Less than a week after luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe reportedly made the decision to postpone its 2020 releases, industry stalwarts Rolex and its sibling brand Tudor have followed suit. The breaking news comes just weeks before Rolex was scheduled to drop a series of new pieces at the now-cancelled Baselworld 2020 event. Rolex had previously indicated it would still unveil the 2020 novelties online despite the cancellation, slating an April 30 release date. However, WatchPro is reporting that those best-laid plans have now been put on hold indefinitely.
“Following the cancellation of Baselworld 2020 in March due to the COVID-19 situation, we had announced that we would unveil our new products at the end of April and scheduled a number of press briefings to showcase them,” Rolex reportedly said in a statement to WatchPro. “In view of the continuing extremely difficult context impacting the entire world, and in order to protect people by avoiding gatherings and one-to-one meetings, we have decided to postpone the announcements to a later date. We have presently not defined a new timing for our release; we will get back to you in due time with further information.”
It’s a big hit for watch-fans the world over. The reported Rolex, Tudor and Patek Philippe postponements mark the first occasion in recent memory where three massive firms will go beyond 12-months between collection updates. Should the releases be postponed until Baselword 2021, horologists will be looking at 22 months between stints, but there’s no indication the event is being targeted as the supplementary date. It does bear reminding that all three brands are truly international, meaning manufacturing and distribution are heavily reliant on global conditions. Both Patek Philippe and Rolex/Tudor were forced to close their manufacturing facilities several weeks ago as Switzerland battles the COVID-19 pandemic. They remain closed, and much like the 2020 novelties releases, there’s no timeline for return yet in sight.