Communicating via its website, social media and email earlier today, Watches & Wonders confirmed that it has cancelled its show for the year amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus. The coronavirus that’s been spreading across China and beyond has been a part of everyone’s daily news bulletins since the beginning of the year, with the first cases confirmed in China on the 31st of December 2019.
The group behind the show, the FHH (Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie) has spent a lot of time and money rebranding the show which was previously known as SIHH. They announced in December of 2018 that the show would coordinate its dates with Baselworld, which is run by the MCH Group, to keep people interested in big trade shows. A rapid decline in exhibitors to the show was kicked off by the departure of the Swatch Group in 2018 with many other companies following suit.
Now, though, it is unlikely that Baselworld will run this year after the FHH announced it was putting its show on hiatus. The FHH said earlier today that “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.”
The event was originally going to coincide with Baselworld, taking up four days from the 25th of April to the 29th with Baselworld opening its doors the next day. However, this move is likely to spur the MCH group to cancel the event for the same reason.
The BBC has reported that in the past few days the country most affected by the virus’ outbreak has been Italy, with Greece, Sweden, Austria, Macedonia, Croatia and Switzerland all confirming their first cases of the infection originating from people travelling from Italy. Both Watches & Wonders and Baselworld see representatives, journalists and watch fans make the journey to Switzerland from all across the globe, so it makes sense to close large trade shows which could become a nightmare to control.
[button color=”black” size=”normal” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://www.who.int/”]FIND INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FROM WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REGARDING THE CURRENT OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE HERE[/button]