The novel coronavirus outbreak is continuing to wreak havoc across the world with the death toll already crossing the 8000 figure. However, the financial implications of the pandemic cannot be gauged at the moment, with many analysts suggesting it will push the world into a major recession. With the epicenter of the outbreak now moving to Europe in the last few days, major businesses have been forced to temporarily shut down. Yesterday, we brought you the news that Ferrari and Lamborghini have temporarily suspended their production to fight the spread of the virus, with other automakers in the continent follow the same measures. It looks like the world of Haute Horlogerie isn’t spared either. Rolex, one of the most prominent names in the industry, has announced that it will close production facilities in Geneva, Bienne, and Crissier for 10 days effective Tuesday, March 17. The watch brand also stated that the reopening date may be revisited. The message was conveyed by Rolex CEO Jean-Frederic Dufour to the employees through a letter.
Rolex is not the only high-end watch brand that temporarily shut down its production facilities. Patek Philippe is also shutting production sites and its head office starting today and running through March 27. The Swiss luxury brand also said that the reopening will be re-evaluated according to the situation. “Keeping everyone’s safety top of mind at all times will help us to navigate this challenging period and by doing this we may contribute to the stabilization of the situation, hoping that we will be able to safely revert to our activities as soon as possible,” Patek Philippe said in a statement. Similar steps were also taken by Hublot, a label owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which announced the closure of its production site.