2020 will be recognized as a horrible year and a defining moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a world transformer. Taking everything into account, the episode of Covid has shaken major parts of the business. Unquestionably, it has been and still is a annus horribilis, with Swiss Watch trades plunging by 28.3% over the initial nine months of the year. Yet, 2020 will likewise be recognized as an impetus for amazing changes for the business: expanded polarization, increasing speed of digitisation, disturbance of the tradeshow scene, reshoring to China… We have picked 12 dates that essentially or emblematically clarify the absolute most striking advancements and patterns for the watch industry.
13 January 2020 – the ideal LVMH Dubai watch week
Before the Covid pandemic spread around the planet and hit the watch business, LVMH Maisons Bvlgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith facilitated the LVMH Watch Week, from 13-15 January in Dubai. The occasion gave a convenient chance to LVMH brands to exhibit their new manifestations and the system of the group’s watchmaking division to retailers and writers from across the world.
27 February 2020 – Watches & Wonders and Baselworld dropped/postponed
The world’s two significant worldwide watch fairs joined the developing rundown of occasions dropped, deferred or migrated across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 27 February, Watches & Wonders 2020, the new form of the Geneva-based watch reasonable (recently named SIHH) announced the crossing out of its 2020 release. The next day, Baselworld formally deferred its occasion to January 2021 – which we now know will not occur at all.
20 March 2020 – Switzerland enters repression
Naturally, Switzerland was not the main nation to take such choices, and customer utilization had just fallen in numerous zones with substantial consequences for the watch business. However, as the Swiss government secured the country, the greater part of the watch makers chose to close down. Majors brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Hublot or TAG Heuer shut creation locales for a little while. More than that, the whole production network was upset with providers shut too. Swiss watch sends out for April 2020 would be somewhere near a staggering 81.3%.
26 March 2020 – China prohibition on International traveler flights
Worried that abroad explorers may trigger a second influx of Covid contaminations, China announced the suspension of basically all passages to the country, with practically all worldwide flights dropped. This announcement is only one of a considerable rundown that has everything except cleared out the movement retail industry… and a bob back is probably not going to occur for months.
Over the previous years, Chinese buyers have spent a developing extent of their extravagance financial plan at home, a pattern that has been energized by government strategies. As both abroad travel and daigou exercises are significantly influenced, the COVID-19 pandemic is quickening this re-shoring of extravagance utilization in homegrown China. As a result, Mainland China has become the main objective for Swiss watch sends out, which expanded by 10.6% over the initial nine months of 2020, while trades were falling altogether other major markets.
14 April 2020 – Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard and Chanel leave Baselworld
Trade shows, and specifically Baselworld, have been feeling the squeeze for quite a long time. Swatch Group, Breitling and Seiko were a portion of the significant exhibitors to leave the occasion in the course of recent months. At the point when five industry heavyweights (Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chopard and Chanel) announced their aggregate choice to ‘pull out of Baselworld’ and to unite with FHH , the coordinators of Watches & Wonders Geneva, they likely put the last nail into the final resting place of the Basel reasonable. A couple of days after the fact, LVMH marks additionally announced leaving Baselworld .
25 May 2020 – Digital Watches & Wonders
Although COVID-19 constrained the FHH to drop the actual version of Watches & Wonders 2020, the establishment responded by changing it into an online introduction. Thirty taking part marks, including Richemont’s IWC, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, A Lange & Söhne, Panerai or Jaeger-LeCoultre, introduced their novelties on that occasion.
18 June 2020 – Swatch Group reshuffles its administration team
During this difficult circumstance, Swatch Group announced significant changes in its supervisory crew and arrangements at the head of Longines, Tissot, Rado, Hamilton, Certina and Union. All arrangements were interior advancements with administrators who have worked at the Group for a long time. This administration reshuffle is likewise a generational change, with two industry veterans – Walter von Kaenel at Longines and Francois Thiebaud at Tissot – supplanted separately by Matthias Breschan and Sylvain Dolla.
A few days prior, Frédéric Arnault had been designated CEO of TAG Heuer (4 June 2020). Frédéric Arnault, 25 years of age, is the fourth offspring of Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive of extravagance monster LVMH. His arrangement as the head of TAG Heuer in the worldwide emergency is an indication of the contribution of the Arnault family in LVMH watch operations.
15 July 2020 – Comco lifts prohibition on ETA deliveries
COMCO, the Swiss Competition Commission, announced that ETA (Swatch Group’s development maker) would now be allowed to convey developments to outsiders without any commitments or limitations. In December 2019, the regulator had given an unforeseen choice keeping Swatch from conveying to customers at its own carefulness. Censured by numerous individuals at that point, this temporary measure implied that ETA needed to stop providing developments to outsiders (with the exception of little and moderate size watch companies) making supply hard for some brands… This is finished, and this (ideally) ultimate choice may have stopped a 15-year long adventure contradicting Swatch Group and COMCO.
26 August 2020 – Geneva Watch days
Following the crossing out of Baselworld and Watches & Wonders, a group of brands, led by Bvlgari’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, got together to have Geneva Watch Days 2000. Geneva Watch Days wound up being held in late August 2020. This was one of the not very many multi-brand watch occasions of the year, with seventeen brands displaying their novelties in the “capital of extravagance watchmaking”. It was likewise the event to initiate a unique idea and organization with an independent, decentralized multi-brand event.
1 September 2020 – new Rolex collections
The presentation of Rolex novelties stays a critical date in the year. Like it or not, “The Crown” is the undisputed head of the watch business and quite possibly the most generally known names in extravagance. Early September, the brand dispatched a few novelties including a patched up Submariner collection.
This consideration outlines the pattern for an expanded polarization of the market. As a result of their scale and force, the biggest and best brands represent a much bigger piece of the business. Rolex is one of those uncommon companies that appear to be invulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic arising more grounded than any time in recent memory. Brands, for example, Rolex, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet have again made progress during the pandemic…
9 September 2020 – Watches & Wonders Shanghai
The association of an advanced Watches & Wonders late April was bantered with a few brands, for the most part from a similar group Richemont, delivering their novelties the exact day. In September, Watches & Wonders made a trip to China in Shanghai and afterward to Sanya. This was an ideal chance for the showing brands to introduce their significant deliveries for the year, including some new disclosures, truly in the powerful homegrown Chinese market.
28 October 2020 – Further measures to contain the pandemic in Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Council conceded to a further arrangement of public measures to combat the fast spread of the Covid. This is one of the various measures outlining the new flood of cases in Europe. Following lockdown in spring, the business appeared to be headed for recuperation. The insights delivered by the FHS (Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry) show an improvement of the circumstance over the previous months helped by Chinese interest. The new round of lockdowns flags that the pandemic isn’t finished and that we’ll need to manage dubious occasions for a long time…