The Coronavirus Strikes Again

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The Coronavirus Strikes Again Citizen and Bulova announce their withdrawal from Baselworld 2020 by Rob NuddsFebruary 25, 2020 MIN READThe Coronavirus Strikes Again

As Baselworld creeps ever nearer, the concern surrounding the spread of the Coronavirus seems to be infectious. Citizen and Bulova are out. And so we ask, who’s next?

Sadly, we received confirmation yesterday that both Citizen and Bulova will be stepping away from the famous Swiss fair this year. Unusually, the joint statement released to the press names the Coronavirus explicitly. Although early withdrawals made oblique references to the reasons behind the impending absence, the cat is now well and truly out of the bag. This is a crisis. It is a situation that could wipe an entire year’s worth of events from the watchmaking calendar. But worse still, of course, are the human tragedies of this potentially lethal virus.

Citizen Auto Dater Uni ParaWater 8

Distressing circumstances

Both Citizen and Bulova have been attending the Baselworld fair since 1986. That 30-year run comes to an end in distressing circumstances. As other brands plow ahead with arrangements, the sense of uncertainty looms in the background. I’m always one for cheerful optimism, but the question now exists: How many more withdrawals will it take for the fair itself to call time?

Citizen 62-6198 Challenge Diver 15

Although it is sad news, it seems as if the absence of both Citizen and Bulova will at least be just a temporary one. Norio Takeuchi, the Managing Director of Citizen Watch Co. has assured Michel Loris-Melkoff, the Managing Director of Baselworld, of the brands’ desire to return to the event once the danger of the Coronavirus subsides. “The Citizen Watch Group strongly supports Baselworld in its project and transformation. We believe in the importance of a major event bringing together the entire watch industry,” says Takeuchi.

Without Baselworld as a medium through which the brands can display their novelties, unveilings will be brought in house. Both the Citizen and Bulova brands plan to organize several local events in Japan and the USA respectively. Keep up with news from Citizen here, and follow Bulova’s developments here.

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About the author

Rob Nudds

Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more

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