Q & A with Donald Greig

Q. There are many watch & jewellery fairs around the world. Which ones are your favourite?

A. I always try to attend SIHH, Baselworld & the Hong Kong Fair every year.

Q. What is the main attraction about each show?

SIHH is a very small and prestigious watch fair in Geneva, hosted by Richemont and specialises in all the brands from the Richement group, as well as a few other brands that have some sort of affiliation.

Baselworld showcases a wonderful combination of some of the finest Swiss watches, as well as jewellery manufacturing designs from some of the leading Italian, French & European jewellers. It also includes some of the top loose diamond and gem companies from around the globe.

Hong Kong is well known for its extensive collection of loose gems and diamonds, as well as a very large selection of jewellery manufacturers showcasing their designs. It is on a much larger scale so the variety is endless.

Q. What products do you look for at the Hong Kong Fair:

A. I purchase a lot of our loose gem stones and pearls from this show and also get to know a few new suppliers. There are some amazing international jewellery products - it is here that I find suppliers of jewellery findings (eg. clasps, butterflies), packaging (boxes, pouches, display material), and machines and tools for our workshops

Q. How do the Baselworld & SIHH fairs work – can anyone attend?

A. SIHH is by invitation only and you have to be a retailer/stockist of at least one of their brands. Basel is open to the public, however only retailers can make appointments with most of the suppliers.

Q. What happens during these appointments?

A. I get shown all the novelties that will be launched during the year ahead. I am able to place orders of these new models, based on current purchasing trends and my prediction on the demand from our clients. It is a great opportunity to be educated on the special features/complications of each model, as well as discussing the brand’s marketing programme for the upcoming year.

Q. How long do you usually spend at these fairs:

A. Only about 2-3 days per fair, so my days are extremely packed with appointments and time slots to observe other suppliers and brands.

Q. What time of year are the watch fairs?

A. They are early on in the year, giving brands time to create hype and produce their novelty timepieces. These products are all handmade and assembled, unlike other mass- electronic products, so the production time is much longer.

Q. What do you enjoy most about the watch fairs?

A. Picking up on trends among the brands and to see what watch features are going to be popular. I also really enjoy using this time to network with all the brands and other retailers.