As countries are taking often-desperate measures to contain the spread and flatten the curve, a host of watch brands are stepping up their efforts as well. Monday, we brought you the news that LVMH is switching its perfume factories over to start creating hand sanitizer for France’s hospitals and that USA distilleries are also creating hand sanitizer using their alcohol supplies. Now, Rolex announced it would close its Swiss Manufacture, to help contain the spread of the virus, and Hublot announces the same thing.
In the announcement Rolex made via a letter to employees from Jean-Frederique Dufour, Rolex CEO, it said the Manufacture would close for 10 days, from March 17-27, 2020. All three of its facilities, one each in Bienne, Cressier and Geneva are being closed.
Hublot also said that it wishes to protect employees and families during this “period of crisis unprecedented in recent history.” The Nyon, Switzerland-based manufacture is closing until further notice. However, the brand assured its employees that the closing is temporary.
These Rolex and Hublot announcements come on the heels of the Federal Council of the Government of Switzerland’s call for companies to take big steps to combat COVID-19. We expect to see more closures, especially from the larger watch groups and conglomerates.
Watch blogs and specialty watch publications are witnessing the effects of reduced readers and dis-interested watch lovers as more and more people around the world turn their attentions to trying to stay healthy during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The same is true of retailers and even brands as so many struggle with the thin line between the indefinite shuttering of doors and the risks of staying open. Even if they remain open, the truth is that both workers and customers alike most likely won’t be visiting or buying.
We have not yet reached a new normal because we are anything but normal. Depending on the country you are living in, and the state, county or municipality, we are experiencing vast differences in the way governments are reacting to the pandemic. One lead story on MSN today even suggested that people stop wearing their watches and jewelry because it inhibits thorough hand washing.
Where I live in New Jersey, toilet paper — and any sort of paper product for that matter — is almost more valuable than a watch. And right about now, hand sanitizer certainly holds an even higher value. Good health is the greatest gift we get in life. I wish everyone safety and health.