The pandemic is real and this COVID-19 coronavirus has set off a domino effect that is seriously affecting markets worldwide, including the horology industry. As most of us watch aficionados awaited with expectation the upcoming seasonal world stage trade shows, which provide us with such joyous timely revelations each year. One by one we’ve sadly been informed that these events will be postponed until 2021 or occur in alternative manners yet to be announced.
Our collective alarms were first set-off when the nearing “Time To Move” event, released the following press release:
“Considering the uncertainty related to the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus outbreak, and in order to guarantee the welfare of our guests, partners, and colleagues, Swatch Group has decided not to hold the Time to Move event, which should have taken place in Zurich from March 4-6, 2020.
The Swatch Group Prestige brands will introduce their new products to the markets at a later stage during regional events, in order to prevent their partners from traveling internationally in an insecure climate. "And our hopes began to further dissolve when Bulova and Citizen first announced they would be dropping out of “Baselworld 2020”. They were followed by several other major brands, until ultimately the event would be officially postponed. After an uninterrupted run of 30 consecutive years, since its formal inception in 1986, this beloved and prestigious event has seen its streak halted by this contagious outbreak.
After that all eyes turned towards “Watches & Wonders 2020”, the other titan of watch events, formerly known as “SIHH” (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), until it changed its name last year.
But, here again a similar pattern of disruption would begin to unfold. Several major brands began to show signs of backing out. Until this prestigious trade show would also succumb to this worldwide health scare and officially announce its postponement. Ironically enough, this would have been the first edition of this event under the moniker of “Watches & Wonders”. But, despite this tumultuous start hopefully better times await ahead for this historic celebration, organized by FHH (Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie), on behalf of the Richemont Group.
Still some thought that maybe certain events would seize this opportunity to stand-out among the watch industry, by trying to fill the gap. But, with several travel bans and the fear of outspread and forced quarantine scenarios popping up in various geographical regions. Even these smaller scale celebrations of watches have been canceled until further notice.
But, we’d like to leave some hope for those that cannot fathom the thought of having to wait a whole more year for the chance to attend a watch extravaganza. Several major luxury watch brands have promised to exhibit in late April at the new “Geneva Watch Days” event.
This show will occur throughout several luxury hotels in Geneva and is scheduled to run from April 26-29, which were the originally planned dates for “Watches & Wonders 2020”. Among the confirmed brands in attendance are: Breitling, Bvlgari, De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk. We know this doesn’t include many of our favorites, but negotiations are still underway, so stay tuned for additional updates.
Until further notice everyone at EiT would like to recommend all our customers and fellow watch enthusiasts to stay safe and let’s hope for more positive announcements to be unveiled soon.