The Australian Financial Review launches its first prestige watch fair

Financial Review - About Time Watch Fair

The About Time Watch Fair will be held in Sydney on September 22 and 23

The Australian Financial Review has announced the launch of its first prestige watch fair, to be held in Sydney on September 22 and 23.

The About Time Watch Fair will feature many of the highlights from Geneva’s giant Watches & Wonders fair as well as other recent releases. Thirteen of the world’s finest makers of mechanical watches are taking part. Participants include Cartier, Chopard, Grand Seiko, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Vuitton, Panerai, Piaget, Ralph Lauren, Roger Dubuis, Tag Heuer, and Vacheron Constantin.

The Financial Review’s watch editor, Bani McSpedden, said an event like About Time was long overdue.

“The Financial Review pioneered coverage of the watch industry in Australia, and we’re the only media outlet that covers mechanical watchmakers as the serious businesses that they have become.

“The About Time Watch Fair demonstrates how committed the Financial Review is to deepening our coverage in this area,” McSpedden said. 

With The Australian Financial Review Magazine dominating Australia’s monthly magazine insert readership figures – it has a print readership of 481,000 and annual growth of 14%, according to Roy Morgan’s last figures – the upcoming fair reflects Nine’s strength in growing the luxury category. 

Amanda Upton, Nine’s client director of Luxury & Travel, said: “There is no better fit for some of the most luxurious brands in the world to partner with the Financial Review for Australia’s first watch fair.”

“We are uniquely positioned to host this event. We have the audience they want, and our long history in writing about watches will give this fair unparalleled credibility and authority.  This is an opportunity for us to invest further in the industry and become the undisputed partner for brands who continue to prioritise investment with us.”

The free two-day event will follow a unique format as participating brands present their latest models in their Sydney CBD boutiques along with masterclasses in watchmaking. There will be a wide assortment of events designed to ensure attendees can enjoy themselves while trying on the latest timepieces.

Many brands are holding these presentations in areas of their flagships that are normally only accessible to their VIP customers. There will also be an exclusive lounge area at venue partner The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar on King Street.

According to official Swiss export figures, sales of watches in the Oceania region are up 21 per cent in the year to May, a rate of growth that’s double the rest of Asia.

Matthew Drummond, editor of AFR Magazine, said “We can see from digital readership data how engaged our subscribers and readers are with news about watches.

“The Financial Review has often partnered with individual brands to hold events for our subscribers, but this is the first time we’ve held an industry-wide fair in the luxury space. Given our readers’ interest in watches, we’re confident it will be a resounding success.”

About Time will be held on September 22 and 23.

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