Phillips has cancelled all events and auctions until the middle of May because of the current Coronavirus situation.
The announcement will affect the Geneva Watch Auction: Eleven, set to take place from May 9 to 10.
“As more of our community of staff, clients and partners becomes affected by the spread of the Coronavirus, we have decided to postpone all of our sales and events globally until mid-May,” a statement co-signed by Edward Dolman, Phillips chief executive and Cheyenne Westphal, the group’s chairperson, says.
“We have put in place arrangements for the vast majority of our staff to work from home. For those of you who do wish to engage with us during these difficult times, our teams will continue to be available online and on the phone and we will continue to share content online through phillips.com and our Phillips app.
“We are closely monitoring what is happening in all of our regions on a daily basis and will keep you updated on our plans for the rest of the Spring sales season as the situation unfolds,” the statement adds.
Phillips and other auction houses may benefit from an upturn once the Coronavirus containment effort ends.
Watches destined for auction since the beginning of the year are likely to still be sold once activity resumes at bumped-up sales in the Fall.
There could also be interesting pieces coming to market if collectors or estates want to free up cash.
Some activity may be lost, and prices may be affected, but there is a chance demand will simply be deferred by one season.