One of the Most Important Watch Events Was Just Canceled Due to the Coronavirus

With Watches & Wonders Geneva (formerly known as SIHH) canceled due to health concerns, will Baselworld 2020 be next on the chopping block?

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Watches & Wonders Geneva, formerly known as SIHH, has been officially canceled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The show, organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie to exhibit the Richemont Group’s new timepieces each year (whose brands include Cartier, IWC, Vacheron Constantin and more), is an important industry-wide gathering that allows international press to view the watches before they go on sale. To our knowledge, this is the first time the show has been canceled since its inception in 1991.

In a press release from this morning, the FHH said: “…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 FHH is already working on the organization of 2021 edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva.”

An important industrywide event, W&W is the latest in a string of cancelations to plague the watch world following the outbreak of the coronavirus. While many brands have pulled out of the famed Baselworld fair that takes place each year in Basel, Switzerland due to questions of relevancy of the show in its current formatting (not to mention the costs associated with exhibiting there), the question remains as to whether it will also face cancelation. Citizen Group recently pulled out of the show, and, in the wake of several other brands that have left over the past few years — not to mention concerns about the virus — it’s not inconceivable that Basel, too, could face cancelation.

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