Rolex and Patek Phillipe are juggernauts of the watch industry. Together, they represent a significant percentage of worldwide luxury watch sales. These powerful brands have both decided to delay the release of new watches and related products in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Although neither brand has specified a date at which business will return to normal, it is highly unlikely that new Rolex or Patek Phillipe watches will be available to consumers during the remainder of 2020.
Unfortunately, this means that brand-new models of the popular Daytona, Submariner, Aquanaut or GMT-Master watch ranges may not be available to purchase in the foreseeable future.
Rolex has made an official announcement to explain the decision:
“Following the cancellation of Baselworld 2020 in March due to Covid-19, we had announced that we would unveil our new products at the end of April. Given the global impact of the virus, we have decided to postpone the announcement to a later date. We have not currently identified new timing for our releases, but we will get back to you in due course with further information. Our priority at this time is to stand by the people with whom we work and to bring help and support in the best way possible.”
Patek Phillipe has yet to make a public statement, but it is likely its reasoning is similar to that of Rolex.
It is speculated that both brands confer with one another on a regular basis, helping to inform their business decisions and helping them to cement their positions at the top of the global market. This is due to the fact that the actions of both Rolex and Patek Phillipe have an enormous impact on the watchmaking community.
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented circumstances to all areas of society, and the watch industry is no different. Both brands have announced drastic measures to protect their employees and customers. Last month, they jointly suspended manufacturing while Patek Phillipe also decided to allow primary retailers to sell its watches online for the first time. This move is intended to support authorised dealers while physical stores have been forced to temporarily close.
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