During the last weekend of October, we visited the MunichTime event. It was already a few years ago that we visited this watch event for end-consumers in the posh Bayerischer Hof hotel in the center of Munich, Germany. A short walking distance from the main shopping street, the chic Maximilianstrasse with all its boutiques and close to a couple of underground (U-bahn) stops.
The entry is free of charge, and the entire weekend visitors could enjoy over 60 exhibitors from Germany, Switzerland, Japan, The Netherlands etc. A bold mix of brands, from A. Lange & Söhne, Girard-Perregaux, IWC, Panerai and Oris to more recent (and perhaps unknown) companies like Staudt, Alexander Shorokhoff and Leinfelder. In the large and impressive congress room of the Bayerischer Hof hotel, with an even more impressive bar connected to the large room with exhibitors, thousands of visitors could take a look at their favorite watches and discover brands and watches they’ve never had the opportunity to see before.
We had a brief talk with the new CEO of Time Projects, Andrea Scheungrab, about the MunichTime 2017 event. Time Projects is the company that has been organizing the MunichTime (and ViennaTime) events for many years, inspiring the many other European ‘local’ watch events outside BaselWorld and the SIHH in Geneva. Germany is a huge country that is of great importance of the watch industry. If we may say so ourselves, we always feel that German watch enthusiasts have a super strong interest in the technical aspects of watch making, and appreciate the direct contact with brands to be able to ask very detailed questions. Andrea Scheungrab confirmed the strong interest this year (again) from end consumers and looked very happy with the results so far (we talked to her on Saturday, day two of the weekend-long event).
The exhibitors we’ve spoken to, seemed to be very happy with interest from the MunichTime visitors. Is the watch industry back on track? Events like these are some times pretty good indicators how the industry is holding up. Although the event is not meant for doing business on the spot, some exhibitors told us they received quite a number of orders. Brands like Sinn for example, were even difficult to approach, as people were queuing up to see their latest releases. Interesting to see that brands like Greubel Forsey were just meters away from G-Shock for example, both with their own share of fans.
We would love to see more brands at the MunichTime event, Swatch Group for example, was the big absentee with none of their brands there (we expected at least Glashütte Original and Union Glashütte there), as well as über German brand NOMOS. It would make the event even more worthwhile going to, and give watch consumers a pretty good overview of what’s out there.
Was it all perfect? Well, we (Balazs, Gerard and Robert-Jan) are of the opinion that the Bayerischer Hof location is perhaps a bit too old fashioned, with its thick carpets and old fashioned (or just old) furniture. We also noticed that certain things, like cables etc were clearly visible on the floor and hanging above us, didn’t exactly breathe luxury. This should be easy to fix though.
Is MunichTime 2018 worth going to next year? Sure, Munich is easy to access from all major airports. Just be aware that on Sunday, all shops are closed in this huge city. So make sure to do your shopping and city walk on Friday or Saturday, and visit the MunichTime at least on Sunday if you only have two days in Munich.
More information, via MunichTime on-line.