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Salon QP 2013 – Watches of London

Posted by WatchAnish on
Our big friend @xbudi_ shares his awesome stories and photos from the Salon QP 2013 in London!


It’s not often you get around eighty watch brands all in one place in your back yard so to speak but Salon QP is exactly that. From some of the worlds biggest movers and shakers in the watch industry to smaller independent brands they are out in force all vying for the same visitors roving eye and attention and of course ultimately there hard earned cash.
Now in it’s fifth year, London’s fine watch exhibition has become a firm fixture in the watch exhibiting calendar for visitors like myself and for brands themselves who choose to use the event as there launch pad for product releases and too spread the word to those unable to visit the likes of Basel, SIHH etc
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Salon QP gets underway in the splendour of the  Saatchi Gallery off The Kings Road, Chelsea in London on a Thursday evening with a VIP cocktail party which from what I gather being unable to attend (by which I mean I wasn’t invited) was dominated by press and media and was possibly the busiest time visitor wise of the event although I would imagine not the most productive from a buyers point of view (blimey these grapes are sour)
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My own weekend started at the midday opening of the more relaxed and informal Friday session where you politely refuse an armful of brochures and bags before you reach the first exhibitors stand in the knowledge you have several hours, three floors, several seminars sessions and and wonderful bar next door to negotiate through your day. Tip No.1, If you really like taking home all those brand goodies, brochures and bags then do two or three laps first unless you want to reassemble a cross between a bag lady and a baboon.
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, LondonSalon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London
I would imagine that unlike the behemoth that is Basel World (invites now being accepted without shame) getting up close and personal with certain watches or brand owners is almost impossible with what I hear are almost diarised time slots and military precision meetings. Not so with Salon QP, for instance I chatted very casually with Max Busser of MB&F at some length after which I asked if I could try on his personal Legacy Machine No1 to which he never batted an eye, then during our chat tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta, founder of world-famous London-based studio who recently collaborated with Roman Jerome got involved with our discussions. Or having Benoit Mintiens founder and creator of Ressence demonstrate his award winning liquid filled Type 3 creation or listening to Heuer world authority Arno Haslinger give advice of curating a watch collection or chewing the fat with the Schofield Watch company, or having Konstantin Chaykin discuss and demonstrate his Cinema watch one on one, actual, it was two on one as he used an interpreter, but you get the picture, all very open, relaxed and a real pleasure to be in such an open environment.
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London 2013-12-04_0040 Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London
Gliding past the Chopard stand a few familiar faces gave good excuse to rest up and request a try of there million dollar diamond tourbillon piece which although not perhaps the next watch on my wish list was another unforgettable experience to be allowed to handle such a fabulous piece. Likewise of the De Bethune 28 and the Zenith Equation of Time or the Christophe Claret 21 Blackjack, Urwerk’s EMC and UR210 in Red Gold, all stunning watches you just don’t get the opportunity to get hands on with that often, if at all.
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London
Safe in the knowledge I had plans to attend again on the Saturday to catch another seminar among more browsing we slipped out of the gallery into a local bar to discuss what was on reflection from a watch collectors point of view a dream meeting of so many interesting people, not too mention hanging out with hundreds of like-minded collectors and enthusiast. A couple of well deserved pints later we had a mad dash back our hotel to change for the casino and cocktail evening back in the Saatchi gallery hosted in the Harrods fine watch lounge by Christophe Claret.
It was immediately obvious that this was going to be a popular evening as the place was heaving and probably nothing to do with the free Chivas whisky cocktails which bar men where making up in production lines of around 24 at a time which in itself became a must see attraction!
Up we rolled to the table and with my four free roulette chips, increased from three with my pure cheek on entry. I managed a few spins before alas the house had taken down another punter although being that everyone’s chips were the same colour I’m sure there was some confusion between actual winners and losers, but when the chips a free, there are no winners and losers :-)
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, LondonSalon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London
Several potent cocktails later we headed to the Gallery Mess next door, that’s the name of the attached restaurant and bar by the way not an observation, where nearing the end of a wonderful meal my darling wife managed to up end her balanced knife and splatter my Whiter than White evening shirt and the lapels of my Ben Elton style Black Silver thread evening suit (what do you mean sounds gaudy?) with what turns out to be a very rich yet stubborn beef gravy! I of course took this all in good spirits as it was a pure accident; did I heck, I went proper diva! Tip No. 2, Sit opposite your wife for dinner rather than next too, thus creating a minimum 3 feet safety zone where only food or drink specifically aimed at you will find its target.
Anyway after mopping my shirt and suit with a particular dense wholemeal bread a long awaited text came in with the news that sufficient space was made for us at Blacks private members club in Soho for an after party which turns out was heavily influenced by yet more delicious and rare 21 year old whisky from the Balvenie and incredibly fresh and fruity yet highly intoxicating cocktails – I’ll leave that particular part of the evening/morning right there, mainly because my memory becomes a little hazy.
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London
The final Saturday show day is probably my favourite day to look a little closer and cruise the booths having already got to know the layout it’s more a question of re-visiting your favourite brands and taking stock of what’s on offer part of which included a seminar with horology genius Roger Smith no less and a packed house for the open discussion on watch collecting, from starting one to what’s hot, what’s not and what’s next. If you weren’t there you wont know but Mickey and Minnie featured heavily (that should throw you all off the scent)
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London 2013-12-04_0021 Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London 2013-12-04_0041


Back out in the halls I also found myself looking past the watches I drooled over on the pervious day and looked a little closer at the numerous companies offering watch related products such as the leather padded watch travel flasks with built in GPS trackers, the Dottling 360 degree gyrowinder, watch safes and storage solutions that cost more than my house, strap making classes, dial painting exhibitions, 3D image panel displays to safely flaunt your priceless wares, the list goes on. In short a mecca for any horology junkie and frankly 3 days is just not nearly enough! Tip No.3 Ignore Tip No.1, I left without a single branded goody, brochure or bag because I have the memory of a goldfish but thanks to my good friend and sharp shooter Fletch a camera full of delights which I hope you also enjoy. Thank you QP!
Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, LondonSalon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London 2013-12-05_0005 Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery, Sloane Square, London

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