A consortium of high-end Swiss watch brands has stepped in with an alternative to Baselworld and Watches & Wonders Geneva, the two major watch fairs that have been canceled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Billed as a “decentralized and self-managed Multibrand Watch Event” known as ‘Geneva Watch Days’ – the new show for luxury watches is scheduled to take place simultaneously in several Geneva luxury hotels on April 28–29, the dates originally set aside by Watches & Wonders.
Geneva Watch Days 2020
The event was announced by Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari, who is being joined by several of his industry colleagues. “Despite the cancellation of the two major watch fairs, it will allow retailers and media, primarily from Europe but not only [them], to discover, comment and order the novelties of the founding brands,” Babin said in a statement.
The initial brands involved are Breitling, Bvlgari, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin, De Bethune, and Urwerk. “Besides these brands, we are currently in advanced discussions with several other important names including Chopard and H. Moser & Cie., which we hope will be confirmed very soon,” Babin added. “Plus some others which I’m sure will be interested after discovering our initiative.” The first step will be to create a Steering Committee “responsible for negotiating the best potential showrooms and hotels’ rates,” which plans to “work closely with the State and City of Geneva and relevant institutions to guarantee the maximum safety and sanitary protection for participants.”
In addition to the various watch presentations, there will also be two multi-brand evenings, including a party hosted by GMT Magazine. “The Geneva Watch Days event does not intend to substitute on the long term the historical Geneva Watches & Wonders and Baselworld Fairs,” the statement notes, “but presents an efficient alternative at smaller scale, given the 2020 changing environment. It ensures visibility for the funding Brands 2020 novelties and fights against the slow-down and gloominess prevailing in the watch industry in the recent years, reinforced since February by the Covid-19 pandemic.” Even though it’s on a smaller scale, the committee promises to “contribute significantly to the Geneva economy during a period which otherwise would have been very challenging.”