Just as we were about to let our fans know that KeepTheTime would not be making our annual visit to Basel, Switzerland this year, Baselworld did it for us. The show has been postponed until late January 2021 due to concerns around the Coronavirus, which means Baselworld 2020 technically won’t exist.
“For health safety reasons and in accordance with the precautionary principle following the bans issued today by the federal and cantonal authorities, Baselworld announces that it has taken the decision to postpone the show to Thursday 28th January 2021 to Tuesday 2nd February 2021 (Press Day on Wednesday 27th January), due to concerns related to Covid-19.” –Baselworld (Source: https://www.baselworld.com/en/news/news/2020-02-baselworld-communication)
Baselworld sees about 82,000 visitors over the span of 6 days.
Watches & Wonders 2020
The Geneva Watches & Wonders show (April 25-29, 2020) was cancelled a day before the ban was announced.
What is interesting about all of this is that the Geneva show (formerly SIHH) actually used to take place in January, that is until they reached an agreement with Baselworld to hold the shows back-to-back. Now Geneva is back to where they started and Baselworld is the one switching it up.
“In view of the latest developments concerning the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it is the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s duty, as organizer of Watches & Wonders Geneva, to anticipate the potential risks that travels and important international gatherings could entail.” –Watches & Wonders Geneva
What About the New Rolex Watches?
It’s unclear at this point how the cancellation is going to affect new watch releases. Will Rolex still announce their new models? We haven’t heard anything about this yet and will update this post when we know more – comment below if you know. As of now, Rolex’s official Baselworld page still has 2018/2019 listed and makes no mention about Baselworld 2020 or the show’s postponement. Nothing is posted in their news section either.
Update: Rolex is unlikely to release anything new in April and is also postponing the new models for later in the year.
The Future of Baselworld
We have been covering Baselworld for over a decade, but it is not what it used to be. With brands like Swatch Group and Seiko backing out of the show, the show is getting smaller and smaller. With the 2020 cancellation, coinciding with these changes, we will be curious to see how this affects the show’s viability. Will there be a Baselworld 2025?
KTT’s Baselworld 2020
Like everyone else, we won’t be in Basel this April/May, but for us the show must go on! We have loads of Baselworld content from previous years that we haven’t gotten around to editing and posting. Not attending the show this year should give us some time to dig into this long lost media, so we’re looking forward to posting pics and videos during the time frame of what would have been Baselworld 2020.
In the meantime, check out some of our previous Baselworld coverage: