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Geneva Watch Days
Editorial - Fair Weather In Geneva

Editorial Fair Weather In Geneva

Switzerland’s one and only watch fair in 2020 has proved the calibre of our leaders

This is my 11th year attending watch fairs in Switzerland, and I feel entirely justified in saying that no one could have anticipated what 2020 would be like. I’m entirely aware that I work in an industry populated by leaders with vision and drive, which is why we still have any kind of organised trade exhibition this year at all. Geneva Watch Days just closed its doors for the year — we may or may not see another one in the years to come, but the fact remains that it was a monumental feat organising an industry event to meet all health requirements imposed by city authorities, amidst a storm of international cancellations that told us even veteran event organisers thought it was simply too hard to put something together in 2020.

The things that are most worth doing are usually hard, and this seems to be a terrible philosophy to carry through life, especially if you’re fond of a comfortable existence (as might be indicated by an interest in luxury products). The brands taking part in Geneva Watch Days have certainly embraced this concept to the fullest. This year was not an easy time to bring out new watches, and yet we’ve seen incredible things in the last few days.

Bulgari have been absolutely knocking it out of the park over the past six years, and the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic Skeleton proves that they have what it takes to keep going even during tough times. Breitling showed that they’re not afraid to go big on affordable pieces, launching a new series of sports watches targeted at serious athletes, the Endurance Pro. Stay tuned in the coming days for our in-depth conversation with Breitling CEO Georges Kern, who not only shares his personal assessment of what’s going on in the world, but sets out his roadmap for the years ahead in the complex post-Covid world.

Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux made a strong statement, with their new Blast and Free Bridge watches respectively, about how to remain relevant and positive even when faced with catastrophic market forecasts around the world and the cessation of virtually all tourist traffic everywhere. And true solidarity is shown when all corners of the industry are in accord, which is what made the participation of independent brands such as MB&F, URWERK, De Bethune and H. Moser & Cie. so important.

Watch out for this week’s recap of all the Geneva Watch Days highlights, complete with our own in-house photography and insights. If you couldn’t be in Geneva this year, at least you know we’ll be bringing Geneva to you.

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