New dedicated section set up for next week’s show.
Spring Fair in Birmingham has long been revered as the biggest gift show in the UK, despite humble beginnings in a car park more than half a century ago, but while it has often touted low-end gift watches it has never really had a timepiece offer enticing enough for jewellers. But that is all set to change in 2012.
While the show has not delved into the realms of new luxury watches, it has built up a solid offering of middle-market brands and pre-owned luxury timepieces. And the location of the aptly named Time division of the exhibition within The Jewellery Show makes it an easy hop across from the halls of fine and fashion jewels.
The new Time section covers everything from pre-owned Rolexes to fashion-led to colourful timepieces inspired by Lambretta scooters and 1980s styles revived for a modern era.
The Time section includes more than 20 exhibitors that include Royal London, Storm, Issey Miyake, Festina, and Oozoo. There will be a range of striking, minimal watch designs from the likes of Bering, Danish Designs and Rosendahl, while Ravel, Wingmaster, Puma Freefall and Icon Watches will bring a sporty, youthful offer.
The Jewellery Show event director Julie Driscoll says that the exhibition’s organiser Emap introduced the Time area after listening to feedback from previous attendees who felt a watch offer was lacking.
She adds: “After several conversations with numerous retailers and exhibitors it became clear that there was a need for a watch section within The Jewellery Show, and we saw an opportunity to create a more rounded offering for buyers.”
Condor Group’s David Stokes says the company is delighted with the new watch section and adds that it “demonstrates the success of the show in recent years”.
The Jewellery Show has developed its own identity as a major part of Spring Fair, and the new Time section will add even more appeal for buyers. “The exhibition presents a great opportunity for suppliers to showcase new products and create a buzz around the trade. Over the past two years we have experienced record sales growth, opening many new accounts in addition,” adds Stokes.
Driscoll says the show will have a big focus on fashion watches and says the Time exhibitors will have chance to influence the market with youth-led collections that will be shaping retailers’ offers in 2012.
Watch retailers can also benefit from a seminar at the show designed just for them. The seminar will be held on Wednesday, February 8 and will focus on how to encourage customers to build a watch wardrobe and whether mobile phones are overtaking watches for timekeeping.
Also, first-time exhibitor Bering watches, which enjoyed fruitful debut in the UK last year, will host a lounge area in which buyers can relax at the end of a long day browsing the timepieces on show which will be held at the Birmingham NEC from February 5 to 9.
For more on watch exhibitors at The Jewellery Show 2012, read the four-page preview in the February issue of WatchPro, out now or visit our dedicated Exhibitions section of the Professional Jeweller website by clicking here.