Watches & Wonders 2020, the watch salon formerly known as the SIHH, was initially set to take place in Geneva in late April but was cancelled due to concerns about the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Today, however, the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), organizers of the event, announced that the 30 watch brands slated to unveil new products there will now be doing so on an all-new digital platform launching on April 25.
In a statement, the FHH described the platform, which will be accessible at watchesandwonders.com, as “a centralized portal where watch enthusiasts, retailers and journalists from around the world will be able to experience the fine watchmaking universe, as well as the newest watches of the year and connect directly with the 30 participating brands.” The platform will offer dedicated pages for each participating brand — the lineup, as in recent years of the SIHH, will include major watchmaking maisons from the Richemont Group, such as Cartier, IWC, and A. Lange & Söhne, as well as elite micro-brands and independent watchmakers — with connections to each brand’s individual websites and social media channels. New timepieces for 2020 will be introduced beginning on April 25, and the FHH says that the site will be updated with new content over the longer term. Cartier, for its part, has already announced its own international platform, called Cartier Watchmaking Encounters, which will launch concurrently with the Watches & Wonders portal on April 25 and will unveil, according to the brand, a new interpretation of the classic Pasha gents’ watch as well as a new ladies’ line.
The FHH has pulled out all the stops to make the Watches & Wonders experience as immersive and engaging as possible, especially for those who have become accustomed to the in-person experience of the SIHH. “For the opening day of watchesandwonders.com,” its statement reads, “the FHH is organizing a series of new product launch presentations where executives from participating brands will showcase their novelties through 10-minute streaming videos, which will then be permanently accessible on the site. Working in collaboration with participating brands, members of its Cultural Council and other opinion leaders, the FHH is also curating a broad range of expert and educational content for the site, including product analysis, trend forecasts, technological innovation and in-depth explorations of design, artistry and craft, as well as business talks and commentary from industry notables.”
The FHH has promised a “second phase” to its Watches & Wonders strategy this summer, with additional new products and digital e-commerce partnerships to be announced, and a return to “several physical events, including Watches & Wonders Geneva in April 2021.”