The organizers behind the seminal Geneva Watch Days event have re-confirmed the plans for an August 26 – 29, 2020 schedule for the upcoming timepiece product debut show in Switzerland. Originally scheduled for late April 2020, Geneva Watch Days is meant to be an alternate opportunity for a selection of high-end watch brands to debut their products to retails and the media – as both Watches & Wonders Geneva 2020 and Baselworld trade show events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back in late March 2020, a then rescheduled Geneva Watch Days announced a planned late August event spread out between a few hotels and venues in Geneva. The lead organizing brand for the entire event is LVMH’s Bulgari, along with Breitling, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, H. Moser & Cie, De Bethune, Urwerk, HYT, Louis Moinet, and Maurice Lacroix. It is very possible that even more watch brands will be on display in Geneva during those dates, and one of the surprise launches will be an anticipated revived Gerald Genta brand (which I discussed here in this short Spending Time Podcast episode). Gerald Genta is owned by Bulgari and its CEO Jean-Christophe Babin is expected to be the formal announcer of the new Gerald Genta project.
Geneva Watch Days remarks that it will be the only watch industry trade event in Switzerland during all of 2020. This is true as other events that would have run earlier in 2020 have been canceled due to COVID-19 and because normally there aren’t any scheduled watch industry events in Switzerland during the last quarter of the year. Geneva Watch Days will probably not end up being the first public watch industry event since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but it could easily be the industry’s most important show of the entire year given the now rare opportunity for people to meet or network with each other in person (not to mention to view new timepiece products).
Geneva Watch Days will not be held in one centralized venue but rather in an assortment of hotels and meetings spaces in the central part of Geneva (between the hours of 9am and 6pm according to the website). Watch industry veterans who travel to Geneva often will be familiar with the particular places and meeting rooms where they will be able to meet with participating brands to view the dozens of new products they have been waiting to debut. The luxury timepiece industry has had its business efforts particularly stunted by retail shutdowns during the global effort to mitigate the effects of the virus.
Geneva Watch Days makes special mention of health and safety regulations that will be fully respected during the several day event – in full compliance with the standards of the Swiss government and the Canton of Geneva.
No magic bullet will restart the global economy, but people traveling and increasingly returning to a state of normalcy is an important prerequisite for there to be sales success in the luxury watch space. Geneva Watch Days could prove a powerful piece of artillery in the industry’s battle to get a world of weary people to get excited about showing off again and to head to high streets for shopping.
Geneva Watch Days has launched a website to help understand the calendar of events as well as to help interested watch industry professionals register to attend. Once again, the dates are August 26 – 29, 2020.