A handful of watchmakers, led by Bulgari, have defied calls to avoid large gatherings in light of the Coronavirus outbreak and launched an event of their own in Geneva.
Geneva Watch Days is described as a “decentralized and self-managed multibrand watch event” that will take place in several Geneva high-end hotels from April 26 to April 29, the dates initially planned by Watches & Wonders.
It was launched this evening by Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari, and said to have the support of Breitling, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin, De Bethune and Urwerk.
The administrative canton of Geneva is also said to be on board.
“Despite the cancellation of the two major watch fairs, it will allow retailers and media, primarily from Europe but not only, to discover, comment and order the novelties of the founding brands,” says Mr Babin.
“Besides these brands, we are currently in advanced discussions with several other important names including Chopard and H. Moser & Cie., which we hope will be confirmed very soon. Plus some others which I’m sure will be interested after discovering our initiative,” he adds.
A statement distributed by Bulgari goes on to say that the founding brands will create a steering committee responsible for negotiating the best potential showrooms and hotels’ rates. The Committee will liaise and work closely with the State and City of Geneva and relevant institutions to guarantee the maximum safety and sanitary protection for participants.