Earlier this week, Rolex, Chopard, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Tudor bailed on Baselworld, condemning the convention to the dustbin of history. In case anyone thought otherwise, TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith joined the exodus the next day. They’re all throwing in their lot with Watches & Wonders. Assuming a vaccine by spring 2021, same as it ever was? . . .
Over at Quill & Pad, co-founder Ian Skellern penned an open letter to Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin (above). The title of the post says it all: “I’ve Cancelled My Geneva Watch Days 2020, Now It’s Your Turn (But You Should Have Been First).” Notice the parenthesis around the accusation. There’s a reason for that. But first, here’s the letter . . .
Watches & Wonders, The Geneva Motor Show and now Baselworld have all bitten the dust for 2020 thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. The official Baselworld cancelled postponement statement promises a return-to-form in 2021. Given the virus’ uncertain trajectory and the show’s dubious return-on-investment in the Internet Age, that’s hardly a foregone conclusion (hence their “new digital service”). Not that you’d know it reading their statement . . .
Watches & Wonders – the Swiss watch get-together formerly known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) – has been cancelled. Without mentioning the coronavirus by name, the organizers made their decision “to protect the health and wellbeing of all our guests” (statement below). It’s only a matter of time – and not much of it – before Baselworld bows out. What does that mean for the Swiss watch industry? First, consider what would have happened at Watches & Wonders . . .
The Italian outbreak of coronavirus dooms Baselworld. The map tells the tale. It’s 193.4 miles between Codogno – center of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak – and Basel, Switzerland. As we’ve predicted, it’s all over bar the official announcement. It’s important to note that the coronavirus was only the final nail in the event’s coffin . . .