The annual Watchtime New York collectors show opened its doors to over 2,000 watch enthusiasts in Midtown Manhattan last weekend. The iconic bronze doors of Gotham Hall ushered in the largest number of attendees to attend the event in its eight-year history. Collectors from around the world flocked to experience the latest timepieces from 36 brand exhibitors, some revealed to the world for the first time live from the showroom floor. Renowned investor, author, Tv personality, and collector Kevin O’Leary also attended the event, describing WatchTime New York as “Spectacular.”
The three day star-studded event kicked off with a sold-out VIP cocktail event on Friday October 20 including SAG-award-winning actor Aldis Hodge. Offering the first chance to experience the latest timepieces from the 36 brand exhibitors and the rare opportunity to mingle with global brand exhibitors, fellow collectors, and tastemakers while enjoying light bites and custom cocktails from WatchTime New York sponsor and Fifth Avenue retailer Wempe. Attendees were also treated to a grand reveal by Bell & Ross CEO Carlos Rosillo and Sacha Lakic who unveiled their Blacktrack Motors collaboration and Blacktrack watch live on the show floor.
Saturday opened with insights from a high-profile collector “Mr. Wonderful” himself, Kevin O’Leary together with WatchTime Publisher Sara Orlando and WatchTime Senior Editor Bilal Khan. The renowned investor, TV personality, author, and watch collector also took time to walk the WatchTime New York show floor, mingling with fellow watch collectors and trying on watches from 36 leading watch brands under the grand dome of Gotham Hall.
When asked what he thought about WatchTime New York, Kevin O’Leary replied, “What I appreciate about this is that it’s a gathering of a global scale. These are brands from all around the world coming together. It’s a chance for collectors like me to see what’s next but also what came before, because some of these brands are displaying some very rare vintage pieces. So, I would never get to see these unless I was here. I think that’s the importance of this: understanding there’s a past to this industry as well as a future. Putting them both together in one show is genius.”
Throughout the weekend’s festivities attendees enjoyed complimentary tastings from Wolves Whiskey and Vin Fraîche Wine Group in between panel presentations that included “The Return of the Dress Watch,” moderated by Jeff Kingston and featuring Kelly Yoch, Michael Hickcox, and Ken Koshiyama. Saturday closed with “Aviation and Watches: What is a True Pilots’ Watch?” moderated by Jeff Kingston, joined by Emmanuel Breguet (VP Head of Patrimony).
The show closed its eighth edition with a final day of panels and watch presentations – including “Best alone, Best together,” a panel exploring unexpected brand collaborations. The panel was moderated by WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger, and featured panelists including Pascal Ravessoud (FHH), VJ Geronimo (Oris), Carlos Rosillo (Bell & Ross), and Adam Craniotes (RedBar). The show closed with a panel celebrating indie watchmakers: “Independent Watchmaking on the Mezzanine.” Hosted by Jeff Kingston, the feature presentation highlighted Kari Voutilainen, Vianney Halter, Moritz Grossmann, Laurent Ferrier, Massena Lab, Cyrus, and Zeitwinkel.