Watches & Wonders, the new concept for the annual watches fair in Geneva, has canceled its 2020 edition (March”) due to the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, the show’s organizer, made the sudden announcement early Thursday morning. The fair was scheduled for April 25 – 29.
“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,” read the statement in part.
It would have been the 30th edition of the annual luxury watch fair, formerly known as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), and the first under its new brand concept. A total of 31 watch companies were planned to exhibit at the fair, including 10 luxury brands owned by the Richemont Group, the Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company. The plan for the new concept was to incorporate the rich watch history of the city and canton of Geneva into its program. It would have been the first edition that was open to the general public for all days of the show and not just the trade.
It is one of the two major Swiss watch trade shows. Its 2019 edition attracted a record 23,000 visitors. Now the focus shifts to Baselworld, the watches and jewellery trade fair also in Switzerland but in Basel, scheduled for April 30 – May 5, to see if it will be canceled.
Watches & Wonders is normally held in January but it entered an agreement with Baselworld, which is normally held in March, to coordinate their dates so the shows would be held back-to-back to allow visitors to come to Switzerland for just one trip instead of two. In a bit of irony, if Watches & Wonders stuck to its original dates, it would have been held as planned.
The watch companies that were scheduled to exhibit are some of the world’s best known luxury brands. They include Cartier, Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, and Hermès.
The statement from the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie
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.
More from NEWS
On March 23, William Heinecke, founder and chairman of Minor International, announced that he would close his hotels in Bangkok …
The Maillon de Cartier watch is firstly a jewel designed by the Cartier watchmaking studios. A precious watch that resides …
Neiman began holding confidential discussions this week with bondholders about possible financing that would help the company continue operating while …