The news broke like a hurricane today, February 27, 2020: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has been canceled for 2020. The reasonable was scheduled to take place only ahead of Baselworld in an offer to facilitate and encourage more guests to attend both Swiss watch fairs. The watch fairs – and, really, most enormous international exhibitions and trade fairs – have been experiencing severe drops in guest and exhibitor numbers over the last few years.
The Coronavirus , which has been evading around the planet for several weeks at this point, has already caused fear, reduced commerce, and the been the reason for the cancellation of several significant events – in the watch world strikingly the Grand Seiko Summit, the Baselworld replacement reasonable initially set to take place in Tokyo in the primary week of March, and the second edition of the Swatch Group’s replacement reasonable Time to Move , which was scheduled for the same week. Both were invite-just events for select press and retailers.
So, presently, in the midst of the already considerable challenges that the reasonable landscape faces, and that Baselworld in particular been facing for quite a long time, including the Coronavirus outbreak having already caused both Bulgari and Citizen to cancel their participation in 2020, Baselworld faces a huge, certainly historic decision on the heels of its compatriot: to cancel or not to cancel.
What Ricardo Guadalupe contemplates the cancellations
Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe feels that a decision on the fate of Baselworld could be dropped when tomorrow.
“The [advent of the] Coronavirus is somewhat astonishing, even shocking. I have to take measures at the company level; the health of our people is the main,” he stressed, certainly suggesting that every company and association feels the same way right now.
How would the cancellation of Baselworld affect Hublot this year? “We did our LVMH Week in Dubai in January , a decent move from our side because we had key press and retailers there. So the impact would be less significant [to us]. Going ahead, of course, we would discover other answers for present the rest of our new products during the year,” Guadalupe said. “Not a huge difference for us, we can manage.”
Guadalupe went on to note, “Advanced has transformed our reality and the manner in which we work together. When we launch a new watch, we can do it in a computerized way and still receive numerous orders without actually showing the watch to every retailer at the reasonable as it used to be. The fairs need to evolve additionally in the experience we can give to the consumer. That is the huge challenge we are facing.”
“The future of the fairs is already [hanging] yet to be determined – to cancel them [this year] is really downright terrible for them, and for Baselworld in particular. For 2021, at LVMH, we had already said everything is on the table: we need a new product, an evolution of the reasonable, in the event that we will participate. What’s more, of course, the date is an issue too toward the end of April/beginning of May. We prefer the beginning of the year like Dubai, mid-January.”
Jean Christophe-Babin, CEO of Bulgari, had already expressed that very same sentiment to me during LVMH Week .
Guadalupe notes a drop in sales of 70 to 80 percent in China since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. “It’s a disaster. We needed to close our boutiques in Macau for three weeks; there is no traffic, and when there is no traffic there are no sales.”
Guadalupe additionally notes that while China is a significant market for Hublot, it isn’t the brand’s biggest one. “So universally we are as yet doing well.”
You may likewise enjoy:
Time To Move: A Tête-à-Tête Discussion Of Swatch Group’s Baselworld 2019 Replacement Event And The Standout Watches (Photofest!)
LVMH Watch Week 2020: A Round Table Discussion Of A New-Generation Group Fair And A Photofest Of New Watches From Zenith, Hublot And Bulgari
Parting Thoughts (All 23 Of Them) From Baselworld 2019
Baselworld Becomes The Story: Baselworld 2020 And Beyond Will See Big (And Positive) Changes
Baselworld 2019 Round Table: What We Liked And What We Didn’t Like At The World’s Largest Watch Fair (Warning: Modem-Burning Photofest!)