Global watch fair, Baselworld, announced it has cancelled its 2020 fair amid “health and safety reasons”.
The annual event, which takes place in Switzerland, said the move was “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”.
The postponed fair will now take place between 28 January 2021 and 2 February 2021.
Organisers of the fair, which was meant to be held between 30 April and 5 May, said they had taken this “difficult decision” in “close consultation” with its partners and health authorities.
They said they had “full confidence for their expertise and recommendations for the benefit of exhibitors, visitors and collaborators”, and had “no other option” in making this decision.
Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld, said: “We deeply regret having had to postpone the event as planned due to the coronavirus, in full consideration of the needs of the watch and jewellery industry to be able to benefit from the platform to develop their business.
“This decision has been all the more difficult in view of all the positives that have been achieved through listening and dialogue over the last few months, which resulted in new concepts and new solutions, that have attracted exhibitors to return and new ones to sign on.”
He added: “By postponing the show to January 2021, we have found a solution that enables the industry and all our customers to avoid losing a full year and at the same time reset their calendars for the beginning of the year, a period that is conductive to the presentation of their new products, new trends and order taking.
“This postponing will also allow Baselworld to continue developing and bringing new formats and solutions as well as improvements to the new concept we propose.”
Bernd Stadlwieser, group CEO of MCH, said: “Within the process of the last weeks, I was very impressed by the involvement and trust of all our customers, partners, stakeholders and team, to proactively find the very best solution in the interests of the industries.
“By communicating intensively all together, we were able to work on different scenarios and to jointly decide on the very best one. I would like to thank everybody for their belief in and commitment to our platform.”
He added: “Baselworld is not only the largest watch and jewellery event in the world, but is also destined to become the industry’s largest global community platform, active all year round.
“In the coming weeks, we will be presenting a new digital service that is essential and useful to our entire community, and which we trust will meet the needs of the brands that have become even more important in these difficult and turbulent times.”