Luxury Swiss watch fair goes all-digital during COVID-19 lockdown
The new format also offers live-streaming events aimed specifically at the Chinese market
Spotted: When the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the luxury Swiss watch fair, Watches and Wonders, the fair’s organisers decided to take it online for the first time. The new format also offers live-streaming events aimed specifically at the Chinese market.
The Watches and Wonders fair is organised by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and is considered horology’s premiere event. Up to now, the high-end watch and jewellery sectors have resisted moving online. This is largely due to concerns that it would dilute the sense of exclusiveness, along with customers’ willingness to pay five and six-figure prices for the luxury goods. However, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of in-person events, the FHH has created a digital platform to provide a virtual fair.
For the Chinese market, Watches and Wonders has gone even further, with the introduction of a live-streaming campaign in partnership with Tmall Luxury Pavilion. The streaming videos will remain accessible on the site permanently. Visitors can also access social media content, including promotional videos and online events with Chinese celebrities and influencers. Watchmakers have adapted to the online fair by creating standalone sites and streaming videos.
According to Edouard Meylan, CEO of luxury watchmaker H. Moser & Cie, “If we manage to bring the emotions and the experience that the visitors usually get when visiting the fairs, then we win. Reducing costs while engaging a broader audience is the key to future success of fairs. This is a good way to start.”
The world of luxury goods has been steadily moving online, but often in a measured way that targets particular markets and segments. This has now sped up considerable, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns. At Springwise, we have seen many examples of this, including a virtual, 72-hour product launch and a live-streamed fashion show.
Explore more: Retail Innovations | COVID-19 Innovations
8th May 2020