By Brecken Branstrator
Baselworld organizer MCH Group announced Friday the event will be postponed until January 2021. Pictured here is a shot of the Rolex booth from Baselworld 2019.
Basel, Switzerland—Following a ban issued Friday by Swiss authorities on large-scale events due to concerns about COVID-19 coronavirus, Baselworld has postponed its watch and jewelry show until January 2021.

The event, which was slated for April 30-May 5, will now be held from January 28-February 2 of next year.

According to a release put out by the Swiss Federal Council Friday, the country has imposed a ban on public and private events that gather more than 1,000 people in response to concerns about coronavirus. It is immediate and will be in place until at least March 15.

MCH Group, which owns and operates the Baselworld watch and jewelry trade show, said in a statement Friday morning that a decision had to be made quickly as preparations for the event—particularly construction of the halls and stands—were scheduled to start next week.

Baselworld Managing Director Michel Loris-Melikoff said organizers “deeply regret” having to postpone the event.

He added the 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.

“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.”
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The news comes just a day after Watches & Wonders Geneva, formerly known as SIHH, announced the cancellation of its 2020 event after the World Health Organization reported the disease has spread to Switzerland.

That was slated to run just prior to Baselworld, from April 25-29.

According to WatchPro, Movado Group also has canceled its annual summit for distributors and retailers in Davos due to risks associated with coronavirus.

Swatch Group had already decided to shelve plans for its “Time to Move” event scheduled for early March in Zurich.

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