Last Saturday September 7, 2019 was Australia’s First Watch Convention, Watchfest Sydney 2019. This is the first time a watch convention was advertised for people to attend. I heard of this event through the Australian Watch Forum and since I attend almost every single AWF GTG, I decided to go on this one.
Ticket was $55 and for the first 50, they get to go to the cocktail night in the Omega boutique in Martin Place for a pre-launch and quickly introduce the new James Bond movie. There are also 30 seats available for the Longines Heritage evening which was happening between 6pm and 8pm of Saturday, but unfortunately I couldn’t go. Seats were limited to 30 for that event.
Some of the events are as follows:
- OMEGA Seamaster Cocktail Night – This is one of the main reason why I decided to go. I always wanted to just meet people in a more posh watch event and was not disappointed. It gave me a good reason to suit up. A selected two were also given a chance to disassemble / assemble an Omega watch. Catering was great as well, but champagne was very limited.
- Oris watch reveals – The “AWF” watch was finalised and photos were allowed. Pre-order is allowed and unless the minimum quantity is met, this watch wouldn’t be in production. “AWF” watch is limited to 100 pieces and you can choose a serial number. #1 gets to stay with Oris of course. This is also the opportunity to see the new Oris ProPilot X hands-on.
- Longines Heritage evening – Couldn’t attend.
- “carpe diem” with Seven Friday Lifestyle – Hosted by the Independent Collective, the owner was very accommodating and knowledgeable about the product. He also brought his last few Arnold & Son which was a pleasure to inspect.
- Connect groups
- Independents – Watch sellers like Geneva Blue and Bausele were there.
- Moonwatch – Well known Australian Speedmaster afficionados Peter Mizzi and Peter Cai were there to discuss Speedmasters.
- Seamaster – I saw their stall, but didn’t get to talk
- Watch making – It’s one guy who was showing general watch disassembly. He had a few tools, movements samples and a timegrapher, but didn’t get to talk with him.
- Seiko, Panerai – Didn’t see any.
Other stores that were advertised on the ad to be there are as follows:
- Wamada Jewellery
- AHW Studio
- Solemate Sneakers merchandise
- RX8 Watch Shields
I only stayed for 2-3 hours during the event and unfortunately I didn’t see the stalls of AHW and Solemate during my short stay there. However, I did see pre-owned dealer Timekeeper Boutique and a small pop-up store of Time and Tide Watches.
There are other programs happening as well such as the opening speech of Bani McSpedden, watch editor of The Australian Financial Review. He also interviewed Peter Borghouts, managing director and brand manager of Oris Australia about Oris and the future of watch making. “Sydney Watch Guy” also gave an introduction to the “Australian Watch Forum” and how much it has grown in the short amount of time since inception.
Overall, Watchfest Sydney 2019 was a very fun event and can’t wait for the next one.