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Why Rolex and Patek Philippe are halting watch production in Switzerland during the coronavirus outbreak

The year's biggest horological events, Watches and Wonders and Baselworld, are also on hold thanks to the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has affected an increasing number of countries, putting a halt to the everyday routine of millions around the world. The world's watchmaking capital, Switzerland, is no exception. Events and manufacturers are taking steps to ensure the safety of its staff and the public.

The year's biggest horological events in April, Watches and Wonders and Baselworld, have both been put on hold.

And as brands announce the temporary closure of manufacturers, it could put a serious dent in the already tight supply of luxury timepieces.

Why Rolex and Patek Philippe are halting watch production in Switzerland during the coronavirus outbreak

Rolex just announced it will be suspending production of its manufactures in Geneva. Photo: Rolex alt=Rolex just announced it will be suspending production of its manufactures in Geneva. Photo: Rolex

Rolex just announced it will be suspending production of its manufactures in Geneva, Bienne and Crissier, Switzerland, for 10 days beginning March 17. The watchmaker is taking precautions to protect its employees as the number of confirmed cases in Switzerland continues to rise.

Rolex is taking precautions to protect its employees as the number of confirmed cases in Switzerland continues to rise. Photo: Rolex alt=Rolex is taking precautions to protect its employees as the number of confirmed cases in Switzerland continues to rise. Photo: Rolex

Patek Philippe followed suit and announced that it will be closing its manufacturer from March 18 to March 27 in support of the country's efforts to implement social distancing. The watchmaker will be closely monitoring the situation and may extend this closure period if necessary.

Patek Philippe will close its manufacturer from March 18 to March 27 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Patek Philippe alt=Patek Philippe will close its manufacturer from March 18 to March 27 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Patek Philippe

It's likely these two watchmaking giants are only the first of many more companies to put a halt on production until the coronavirus outbreak subsides in both Switzerland and the rest of the world.

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