February 28, 2024

Vicenzaoro September 2021 is kicking off. Beyond jewellery, contemporary and vintage watches: here at last is the first major international post-Covid event in Europe!

Time for Vicenzaoro has come – taking place from 10 to 14 September in the exhibition hall of the city of Palladio with the hope of finally putting behind us the ill effects of the pandemic. The Vicenza Gold Fair has been the landmark in the world of gold and jewellery, first in Italy and then in Europe, since 1954; an example over all: in 1965, in the midst of the economic boom, the value – revalued to date – of the gold and jewellery on display in Vicenza was 5 billion euros! And through the synergies triggered by the ownership that belongs to the Rimini-based IEG (Italian Exhibition Group), listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and a leader in the organisation of trade fair events (which also take place in the USA, the United Arab Emirates, China, Mexico and India) – with a turnover of 178.6 million euro, EBITDA of 41.9 million and a consolidated net profit of 12.6 million euro (2019 figures) – Vicenzaoro has been one of the top five international players in the jewellery sector for years now. A further seal of the September 2021 edition (the next kermesse will be held in Vicenza in January, from the 21st to the 26th) is the fact – actually not only symbolic – that it is the first major international trade fair event in Europe after many months of forced stop due to Covid, and where the whole sector – from the best of the “Made in Italy” to international excellences, up to the packaging chain and the most advanced machinery – will meet to define the “state of the art” of international jewellery.

Vicenzaoro 2021


Not everyone knows that Vicenzaoro – which took its current name in 1984 – is also about watchmaking, so much so that until the beginning of the Nineties almost all the top Swiss brands exhibited their latest releases here, and with Antiquorum, the first specialised auction house in the sector, which in 1992 organised its most important auction of the year during the January edition. Then, inevitably, the emergence of the great luxury conglomerates, which have incorporated most of the top brands over the years, brought the events’ focus back to Switzerland, between Basel and Geneva, with Vicenza instead focusing more and more on the core business of jewellery over its entire chain. Since 2016, however, the watches world has returned to Vicenzaoro, first with a selection of independent contemporary brands and then, in parallel, from January 2020, with the VO Vintage section.

Vicenzaoro 2021


For the upcoming edition we can say that expectations are really high. In the contemporary sector – under the VO’Clock banner – there will be an absolute world premiere with master craftsman Vincent Calabrese, who promises to rewrite the watchmaking history, having invented the “Calasys System”, which stands as a real alternative to the spiral, more or less still operating identically to the one created five centuries ago – in 1675 to be precise – by Dutchman Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695). For now, as a preview, we know that Calabrese’s Calasys System “eliminates the spiral’s defects in a simple and effective way” and can be “used in any type of escapement” obtaining “a superior performance” and “a much easier maintenance.” 

While as far as VO Vintage is concerned – from 11th to 13th of September – we are counting on the presence of our legendary Sandro Fratini, guest star of the conference entitled “Between passion and investment,” which will also be attended by Elvio Piva and Maurizio De Angelis; the latter (at only 33 years old!), last June 26th at the Antiquorum-Deangelis auction in Forte dei Marmi, doubled the record of a watch auction in Italy with 4.4 million euros: it previously belonged to Bolaffi with 2.1 million euros knocked down in Milan in September 2020.


The Vicenza event – apart from the watches on display, of course, with around twenty participating brands, and the vintage watches on sale – also offers dozens of moments for sharing knowledge. In this sense, among the many, we should mention at least the conferences “The Great Italian Interpreters of Swiss Watchmaking” (Saturday 11, 12PM), with the legendary master watchmaker Giulio Papi, and “The extraordinary world of vintage watches: from the importance of the condition to the restoration, from the precautions to be taken to an overview of the vintage market” by Professor Ugo Pancani of the FHH (Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie) Academy (Sunday 12, 4PM)

Among the many courses, above all that organised by our friend Stefano Mazzariol, as you know one of the world’s leading experts on vintage Rolexes: “Newman Master: a journey of discovery of the most legendary Daytona dial” (Sunday 12, 12PM, with certificate of attendance); the two CAPAC courses “Watch Technical Class – Introduction to the basis of the movement theory in the watchmaking industry and practical assembly and dismantling application” organised by Professor Rinaldo Cassani (Sunday 12, at 10AM and 3PM); and that of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie: “Watches Essentials Class, Introduction to watchmaking history, trade, employed terminology, mechanical movements and the most famous complications,” again by Professor Pancani (Monday 13, 10AM).


We are pleased to make our very close relationship with Vicenzaoro public, since our brands – WATCH INSANITY together with its forumWATCHOUSE (born this year on a non-profit basis and with the aim of allowing members to get access to watch houses visits, presentation evenings, dinners, ad hoc events and special editions in collaboration with partner brands) – are official partners of the event. As such, we will be present in several situations such as the opening conference entitled “Independent brands and new post-pandemia scenarios” (Saturday 11th, 10:30AM), moderated by the founder of WATCH INSANITY, Jacopo Giudici, together with myself. The conference will host my friends Mario Peserico (President of Assorologi), Bruno Bergamaschi (collector and founder of the WATCHOUSE forum), Jacopo Corvo (Corvo&C. and GMT Great Masters of Time boutique), Stefano Superchi (Tempo Prezioso) and Cesare Cerrito (CEO, Meccaniche Veloci)It is important to highlight that WATCHOUSE forum members will receive a special treatment with exclusive free-of-charge initiatives, such as the “welcome happy hour” for all forum members (Saturday 11th, 5:30PM at the VO Vintage Lounge); the “VO Vintage dinner” with exhibitors, organisers and partners (Saturday 11th, 7:30PM at the fair restaurant), and free participation (upon registration) to CAPAC’s, Stefano Mazzariol’s (“Newman Master”) and Ugo Pancani’s (“FHH Watches Essentials Class”) courses.


We eagerly await Vicenzaoro September 2021 as the first official sign of a new start, after the pandemic, for a major exhibition event – considering that, even for the watchmaking world, this is certainly the event that reaches the largest community of enthusiasts in Italy (and beyond), from contemporary to vintage, for sales, knowledge and interaction between fans and professionals. So, to get straight to the point: see you in a few days in Vicenza!

By Michele Mengoli