On the back of multiple watch brands announcing that they will not be participating in this year’s Baselworld watch fair due to Coronavirus, Switzerland’s other key watch fair - Watches and Wonders - has announced it will not be holding its 2020 event due to the virus.
The flu-like virus known officially as COVID-19 originated in China’s Wuhan province and has currently infected more than 82,419 globally with 2,808 deaths reported from the disease.
In an official statement, the organisers of Watches & Wonders said:
“In view of the latest developments concerning the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it is the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s duty, as the organizer of Watches & Wonders Geneva, to anticipate the potential risks that travel and important international gatherings could entail.
“Therefore, 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 Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie understands the disappointment this year’s cancellation may cause, and remains at the disposal of its partners and guests for any queries they may have. The FHH is already working on the organization of 2021 edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva.”
In light of the announcement, some watch fans have said they are anticipating a similar announcement for the Baselworld watch fair, which is due to take place from 30 April to 5 May, the dates immediately after the now-cancelled Watches & Wonders gathering.