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VO Vintage: huge success for the first edition of the new IEG format dedicated to vintage watch and jewellery lovers
The prestigious and exclusive context at Vicenzaoro turned out to be a winner with its formula open to a select public, its contemporary style of explaining the past and in-depth moments with the sector’s elite, making the event an authentic must
By: Diamond World News Service
Jan 23 2020 12:13PM
Reference: 24717  


The first edition of VO Vintage, Italian Exhibition Group’s new exclusive marketplace for vintage watches and jewellery, closed yesterday with great success. This event was a new entry at Vicenzaoro, the Show of reference for the gold and jewellery sector, which continues until tomorrowVO Vintage opened its doors on 18th January and was attended by a selection of 30 leading exhibitors who presented and exchanged the most unique and valuable specimens from their own collections.

 An area entirely dedicated to vintage watch and jewellery collecting, a market that has experienced exponential growth in recent years and has now reached a value of 1 billion Euros in Italy. An increase which was accompanied by a considerable re-interpretation of the sector’s communication strategies in order to contact an increasingly younger and more dynamic public.

 One of the most highly awaited events was the VO Vintage Talk entitled “In search of the Holy Grail of collecting”. A dialogue between Michele Mengoli, one of Italy’s top horology experts as well as Vo Vintage advisor, and Sandro Fratini, undoubtedly one of the greatest and most famous vintage watch collectors in the world with a patrimony of more than 2,000 pieces for an overall value of about one billion Euros and which includes brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. An authentic “time lord” who, in forty years of research, has transferred his passion into every business activity he has engaged in, including his hotels in Florence, Rome and Venice, where everything, from the furniture to the carpets, from mirrors to doors, recalls watchmaking symbolism.

 The new format was also able to count on precious item contributions from personalities of such calibre as Giulio Papi, Master Watchmaker and Director of Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi. After his intervention, organized in collaboration with Revolution Magazine Italia, he commented: “I didn’t expect to see so many specialized dealers and so many important ‘top dogs’ in collectionism, nor so many enthusiastic customers – not only those here for curiosity, but those who came to look for the object of their dreams. It was also a valuable moment for me to learn a lot about vintage”. Also in attendance was Stefano Mazzariol, one of the world’s greatest Rolex Daytona experts, who is optimistic about the future of collecting. “I achieved my aim of presenting the product, of imparting this ‘old new world’ and making contacts to develop later on. I was at Vicenzaoro on that 18th January 1992 when the last Italian Antiquorum auction took place with the historical auctioneer, Osvaldo Patrizzi. I had been commissioned to buy an incredible watch which, at that time, was worth 55 million Lire and is now worth over 600,000 Euros. I am sure that VO Vintage is the incubator we needed to create a new standard and a further step towards the future of quality jewellery”.

 Much appreciated were the attendances of Bruno Bergamaschi, who, with his Orologi & Passioni forum, connected the community of enthusiasts, both via the social networks and live, to VO Vintage, with dedicated events, and professor Ugo Pancani from the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, and Mario Peserico, President of Assorologi.

 An exclusive and totally unprecedented event, as Dody Giussani, Editor of L’Orologio magazine, the event’s media partner, and expert watch market connoisseur, said: “I immediately liked the philosophy of this exhibition because it is addressed to enthusiasts. It is something that was missing in Italy. Putting the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants), vintage sector dealers, who are exceptional experts, and conferences on various themes all together provided enthusiasts with a complete offer.”

 The prestigious AHCI groups together the world’s greatest independent master watchmakers, who focus everything on the uniqueness and personality of the item. The institution was fully represented at VO Vintage, with, among others, the famous spatial watchmaking of Vincent Calabrese, top independent master watchmaker who has been in the business for 63 years. “Among the specimens that I took with me was a collection for a wider public, although the mechanisms were still unique. The purpose was to show that anyone can have a unique watch and, why not, even a personalized one.” Antoine Preziuso, on the other hand, exhibited his famous Tourbillon of Tourbillons collection which includes the Trillon Tourbillon – a unique piece which owes its name to three sapphires set into a triangle and three tourbillons worth 1.2 million Swiss Francs. A lover of watches from a very early age and constantly in search of unprecedented mechanisms and specimens, he is focusing on perpetual movement for the future, a watch that goes by itself without needing to be wound. Difficult, but not impossible for him.

 VO Vintage is therefore yet another successful event organized by Italian Exhibition Group  able to satisfy the demand of enthusiasts and reap the benefits of a growing segment with a unique and innovative format. The organizational machine is already in motion for the next edition.


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