The fires that recently took down the mansions of Baselworld and Watches & Wonders are still smoldering. However, a few luxury brands have taken matters into their own hands and are staging another event on the same days Watches & Wonders was planned to take place.
The brands that have signed on so far are Bulgari, Breitling, DeBethune, Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, (Moser & Cie), Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk. The announcement was made by Bulgari CEO Christophe Babin.
As some of you will know, it is currently forbidden to gather more than 1000 people under the same roof in Switzerland due to the high risk of spreading Covid19. Covid19 has led to the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, Baselworld, Watches & Wonders and more large scale events. It seems the brands will avoid having to break rules by staging this as a de-centralized event. Instead of one large scale event, it will be an orchestrated event with brands presenting at the same time in different locations. Many of the brands listed already have locations, boutiques in Geneva and will present from there. Others can for example use one of the many luxury hotels to present their watches.
Personally, while happy we’re getting an event, I find this all fascinatingly confusing. Surely I can’t be the only one…
First of all, one of the biggest watch powerhouses in Geneva – the Richemont Group – is not participating. Second of all, how on Earth does this fit in the narrative that Baselworld and Watches & Wonders were cancelled due to Covid19? Has someone figured out that the perfect antidote to the Coronavirus are luxury watches?