The global pandemic that hit the world in 2020 has had a massive impact on the watch industry, be it production, sales and obviously, events. Due to the sanitary situation, the two major fairs of the year, Watches & Wonders and Baselworld, had to be cancelled – at least the physical editions – leading the press and retailers to attend only digital presentations. The Geneva Watch Days event was the one notable exception, which took place in August last year. Following the success of the 2020 edition, the founding watch brands are staging the event in Geneva again this year, with the 2021 Geneva Watch Days scheduled from 30th August to 3rd September.
Watches & Wonders 2021 – the major watch fair (and the only fair that survived) – was staged again this year in a digital format. Thankfully there will be a real, partially physical event in August with the return of Geneva Watch Days. Created by a group of brands, on the initiative of Bvlgari’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, the 2020 edition of GWD proposed a new, flexible and modern alternative to traditional watch fairs. Phygital, global, decentralised, self-managed and open to the public, the show took place in different location across the city of Geneva, gathered around a central area where brands, press, retailers and collectors had the opportunity to meet.
Following the success of the 2020 edition, the show will return this year. Scheduled on approximately the same dates as last year – from 30th August to 3rd September – it will bring together a group of some 20 brands representing the watchmaking industry located in various hotels, boutiques, or Geneva-based manufactures. Each brand will present its new products to the press and to customers in its own space, with a common area set up at the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc. The show will be both physical and digital, enabling customers and media – still facing travel restrictions related to public health constraints in certain countries – to discover the latest models in real-time thanks to video-conferencing technologies.
In addition to the exhibitions held during the day, some events will also be scheduled in the evening in strict compliance with prevailing public health measures, including social distancing.
As part of the show, and already confirmed, will be the founding brands Bvlgari, Breitling, De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie., MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk. There will also be associated brands such as Arnold & Son, Czapek, Doxa, Ferdinand Berthoud, Frederique Constant Group, Maurice Lacroix, Oris and Reuge. A few additional brands are still debating whether to join the event, which, of course, remains open to any brand wishing to be associated with it.
We’re certainly looking forward to this event and the MONOCHROME team will be present, reporting live from the 2021 Geneva Watch Days.