Watches & Wonders Geneva (formerly known as SIHH) announced the cancellation of their 2020 show, which was set to take place April 25th – 29th of this year. The cancellation comes as the COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread throughout the globe. The decision was made just as a number of other major luxury watch brands announced that they would be pulling out from Baselworld 2020, which is scheduled to take place from April 30th – May 6th, directly after when the Watches & Wonders Geneva show was set to take place.
Watches & Wonders Geneva Is Officially Cancelled
In a press release issued this morning on the show’s website, the organizers state,
“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. that the potential risk of travel and gatherings of large groups of people during this time far outweighs the benefits of the show itself.” The press release continues, “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.”
However, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie has assured the public that this cancellation has not affected their plans for the 2021 show, which they have already begun to plan.
The renowned watch fair was established in 1991 as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie – more commonly referred to as simply SIHH. In the past, the fair was typically held in January. However, it was recently re-branded as Watches & Wonders Geneva and was rescheduled to take place back-t0-back with Baselworld 2020 during the Spring. Thousands of attendees and over 30 major watch brands were set to attend, including A. Lange & Söhne, Cartier, IWC, Panerai, and Vacheron Constantin, to name a few.
Baselworld is a much larger show that attracts upwards of 100,000 attendees and nearly 1,000 exhibitors each year. With several major brands already pulling out, it will be interesting to see if the iconic watch fair follows suit and cancels as well.
The COVID-19 Coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, and continues to spread throughout several European and Asian countries as well as the United States. In recent news, the U.S. just reported their first case of the virus in a California patient who had not recently traveled abroad, confirming that the virus has started to spread among comminutes in the U.S. There are reports that the virus is expected to continue to spread, which makes the cancellation of such large gatherings, including Watches and Wonders, a very smart move when it comes to the health and well-being of their exhibitors and attendees.