SINGAPORE (Apr 24): The latest news on watch fairs; creative ways to stay home while Pirelli cancels its annual calendar 

Five of the world’s biggest luxury watchmakers — Rolex, Patek Philippe and Chanel — announced on April 14 they would withdraw from Baselworld to create a new watch fair. Joined by jeweller Chopard and Rolex subsidiary Tudor, the brands — which for decades were considered pillars of the iconic fair in the northern Swiss city of Basel — have decided to leave. They have instead created an annual event in the Swiss city of Geneva, the Foundation High Horology (FHH) said in a statement.

“This departure follows a number of unilateral decisions made without consultation by Baselworld management,” the statement added. The statement also criticised the Baselworld organisers for, among other things, unilaterally deciding to cancel the 2020 edition — which had been scheduled to kick off at the end of April — amid concerns over the Covi-19 pandemic. It also slammed the organisers’ “inability to meet the brands’ needs and expectations.” The new show, which will be organised in cooperation with FHH, will take place in early April 2021 at Palexpo in Geneva, it said. “We have taken part in Baselworld since 1939,” Rolex chief Jean-Frederic Dufour, who is also a board member of Montres Tudor, said the statement. “Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved... and in spite of the great attachment we had to this watch show, we have decided to withdraw,” it added.

Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern also stressed that “the decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate in this traditional yearly event.” “Today Patek Philippe is not in line with Baselworld’s vision anymore, there have been too many discussions and unsolved problems, trust is no longer present,” he added. Baselworld was long considered the signature event of the year for the watch industry. However, the organisers have in recent years faced a range of criticisms — including over high costs — prompting several large brands to bid it goodbye. Swatch Group — which includes brands like Omega, Longines and Tissot — also slammed the door on Baselworld last year to create a new event in Zurich. 

Get creative while on lockdown

Brands are redoubling their efforts to divert and entertain people living in quarantine all across the planet with activities designed to stimulate their creativity. Competitions, challenges, performances and line art to colour are just some of the pastimes that have been dreamed up to keep internet users busy while preserving a connection with the worlds of couture and ready-to-wear.

#BalmainEnsemble

Under the leadership of its artistic director Olivier Rousteing, Balmain aims to give something back to its loyal public with the #BalmainEnsemble initiative. The luxury house is not only offering a look back at some of the most striking collections in its archives, there are also colouring sketches, weekly challenges and creative activities with members of the Balmain Army.

Together With Team Karl

The Karl Lagerfeld label has announced the launch of Together With Team Karl, an initiative involving the posting of content — in particular Instagram Stories content — on the readyto-wear label’s @karllagerfeld account. All of the posts are proposed by long-standing associates of the brand, such as Karl Lagerfeld’s former personal assistant and men’s fashion ambassador Sébastien Jondeau (who is offering a home workout course) or design director Hun Kim’s drawing course. Yoga sessions and live performances are also planned.

#DrawaCherry

French luxury kids’ label Bonpoint has unsurprisingly aimed its lockdown entertainment initiative at infants and young children, inviting them to create their version of the brand’s cherry logo. Once a week, entries will be judged by panel and winning designs will be printed on limited edition T-shirts. All profits will be donated to the AP-HP Paris university hospital trust. To participate, simply post a drawing on the brand’s Instagram with the child’s first name, age and the hashtag #DrawaCherry.

#stayhomewithKENZO

Kenzo and its creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista have embarked on a drive to counter loneliness caused by the lockdown. The label’s Instagram will be used to relay additional content and host live events with friends of the Kenzo community. Mondays will be devoted to music with specially created playlists, tutorial sessions are scheduled for Wednesdays while live concerts are scheduled on Fridays. 

Pirelli cancels its 2021 calendar

Pirelli, in light of the present Covid-19 outbreak, are cancelling the production and launch of its 2021 calendar. It has also pledged to donate EUR100,000 ($155,376) into coronavirus prevention and research. “The production of the Pirelli Calendar has been stopped before, in 1967 and then from 1975 to 1983,” said the executive vice chairman and CEO of Pirelli, Marco Tronchetti Provera, in a statement published to the company’s website.

“The unprecedented Covid-19 emergency has forced us to do so again today. We will return to the project when the time is right, together with the people who today were working on it with us.” Taking to Instagram, Pirelli also said: “Every year we have a dream for our Calendar; to inspire, to excite, to thrill. This year our dream must be for the world to overcome the threat of Covid-19 and to heal. That is our priority. So while our photo shoot is off, while our calendar dream must be put on hold, let us continue to shoot for the stars, together.”

The annual pin-up calendar has seen some of the world’s most famous stars grace its pages over the years: They include models Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss, actresses Monica Bellucci, Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman to tennis player Serena Williams. The 2020 edition — featuring Romeo and Juliet-themed images shot by the Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi — featured actresses Emma Watson, Claire Foy and Kristen Stewart. Several world-class photographers have also worked on the calendar throughout its history, including Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino.