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Swatch Group Cancels Time To Move Event Amid Coronavirus Fears

Swatch Group Cancels Time To Move Event Amid Coronavirus Fears Watch Industry News

While the luxury watch trade show landscape has changed drastically heading into 2020, the latest change to the lineup of events might be the most unexpected of all. As part of its efforts to divest itself from the traditional tentpole Baselworld event, Swatch Group had planned to unveil its 2020 novelties at its self-hosted Time to Move show in Zurich from March 4-6, 2020. This morning Swatch Group public relations announced that Time to Move has been cancelled, citing the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak currently spreading worldwide from China as a reason. The group is seeking to avoid international travel as much as possible during this tense period to avoid further transmission of the disease.

The announcement comes as a shock to many in the industry, with many journalists and brand partners already having booked accommodations for the event. It is unclear at this point as well how this cancellation will affect Swatch Group’s marketing plans for 2020, as many announcements from brands like Omega, Hamilton, Tissot, and more now left without a clear release date.

As part of its official statement, Swatch Group announced that its brands will be releasing 2020 novelties at an unspecified later date through a series of regional events as part of an ongoing effort to avoid international travel during the outbreak as much as possible.

We’ll be bringing you more updates to this ongoing story as more information becomes available.

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  • Benjamin Walters

    As a healthcare professional, that’s a hilariously over-the-top reason to cancel an event in Europe…

    • I’m going to cancel my trips to the bathroom (in my house) amid concerns that I might encounter someone (in the hallway) without a health clearance (and not wearing a surgical mask). Not sure how long I can hold out though… ;->

      A bit more seriously, 100 years ago (give or take a year), the “Spanish Flu” killed an estimated 20 million people worldwide. So with today’s increased international travel, a degree of caution is warranted – but I agree that travel to Europe from places other than China does seem like an over-reaction.

    • Polerouter

      Everyone in the Swiss watch industry remembers the failure of Baselworld 2003 which was pretty much empty due to the SARS epidemic, and no one wants to live it once again.

  • Hmmm, hard to say. At BaselWorld, I’ve noticed Japanese but relatively few Chinese considering the size of their retail market for Swiss watches. Since I live in Hawaii, I can generally tell the difference 🙂

  • SuperStrapper

    Time to move indeed

  • George Yang

    I love how the % of proceeds is rarely disclosed when brands come out all high and mighty for being “charitable”.

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