Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) join exhibitors at the September fair.
The 38th Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair (HKW&CF) opened from 3 – 7 September, 2019 in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre on the edge of beautiful Victoria Harbour.
As the biggest timepiece exhibitor in the world today it attracted some 18,000 buyers from 104 countries around the world making it a key trading platform for the global watch and clock industry, sitting right in the heart of the emerging Asian markets.
This year, in a serious coup, the Fair has lured the celebrated Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) to join its ranks.
It is the first time the AHCI has exhibited in Hong Kong under the Academy’s group banner. In this initial exploratory appearance there were six members and one candidate (a provisional member) showcasing their exclusive timepieces.
Vincent Calabrese, Bob Bray, of Yorkshire-based Sinclair Harding, and David Candaux were on hand to meet prospective buyers and for interviews with the press.
The exhibiting artisan members also included Sebastian Naeschke, Lin Yong-Hua and Zehua Tan.
Bob said: ‘The organisers at the Fair were excellent and worked hard to help the AHCI and its individual exhibitors.
‘They organised tours of VIPs, buyers and journalists and gave us the opportunity to present the AHCI as a group. It was a very positive and productive few days.’
Comparative costs are always a factor and despite flying halfway around the world to come to the Hong Kong fair, Bob added: ‘From a cost point of view, by the time we added flights it works out similar to attending Baselworld… and we have made good contacts from buyers in India, Indonesia, Hong Kong China, Russia, Azerbaijan and of course the UK.’
The AHCI stand was similar in concept to that used at Baselworld and carried the special banner: ‘At the AHCI you can touch the watchmaker who makes your watch’. And that is what especially sets the artisans at the AHCI apart from almost every other exhibitor at the Hong Kong fair or even, the Baselworld show.
You can actually talk to the maker of your timepiece.
Today this is indeed a rare luxury. Even for regular periodic servicing, the major brands take their repair instructions (and exorbitant fees) through service agencies which completely isolates the owner from the serviceman making it completely and utterly impersonal.
Exhibitors had individual exhibition space within the group stand and similar to Baselworld, there were always visitors moving through and talking to the individual makers.
A full review of the Fair will appear in the January/February issue of TimePiece, which will be delivered mid December.
Amongst all the latest industry news from the prominent East Asian makers, it will include specifications and photographs of new models which were launched at the Fair.
The Sun and Moon Clock, from Bob Bray FBHI (Sinclair Harding Clocks), features a panoramic changing sky as in real life, sunshine and clouds during daylight hours and the moon rising and setting every night. A special feature is that over twenty nine and a half days the moon goes through its phase, waxing and waning in the most realistic manner. The whole clock sits on a highly figured walnut, rosewood or black French polished base and the movement can be finished in either rhodium or gold.
Cars and horology are a winning formula and John-Mikaël Flaux’s Time Fury P18, a mechanical clock combining the aesthetics of automotive technology with watchmaking, proved to be a real crowd pleaser at the HKW&CF.
The wheels turn causing the Time Fury to roll at a speed of 13.2 mm/h (31 cm per day). The time is read at the back of the car by floating numbers on a graduated sector and can be set directly by the back wheels. The winding is done into the left exhaust with a little crank.
Mattheus Naeschke Clocks exhibited this elegant, one year running, precision clock, featuring a hand-engraved chapter ring of solid sterling silver, flame-blued hands, dead-beat ‘Naeschke’ escapement with round ruby pallets, compensation pendulum beating 1¼ seconds, 12 precision ball bearings and 6 ruby bearings.
Vincent Calabrese’s exhibit was designed in collaboration with Japanese painter, Shinji Himeno. Its dial features an allegoric micro-painting depicting Kronos, the Greek god of time. Mechanically, the progression of hours is a Calabrese complication, the ‘Wandering Hours’ display making one complete rotation every hour.
David Candaux exhibited his 1740 ‘The First 8’ watch featuring a 30-degree inclined flying tourbillon running on ceramic ball-bearings. Just as the dial, the movement is inclined (wheels and bridges), highlighting their decoration and accentuating the reflection of light on their superb angles. The plates and bridges are made from untreated titanium. The decoration is ‘Côtes du Solliat’, a new form of stripes devised by David Candaux. The case has a sleek asymmetric design with a secret retractable crown located at 6 o’clock.
Members of AHCI talk to visitors to the Fair.