The Watches & Wonders watch fair in Geneva – known until last year as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) – will not take place this year given the spreading coronavirus outbreak. The organizers posted the following message on their website:
“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 organizer of Watches & Wonders Geneva, to anticipate the potential risks that travels 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 cancelation 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.”
Now that Watches & Wonder has decided to call off 2020 entirely, some are wondering if Baselworld, the other big watch industry gathering in Basel starting April 30, will do the same. The Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, both scheduled for March, have been moved to May, and discussions are ongoing as to whether they will push through with that event. The organizers, Hong Kong TDC, say the show will go on, but have given participants discounts and have assured those who have already paid that their money is safe should they decide to skip the event. Their registration money may be used for a later event. This is not the case with Informa Markets (formerly UBM), who are organizing the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in June and September. Participants who change their minds about attending those shows will not be refunded.