In a couple of weeks, the watch world will pause just a little as the event of the year, Watches and Wonders, takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. This is a jamboree for the horology world, a place to see new designs and concepts, hear from industry specialists and experience the world of watches in different ways.  It has become the pre-eminent event of the year for many in the watch industry.


The event goes over a few days and is open to the public, but tickets will set you back a rather costly £65 a day plus all your travel costs and hotels, etc and let me tell you, Geneva is not a cheap place right now. We came back a lot poorer than when we went - but you do get to see some remarkable stuff at the event. We have a suggestion at the end of this post, which might be an alternative way to spend that money this year.


The conference presentations are on a very wide set of topics ranging from brand presentations about how Panerai featured on their adventures and AI’s impact on the watch world, through advice on how to start a watch collection, right the way to trends in watchmakers and iconic watches. As you can see, there is plenty to keep watch fans interested and lots to learn for the less-versed watch fan.  You probably cannot count yourself as a bona fide watch fan until you have been to Watches and Wonders.


But coming on the heels of the recent British Watch Makers Day in London, run by the clever folks at the BWCA, it shows to us at Wagstaff where that event will probably grow to in the future. No doubt, the teaching around watches and watchmaking will progress beyond raising brand awareness and selling a few watches. We would certainly be all in favour of that.


The Watches and Wonders event shows a mature industry in Switzerland at its best and promotes the very thought of watches when smartwatches were supposed to kill the industry altogether, which of course it hasn't. But it always strikes us that watches are aiming higher and higher in prices and brand mark-ups are at eye-watering levels right now, with many predicting a stall and even a large drop in prices of high-end Swiss manufacture coming (we will see). That leaves plenty of space for people like Wagstaff to offer, with our Swiss partners, a great watch without that heavy price tag but losing none of the quality along the way for those customers who know quality when they see it. 


Of course, the great and the good of the watch world will be there alongside a host of marketing people and brand ambassadors, and the pomp and excitement for many we mix with is simply off the chart. But the cult of newness is nowadays outshining the old-fashioned idea that you want a timepiece for a few years, and you want the company to be around to service it and help you when the occasional hiccups of owning a quality watch come up.  That’s where we come in here at Wagstaff - we aren't a young brand coming through with designs to blow your minds and grab the trends right now and who probably in all likeliness won't be here in five or tens years' time. When Albert Wagstaff kicked it off, making watches for farming and rural estate mates, he wanted to produce something that would be around for a long time, and the family still wants that.

For some, the ‘brand’ is all it has become about, which is now only in name terms. It is about customer service, meeting up and saying “Hi” to the owners, chatting about their Wagstaff, and where they have taken that Wagstaff timepiece. That is what we are trying every day to do, to be there for the long run.

As we embark on our event season, we have over fifteen this year across the country, from Devon to Scotland. We look forward to seeing you at the shows and fairs, and we will be doing it for years to come.

If you want to travel to Watches and Wonders, we would suggest you plan for next year as hotels etc will be cheaper booked now, no doubt, and flight prices spike around this time accordingly. As a one-off trip it's certainly worth going but this year perhaps better to save the airfare and hotel bills and treat yourself to a Wagstaff Watch instead 😀