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Geneva Watch Fair Canceled; Baselworld Still On

Organizers acknowledge “duty” to anticipate health risks.
Feb 27, 2020 7:07 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The organizers of the Watches & Wonders Geneva show have canceled the April event due to the coronavirus. Baselworld is still set to take place, as it stands.

Switzerland’s Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie said it was its “duty” to anticipate the risks of travel and international gatherings given the global spread of the disease. The fair, formerly known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), was due to run from April 25 to 29 in the Swiss city.

“In order to protect the health and well-being of all our guests, press, partners and teams, the decision has been taken to cancel the upcoming edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva,” the organization said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

Baselworld is still scheduled to take place from April 30 to May 5, but a dedicated team is “closely monitoring the situation on an hourly basis” and following instructions from authorities, a spokesperson for that exhibition told Rapaport News.

The virus originated in China, but it emerged this week that it had spread as far as Europe, with cases recorded in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other nations.

The March editions of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show have already been pushed back to May. Meanwhile, Swatch Group, the owner of Omega, Tissot and Harry Winston, canceled its annual watch summit, Time to Move, which was due to take place in Zurich, Switzerland, in late February and early March.

Image: A display at the 2019 edition of SIHH. (Grégory Maillot/Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie)
Tags: basel, Baselworld, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, geneva, Rapaport News, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, Switzerland, watches, Watches & Wonders, Watches & Wonders Geneva
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