In normal times, all news from day one of Baselworld is eclipsed by Rolex, which unveils every new watch it makes in a full year from its stand. Other brands barely get a look-in as collectors, retailers and the press debate what they have seen.
These are not normal times.
Coronavirus first took down the world’s biggest watch trade fairs, then forced the entire Swiss watch industry into lock down along with most of the developed world.
Rolex and Tudor told their authorised dealers and the media in March that 2020 collections would still be revealed on what would have been day one of Baselworld, April 30, this year.
However, with the prospect of face-to-face presentations taking place at the end of this month vanishing, WatchPro was told by retailers in the United States that the new watches would be revealed online at Rolex.com and Tudorwatch.com.
That plan too has now been scratched, and there is nothing to replace it.
In a statement sent to WatchPro yesterday, Rolex described the thinking behind the indefinite postponement.
“Following the cancellation of Baselworld 2020 in March due to the Covid-19 situation, we had announced that we would unveil our new products at the end of April and scheduled a number of press briefings to showcase them.
“In view of the continuing extremely difficult context impacting the entire world, and in order to protect people by avoiding gatherings and one-to-one meetings, we have decided to postpone the announcements to a later date. We have presently not defined a new timing for our release; we will get back to you in due time with further information.”
Planning for the launch of 2020 watches has given way to more important work to keep people and businesses secure.
“Our priority at this time is to stand by people and to bring help and support in the best way possible. As such we are focusing on supporting our partners and collaborating with several organisations that are working to fight Covid-19,” the statement concludes.
Patek Philippe has already revealed that it has postponed the launch of its entire 2020 line-up until 2021.