In a smaller space than that used for the 16 brands exhibiting at the SIHH, no less than 825 exhibitors showed off their products, machines and technologies at this year’s EPHJ-EPMT-SMT, the trade show dedicated to suppliers to the watch, micromechanics and medical industries.
The scale was not the only difference from the SIHH. Unlike the show dedicated solely to watches, or the even bigger BaselWorld, this year’s EPHJ-EPMT-SMT show ended on an upbeat note. The show is the chance to see all the related industries and services involved in the production of a watch, from the design stage to the packaging for the finished products. In fact, it was these two very areas that brought two innovations of their own.
Hurni Engineering, for example, which is based in the watchmaking town of La Chaux-de-Fonds and has been a specialist supplier of computer-aided design software to brands such as Corum and Girard-Perregaux for nearly 30 years, introduced a new software suite that includes design applications that are specifically tailored for watch movement constructors. Processes that could previously have taken several hours, such as recalibrating dimensions and the teeth of gear wheels after modifications, can now be done automatically.
Pascal Hurni, CEO of the company that was originally established by his father as a machine company, underlined the importance of the EPHJ-EPMT-SMT for his business. “The show is very important for us because it is a rare opportunity to meet our customers. Today, customers are less inclined to take calls for appointments if they don’t know you, so it is also a good opportunity to find new customers,” he said.
At the opposite end of the production process, a number of presentation case suppliers were exhibiting their wares at the show. Vaudaux, a Geneva-based company that produces small series of its high-end cases at its own workshops, presented a new type of box inlaid with plates of decorative stone. With innumerable possibilities in terms of the rocks available, these new creations offer a unique case with an agreeable feel. In the same design, the company also offers another new version with genuine parchment inlaid in the top of the box, allowing handwritten personalization of every box.
For the first time this year, there was an Exhibitor’s Prize voted on by the exhibitors themselves for the most promising innovation presented at the show. The award was scooped by Sysmelec-Unitechnologies, a Swiss-based company that presented a new solution for 3D laser polishing. The new application allows miniature objects to be polished in three dimensions using laser technology.
The EPHJ-EPMT-SMT will be back at the Palexpo in Geneva next year from 2 to 5 June 2015.