Tomorrow the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (short SIHH) opens its doors for the 25th time. It’s been a roaring history, with brands participating and leaving, and tomorrow the trade fair has 16 of the world’s most prestigious brand. Let’s have a quick look back at some numbers and listen to Fabienne Lupo, chairwoman and managing director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, talking about the past 24 years.
This year the trade show has 16 brands, or Maisons as the French like to call it, exhibit their novelties on a 4,500 square meters (that’s 5.381 square yards) and that’s ten times as much as in the first year, 1991. However in that year only five brands exposed. As of 1999 other brands were welcomed, and in the mean time some new ones came, some other left, and now there are 16 brands. During the first nineteen years, the SIHH was at the same time as the Baselworld fair, however as of 2009 the fair, every year, takes place in January.
The trade fair, and participating brands, survived difficult times, including the recent financial crisis that started in 2008. Now the Swiss National Bank has lifted the cap of Swiss Franc, this will have a severe impact on the results of the upcoming week. H. Moser & Cie’s CEO already send an open letter to the SNB’s president.
What happened? Well, the Swiss Franc was connected to the Euro, and always had a ratio of 1 Euro against 1.20 Swiss Francs. The Swiss National Bank has removed that connection, so the Swiss Franc, as currency, is now ‘free’ go up or down on the currency markets. At the closing of the markets, just before the weekend, the rate was close to 1:1 for the Euro and the Swiss Franc. The Swiss Franc became more expensive for everyone who wants to pay in Euro, and also against all other currencies the Swiss Franc has increased in value, and thus prices for everyone outside Switzerland have gone up. We’re curious to see how this evolves, and will keep you posted!