Watches & Wonders, potentially the largest watch-related trade show, will use its website as a host for its exhibitors’ new releases from this weekend onwards. What does this mean for the watch watch world and for the many brands due to host their new watches at this Geneva-based event?
The last few days have been both confusing and exciting for the Swiss watch-related trade shows. As you can read about on Watch Chronicler, Baselworld has lost its major exhibitors including Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer and Bulgari to Geneva for 2021. By contrast to all this change, the matter of new releases for 2020 seemed a foregone conclusion as gatherings remain virtually impossible to plan.
However, all has changed following an announcement earlier today that a virtual form of Watches & Wonders, organised by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, will still take place from the 25th of April — next Saturday. The format chosen will allow participating brands to exhibit their watches on the Watches & Wonders website as they come out.
What strikes me as interesting is that this is perhaps the most extreme expression of Watches & Wonders’ desire to be a show not reserved just for retailers and journalists but also to be accessible for the interested public. As a result, content will go beyond just press releases with release videos as well as interviews and other watch-related features. To add to just new releases, the Watches & Wonders website will become a lasting location for information about the watch industry with more appearing throughout the year.
At present, it remains unclear whether Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Chanel and Tudor will eventually participate as these brands will be joining Geneva’s show next year but not under the Watches & Wonders umbrella. Furthermore, the result of these new watches appearing now rather than next year may encourage the brands which have departed Baselworld to push forward their new releases.
A lot is, no doubt, still to come but keep an eye out for new releases here at WATCH CHRONICLER as there are plenty of very exciting new pieces to come.