February 25th, 2020 – Tokyo
2020 is the 60th anniversary year for Grand Seiko and the brand had big plans to celebrate the milestone with a global gather of retail partners and press at its Tokyo headquarters in the first week of March.
But the ongoing Coronavirus health scare has forced the event to be cancelled, WatchPro learned today and, having withdrawn from this year’s Baselworld, Grand Seiko is left without an international platform to mark its most important year since it started distributing its watches outside of Japan.
In a note to press and partners set to attend, Grand Seiko president Shuji Takahashi said that, “As the Coronavirus continues to spread, and there is no immediate sign that it is likely to be contained in the near future … we have decided to cancel the Summit”.
The statement goes on to say that the company is already discussing how best to convey the 2020 Grand Seiko story and that nothing will deter it from making the most of the great opportunity that lies ahead.
Retailers from across the world had made it known that they were reluctant to travel while infection rates for the deadly virus continue to rise, leaving the company with no choice than to pull the plug.
While now the decision has been made on how to replace the Summit, there is an event in London in March to mark the change of name from Seiko to Grand Seiko for its Knightsbridge boutique. That is likely to be an opportunity to bring press and retail partners together to present 2020 collections.