There it is… the final step. Baselworld, historically the world’s biggest watch fair, has been cancelled. Here is a portion of the press release that was issued:
“For health safety reasons and in accordance with the precautionary principle following the bans of large-scale public and private events issued today by the Swiss federal and cantonal authorities, Baselworld announces that it has taken the decision to postpone the show to Thursday 28th January 2021 to Tuesday 2nd February 2021 (Press Day on Wednesday 27th January), due to concerns related to Covid-19.”
This move comes after an announcement by the Swiss government today that banned large public gatherings (1,000 people or more) until March 15th when it will be reevaluated. Baselworld was forced to choose to not go forward as planned in light of this news. They likely made the decision now instead of waiting to see if things were to get better when the ban is reevaluated as construction of the individual stalls for the fair was slated to begin in early March. Additionally, their sister event, Watches & Wonders, decided to cancel yesterday, which on top of general fears about Coronavirus, would all factor into today’s decision.
This is uncharted territory in recent decades for industry heavyweights, Rolex and Patek Philippe, and they will have to roll out their much-anticipated new watches in some atypical fashion. The next iteration of Baseworld has been scheduled to take place at the end of January in 2021.