Van Cleef & Arpels, a long-time regular at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), will be absent from next year’s international luxury watch fair in Geneva. But Bovet, the heritage luxury watchmaker, will take part for the first time.

Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), the organiser of SIHH, revealed the line-up for the 2019 edition at PalExpo from January 14-17.

The 35 exhibitors – comprising 18 historic maisons and 17 independents as part of the Carre des Horlogers group – has been updated with Bovet for the first time.

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Bovet, founded in London in 1822, is known for its lavish decorated dials and high complications.

Van Cleef & Arpels CEO and creative director Nicolas Bos said at SIHH 2018 that the brand was concerned by the evolution of SIHH from a trade fair to more of “a platform for expression, communication, and press”.

“From decades ago, the fair was the only time in the year for the watch brands to meet the distributors, take orders and go into production, but now we meet on a more regular basis,” he said in January. “In the future, SIHH will continue to improve and develop different facets and not only be a trade fair.”

SIHH, which was first staged in 1991, is considered as one of the most prestigious international luxury watch fairs. The fair has been supported by Richemont group luxury watch brands Cartier, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and IWC.

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The fair has become more inclusive and digitally driven. In 2016, in addition to its regular legacy maisons – predominantly Richemont group brands and independents Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille – it launched the new Carre des Horlogers to feature independent brands HYT, H. Moser & Cie, MB&F and Urwerk.

This year saw growth in the number of participants from outside the Richemont brands with Hermès, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin.

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The 2018 edition was updated with more digital-friendly facilities and programmes, including the SIHH Live, featuring panel discussions, talks, and debates in a central auditorium.

Originally a strict industry insiders-only fair, SIHH accepted a public audience on the last day of the fair two years ago.

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