Watches & Wonders, the exhibition platform that first replaced SIHH, and that has now supplanted Baselworld, will be hosting a digital show in 2021 that includes 38 brands.
Previously, after leaving Baselworld last year, and effectively ending the show’s long existence, Rolex, Patek, Tudor, and a few other major watch brands were going to present in Geneva during the same time period but at separate locations, but at the same time as the predominantly Richemont show, Watches & Wonders.
That was viewed by most as a huge improvement over the two city format that has gone on in Switzerland since 2009, which required retailers, journalists, and consumers to attend two shows, in two cities, at completely different times of the year: SIHH in the winter and Baselworld in the Spring.
With the pandemic forcing the cancellation of the 2020 Watches & Wonders physical show, the merger of most of the megabrands in one city during the same timeframe never happened.
Fast forward to 2021, and a physical show is still not going to happen in Geneva, but the digital platform located at watchesandwonders.com, will grow much bigger this year and host 38 brands: A. Lange & Söhne, Arnold & Son, Baume & Mercier, Bvlgari, Carl F. Bucherer, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Chronoswiss, Corum, Ferdinand Berthoud, Greubel Forsey, H. Moser & Cie, Hermès, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Moinet, Louis Vuitton, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Nomos, Oris, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Purnell, Rebellion, Ressence, Roger Dubuis, Rolex, Speake-Marin, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, and Zenith.
The 2021 digital Watches & Wonders show will take place from April 7 to 13, 2021.
Following that — because China is further along than Europe — a physical event under the same W&W moniker will take place in Shanghai (precise dates to follow).
Then, in the Spring of 2022, the physical (and digital) Watches & Wonders Geneva show will take place, with all the 38 above mentioned brands tentatively set to return, and presumably more will be added between now and then. A few things worth noting. Watches & Wonders 2021 will be by invitation and focused primarily on press and retailers, though brands have the option of inviting VIP clients/collectors. And compared to the digital W&W event from 2020, there will be new features such as live streaming, live chat/video chat, and personalized programs.
Crucially, what will make the Watches & Wonders 2022 show (which will be both physical and digital), that much more appealing than past Swiss shows, is that Bulgari, Chanel, Chopard, Louis Vuitton, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Tudor will be present — in the same building — with the Richemont brands and other participants, making it the biggest timepiece exhibition to ever take place in Geneva.