After Watches & Wonders (ex-SIHH) and Baselworld announced the cancellation of their 2020 editions amid fears of a possible COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, a group of brands decided that they could react to this situation and offer, through agility and ingenuity, a different approach to the presentation of new watches. With these lost opportunities to meet retailers and the press, watch brands need to handle business that would have got done there, but in a different way. Hence the creation of the “Geneva Watch Days 2020”. But this was a couple of weeks ago and things have changed in Europe, drastically. With the current situation and containment policies in most European countries and Switzerland, the Geneva Watch Days can no longer be, at least until the end of August 2020.
What were the Geneva Watch Days 2020? It was a self-managed, decentralized, multi-brand event to be held from 26 to 29 April 2020, at the exact same dates as the cancelled Watches & Wonders 2020. Industry top players were already involved in the project: Breitling, Bvlgari, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin, De Bethune and Urwerk. The State of Geneva even gave the initiative its stamp of approval – at that time, events with over 1,000 attendees were banned. These Geneva Watch Days were going to be organized along the same lines as the Dubai Watch Week held by LVMH last January.
However, considering the current (and rather frightening) evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe, including the usually ultra-safe country of Switzerland, and in regards to the security policies deployed, it has become impossible to pursue the celebration of this event. As a result, the Geneva Watch Days 2020 are postponed to the end of August 2020, from the 26th to the 29th. The event will still take place in Geneva Hotels and Boutiques as per initial project. The new dates of the Geneva Watch Days 2020 “will allow retailers to regain momentum during the last months of the year usually corresponding to a strong consumer demand peak“. The steering committee expects 15 to 20 additional brands to join.