-forward Bamboo line, while Breitling and Hermès will tout their new in-house calibers: the Transocean Chronograph Unitime and Dressage H1837, respectively.

A few exhibitors are using the occasion of Swiss Watch to debut novelties. At TAG Heuer, the introduction of several new Carrera models evoke the brand’s legacy as a watch for car-racing enthusiasts. The name references the Carrera Panamericana, a grueling 1950s Mexican road race steeped in automotive legend.

Despite the emphasis on heritage, however, the brand is also unequivocally future-minded. Among the products TAG will promote at Swiss Watch: the new TAG Heuer Racer, billed as “the world’s first Swiss luxury touchscreen smartphone to be entirely constructed from the leading-edge materials of motor racing and aviation.”