Citizen Watch Company stood firm before Christmas as its Japanese rivals Seiko, Grand Seiko and Casio announced the withdrawal of Citizen and Bulova from this year’s Baselworld.
But the ongoing threat of a global Coronavirus pandemic saw Citizen bow to the inevitable today and announce that they too are pulling out.
The group says it will hold several local events around the world to present Citizen and Bulova collections for 2020.
The fate of Alpina and Frederique Constant, which are also owned by Citizen Watch Company, has not been confirmed.
In a statement demonstrating its ongoing support for Baselworld, Norio Takeuchi, managing director of Citizen Watch Co. says: “The Citizen Watch Group strongly supports Baselworld in its project and transformation. We believe in the importance of a major event bringing together the entire watch industry.”
Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld, welcomed the tone from Citizen and believes they will be back in 2021.
“We deeply regret the decision of our friends in Japan and the US to withdraw from the next Baselworld due to the Coronavirus. Loyal to Baselworld for more than 30 years, the Citizen and Bulova brands, which belong to the Japanese Citizen Watch Group, have made this painful decision not without regrets, and have assured us of their return in 2021,” he says.
Despite a series of major watch brands withdrawing from Baselworld this year — some related to Coronavirus but far more in reaction to the timing of this year’s show or a general feeling it has not gone fast enough or far enough with reforms — Mr Loris-Melikoff insists preparations for this year’s show are on track.
“We remain focused on the preparation of the 2020 edition of Baselworld, the set-up schedule remains unchanged, and we are looking forward to unveiling the many new features and new formats we are preparing for the coming show. As far as the Coronavirus is concerned, we are closely monitoring developments with the health authorities. We remain extremely attentive on a daily basis. To date, I can confirm that Baselworld will take place as scheduled from 30 April to 5 May 2020,” he states.
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