Breaking news for the watch and jewelry industry!
Once perhaps the world's leading and most prestigious jewelry and watch show worldwide, BASELWORLD may soon not be a reality anymore.
This morning, on the 14th April, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, and Tudor have announced to leave Baselworld.
This prestigious brands, for many, the reason to come to Baselworld in the first place, have decided to create a new watch trade show in Geneva and collaboration with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.
The new show will be held in April 2021 at Palexpo at the same time as Watches & Wonders. It is thus creating a unique opportunity for buyers all over the world. The new event aims specifically at retailers, press, and of course, VIP customers.
Baselworld has suffered a severe decline in loyalty. For many years, this was the fair to visit. This was where it was all happening! I remember how halls and halls were filled with every possible kind of jewelry and watches. It felt a little like a fairytale event. Incredibly expensive to visit. Extremely expensive to exhibit but worthwhile as one could find everything here.
Many exhibitors and press people agreed that over the years, the arrogancy of the show became an increasing source of annoyance.
That and Basel being unable to offer a pleasant, affordable stayover for the duration of the show for anyone who isn't a millionaire-did the rest.
Brands left the show. When Swatch, with all its brands, turned away from the show, many predicted that others would follow soon.
When it comes to jewelry, this show has lost its importance to VicenzaOro and Inhorgenta in Europe years ago.
The aim is to offer partner brands the best possible professional platform, applying a shared vision to meet future challenges in the watchmaking industry successfully. This departure follows a number of unilateral decisions made without consultation by Baselworld management, including the postponement of the watch show until January 2021, as well as its inability to meet the brands' needs and expectations. (Source Geneva News)
Baselworld certainly may have a future. It needs to reinvent itself entirely and np longer stay in their ivory tower. Growth comes from failure. Growth comes from accepting the lesson that a crisis offers and learning from it. Growth comes from coming down high horses and sit down with as many consumers of the show possible. Talk with potential visitors, bloggers, vloggers, journalists. Talk with the retailers and exhibitors. Listen. Do NOT listen to your fans. They won't teach you anything. But listen to all those who care, but have felt betrayed over the years by the experience offered by Baselworld.
Source: Geneva News
Thierry Stern, President, Patek Philippe said: "The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, is the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate to this fabulous yearly event. But life evolves constantly, things change and people change as well, whether it is at the level of those responsible for the watch fair organization, the brands or the clients. We continuously have to adapt ourselves, question what we do since what was right yesterday may not necessarily be valid today! 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.
We need to answer the legitimate needs of our retailers, the clients, and the press from around the world. They have to be able to discover the new models from Swiss watchmakers each year, at one time, in one place, and this in the most professional manner possible. That is why, following several discussions with Rolex and in agreement with other participating brands, we have decided to create, all together, a unique event in Geneva, representative of our savoir-faire''.
Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Chief Executive Officer, Rolex SA, and Board Member, Tudor, said: "We have taken part in Baselworld since 1939.
Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved and the recent decisions made by MCH Group, and in spite of the great attachment we had to this watch show, we have decided to withdraw. Following discussions initiated by Rolex, it seemed only natural to create a new event with partners that share our vision and our endless, unwavering support for the Swiss watchmaking sector.
This will allow us to present our new watches in line with our needs and expectations, to join forces, and better defend the interests of the industry."
Frédéric Grangier, CEO of Chanel Watches & Fine Jewellery, said: "Like its partners, CHANEL shares the same independence and the same desire to protect and promote the values, know-how, utmost quality and precision of Swiss Watchmaking.
This initiative marks a key milestone in the history of CHANEL Watchmaking and is part of a long-term strategy, which began with the launch of this activity in 1987. This exhibition will allow us to present all of our new creations in an environment that meets our high-quality standards."
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President Chopard et Cie SA, said: "Chopard first exhibited at the Basel fair in 1964 with a stand of some 25 square meters.
After careful consideration, our family decided to support the Rolex initiative and retire from Baselworld – a painful decision. The creation of this new watch show in Geneva, in parallel to Watches & Wonders, will allow us to serve our watchmaking partners and our customers better''.
Jérôme Lambert, on behalf of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Council, said: "The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie is delighted to welcome a new salon which will strengthen the historical Watch & Wonders event in Geneva next year in early April."
Further information will be published at a later date, in particular concerning the name of the new watch fair and its organization.
Thanks to Geneva News for the actual information and to Pedro Perez Fernandes of the Gruppo Duplex for informing me.