Watches & Wonders (W&W) Geneva 2020, the rebranded watch fair formerly known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, has announced that it has decided to call off this year’s instalment in light of the worldwide spread of COVID-19.
For a while now, we’ve been hearing of retailers across geographies confirming that they would not be sending any representatives up to the watch fairs. Of course, in the line-up of things, the first domino to have fallen was the Swatch Group’s Time to Move, following which it was Seiko’s Summit, slated to take place over the same time as Time to Move.
There was hope yet for W&W to carry on, and Baselworld by that virtue, because these were slated for the second quarter of 2020 — because for the sake of all of humanity, needless to say, we were all hoping for the spread of COVID-19 to have seen a declining trend by late March.
With the formal cancellation of W&W, it throws into Baselworld into a real question mark. And for that matter, how will brands choose work around and through the situation to unveil this year’s novelties.
One method that has been explored is for brands to have their novelties travel to smaller local announcement events for press, retailers and customers. Select brands like Montblanc have already begun to adopt that strategy. The road block, though, is that with having to manage localities, what would then be the best way to manage the logistics of getting carnet watches to the different markets; what order should this occur in? It all seemingly throws away decades worth of what has become an industry practice, leading us ask the question: How does this all then impact 2021 and beyond?
Well to that, at least, were Revolution stands — is best explained by the words penned by our founding editor, Wei Koh, who penned his thoughts on the situation, earlier today across our digital platforms saying, “We at Revolution recognize that every luxury brand with dozens of boutiques in China and that has to maintain this staggering fixed costs when no one is shopping, it’s a disaster. We’ve seen brands cutting back on advertising and special projects, and my message to them is that this is perfectly fine.
“Dudes, I get why you had to do it, and I will support you anyway because I have immense gratitude to you and an industry that has given me and everyone on my team our livelihood. We love horology and all Swiss (and international) watch brands with total sincerity and we will absolutely support you in good times and in bad. Because we are in it for the long term just the way you are.
“We will get through this by sticking together. Because now is not a time for conflict or a time to give in to our baser natures. But to support each other and stay strong and plan for dynamic resilience when this crisis is at an end as it surely will be. And then we will party hard. But until then count on us to be unwavering in our support of you no matter what.”
View this post on Instagram
Watches & Wonders Geneva cancels its upcoming edition initially planned from April 25th to 29th 2020. - In view of the latest developments concerning the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it is the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s duty, as organizer of Watches & Wonders Geneva, to anticipate the potential risks that travels and important international gatherings could entail. - Therefore, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all our guests, press, partners and teams, the decision has been taken to cancel the upcoming edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva (formerly known as the SIHH) and its ‘In the City’ program, initially due to take place in Geneva from April 25th to 29th 2020. - The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie understands the disappointment this year’s cancelation may cause, and remains at the disposal of its partners and guests for any queries they may have. The FHH is already working on the organization of 2021 edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva. #watchesandwonders