For the Swiss watchmaking industry and precision artistry, Geneva is one of the most significant places. For more than 500 years, watchmaking has always been the center of this international lakeside city. While COVID-19 has disrupted the environment for watch fairs, the Geneva Watch Days were introduced as a new watchmaking event that brings both brands and enthusiasts together. At the heart of the event is an iconic hotel with a unique history. Are you ready to find out which one?
Staying at the Beau-Rivage Genève
We arrive in Geneva for the Watch Days and check in at the iconic Beau-Rivage right at the boarder of Lake Geneva. It is here where most participating brands will showcase their novelties. The hotel has a long and rich history dating back to 1865. Since its opening, the Beau-Rivage has always been family-run. Over the decades, the maison has managed to keep its unique charm by offering uniquely furnished and decorated rooms paying tribute to guests who stayed here.
Fitting with Dalbiondo Tailor
One thing we love about the Beau-Rivage is its central location. It is the perfect place to welcome guests or handle private business. In our case, we meet up with our tailor Dalbiondo. We ordered a new suit for the Geneva Watch Days scheduled the fitting on the opening date of the event.
Dalbiondo’s collections feature stunning fabrics, high-end quality construction, a splash of Italian style and a comfort tailored to the client’s needs. For this new three-piece suit, we chose a petrol-colored, nicely structured Loro Piana Summertime fabric. As expected, the suit fits perfectly. That is reason enough, to open a bottle of champagne and celebrate!
Experiencing hospitality excellence
After the appointment we take a quick tour of the hotel. In the new suit of course! Due to its long tradition, the Beau-Rivage has plenty of things to discover in its hallways. From artworks like sculptures or paintings to subtle interior design and architecture features.
Back at our Lake View Loft Suite, we enjoy the magnificent view. The Jet d’Eau, Lake Geneva and old town lie just before us. While looking outside, we see ships come and go. Truly idyllic!
For dinner, we head downstairs to the new Albertine’s Lounge. It is a stylish contemporary chic terrace with a trendy and relaxed atmosphere in the spirit of the Côte d’Azur. While being a fashionable place for a drink after work, we don’t want to miss out on the tapas created by chef Dominique Gauthier. The menu of Asian and Mediterranean flavors offers something for every taste!
The next morning we get up early and start the day with a strong espresso in our suite. Then, breakfast is served and we indulge in fresh pastry, fruit juices and a wonderful omelette. The best way to get started on an eventful day like this one.
Geneva Watch Days
It will be the only significant gathering for the Swiss watch community in 2020: the Geneva Watch Days! As a decentralized and self-managed multi-brand watch event, enthusiasts can discover brands’ novelties in their individual showrooms situated in hotels or established retailers all around the city.
H. Moser & Cie
The first brand we visit has set up a showroom, like many others, in a suite of the Beau-Rivage Genève. Since the elegant timepieces of H. Moser & Cie. match the elegant interior design of the suite perfectly, we feel like the place was well chosen.
We are excited to see some timeless pieces like the Endeavour Tourbillon, but also some new releases. For the Endeavour Tourbillon, H. Moser & Cie. followed a minimalist approach which pairs the tourbillon with the refined simplicity of their signature fumé dials. Additionally, no logo or indices were added to allow a complete immersion into a world of elegance. The Endeavour Tourbillon is the ideal choice for someone who wishes to pay tribute to traditional 100% Swiss watchmaking.
Moving on, we get to see two models of their rather new Streamliner collection. The first release within this collection was the Flyback Chronograph Automatic. It was designed to redefine the versatile stainless steel bracelet watch. With no sub-dials or counters, the hour, minute as well as the chronograph’s second and minute hands are all placed on the same central axis.
On the day we visit H. Moser & Cie, they introduce the second member of the Streamliner collection, the Streamliner Centre Seconds. Crafted in a 40mm steel case with integrated mono-link bracelet and paired with a Matrix Green fumé dial. In our opinion, it positions itself wonderfully between dress- and sports watch. Well done!
Our second visit of the day takes us to the shop of Les Ambassadeurs. Here, Stephen Forsey welcomes us to present the new Balancier S by the exclusive watchmaker Greubel Forsey. Their latest release is an exclusive union of sport and chronometry. The highlight of the piece is the large, high precision and inclined balance wheel. It is placed within a 100 metres water resistant titanium case, tailored for the most active lifestyle.
Between exciting stories about his career as watchmaker and entrepreneur, Stephen Forsey explains that, with the Balancier S, they wanted to push the technical limits to combine ergonomics, architecture and precision. This was also necessary in order to put an inclined balance wheel system inside a sports watch.
Coffee shops in Geneva
When in Geneva, one definitely needs to stop to enjoy some good coffee. During the Geneva Watch Days, we were happy to have stopped in two of our favorite places. Let us show you which ones!
If you are looking for a quality coffee in a central location, Boréal is your best bet. With three locations at Rue du Stand, Montblanc 17 and Eaux-Vives, you are likely to find one near you. When we passed their shop at Montblanc 17 in the early morning, we stopped quickly for a Flat White. A thing you should do too!
If you have a bit more time, make sure to visit the independent coffee shop Oh Martine! in the area of Eaux Vives. We love their carefully designed and furnished shop as well as their Mochachino. Plus, they serve amazing breakfast and lunch. When visiting, try one of their tartines or signature toasts. For us, truly the perfect place for a quick but delicious lunch with a nice coffee on the side.
If you want to read more about what to do in Geneva, read this blogpost about our last visit.