GQ is reporting from the Watches & Wonders convention in Geneva this week. Click here to read all our coverage from the event or sign up for the Box + Papers newsletter to get the latest in your inbox.
“Too many people,” my taxi driver said to me on the way to the airport this morning. There aren’t enough taxis or hotel rooms for the amount of watch people who invade Geneva for Watches & Wonders, he told me. Apparently, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, when people come to buy jets, creates the same problem. Geneva is hilarious.
Another year of Watches & Wonders has already come and gone for me. The collecting world has grown exponentially over the past few years and if you look closely you can see the industry opening itself to these new hobbyists. Rolex is making jigsaw dial pieces with 31 emojis, Tag Heuer introduced a classic chronograph as well as a neon-pink Carrera, and even Paneria is shrinking its signature massive watches. Almost every brand had something ridiculous to show. There were pocket watches at both Cartier and Hermes. The former’s was covered in diamond and the latter was strung with real horse hair. Who are these watches for? With so many more collectors, probably someone!
Some final stray thoughts from me. Suddenly vintage-inspired 36- (or 36.5) millimeter watches are everywhere. That’s really the perfect size for a watch, to be honest. Speaking of trends, I saw so many more sneakers this year than I did last. Common Projects and Adidas Stan Smiths were omnipresent but there were also Nike Panda Dunks and those detested Tiffany Air Force 1s. The Lange booth made by far the best beverages—fresh squeezed blood orange juice and sparkling water infused with mint, wow. The most popular food at the Palexpo? Believe it or not, a poke bowl, which you needed to order early before they were completely gone. I refused to eat conventional-hall raw fish, but there’s always next year. Thanks for following along.
The best watch I tried on today: What’s the German word for “exceeds expectation”? How about A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph? The German brand’s watch, one of the most talked-about at the fair, was everything it was cracked up to be. Lange showed only this one watch, (Cartier, by comparison, showed 17 new pieces in the Tank line alone).