Geneva Days will take place from August 26 to 29, its organising committee has confirmed today. It is held with the official support of the city and the state of Geneva.
So far Bulgari, Breitling, De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk, HYT, Maurice Lacroix and Louis Moinet have confirmed they will participate, and a spokesperson for the event says that many other maisons have expressed an interest in taking part.
The current plan is to bring together press and retailers in Geneva for four days, but there will not be a traditional exhibition in a single location.
Instead, presentations will take place in city center hotels, boutiques and watchmaking workshops of the participating brands.
“The operation is intended to be decentralised, agile, collegial, convivial and inexpensive in its organisation to make the event as efficient and attractive as possible. All the brands will be spread across easily accessible locations within defined area of downtown Geneva. A central reception desk will provide orientation and guidance for retailers and media to optimise in the smoothest possible way their appointments with the founding brands throughout the four-day event,” the organiser describes.
A website, launched today at gva-watch-days.com, profiles participating brands and provides information and a map on where activities will take place.
For brands, retailers and media, it is likely to be the only significant gathering in Switzerland this year, and an opportunity for executives to take stock of life in a post-Covid-19 world.
Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, who was an early driver of the project, says it is important for the Swiss watch industry to come together and light a fire under the Swiss watch industry after the difficulties of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The decentralized format of this unique watch brands ‘gathering will allow us to be safe. Also, we have put together strict hygiene rules for all participants and visitors. No risks will be taken. Grouping the entire Swiss watch industry in a single location, Geneva, is a major and unique opportunity to rekindle the flame of the watchmaking sector that has been slowed down the last weeks,” he says.
With just three months until the event, and with much of the global airline and hospitality industry, the event will be an interesting test of peoples’ appetite for traveling by land or air to Geneva, and gathering in significant numbers.
It is worth noting that most scientific and statistical modeling of the dwindling pandemic shows new cases and deaths dropping close to zero in European countries by the end of July.
Switzerland now has fewer than 20 new cases per day and there have been just 25 deaths in the past week despite lock down measures have been significantly reduced and the population returning to pleasures like shopping and eating out.
Assuming the virus continues to weaken its grip, Geneva Days will host media and retailer dinners as well as a festive evening.