Patek Philippe Celebrates Its New Building

Beginning of 2020, Patek Philippe completed the construction work of its new production building in Geneva and celebrates now the occasion with the launch of a limited-edition timepiece. The exclusive Calatrava in stainless steel with a unique design will cause the hearts of collectors to skip a beat.

It is a tradition at Patek Philippe to accompany key events in its corporate history with the launch of limited-edition commemorative watches. To pay tribute to the commissioning of the new production building, a flagship of impressive size for the creation, development, and production of Patek Philippe watches, the manufacture reasserted its tradition by developing an exclusive, unusually designed Calatrava explicitly for this event.

This new Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava instantly stands out with its case and broad cambered bezel in polished steel, a very rare material in Patek Philippe’s collections that is particularly coveted among connoisseurs. The design of the dial reflects an inimitable and dynamic face. Be it the railway track scale of the hour circle with triangular markers, the pierced baton hands for the hours and minutes that recall the Ref. 6006 Calatrava (part of the collection since 2017), the integration of the self-winding caliber 324 S C movement with an aperture date at 3 o’clock or the applied Arabic numerals: all these elements contribute to a vibrant and exciting dial architecture. The expressly graphic style emphasizes the technical personality of the dial. At the same time, the gray-blue hue is a signature element accompanied by the subtle circular satin finish that contrasts visibly against the white dial imprints as well as the applied numerals and the white-lacquered hands in white gold with luminous coatings.

In its center, the dial features a «carbon»-style texture that plays with light and can be interpreted as an enigmatic footnote referring to the world of high-tech. Another special feature: The calfskin strap with white decorative seams, the prong buckle, and a delicately embossed structure reminiscent of textile fabrics are coordinated in terms of color and structure to match the dial center.

The commemorative Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava comes in a limited edition of 1000 watches with a diameter of 40 mm and a sapphire-crystal caseback specially marked with a Calatrava cross and the «New Manufacture 2019» inscription. 2019 is the year when the first work groups moved into the new production building. The exclusive styling of the watch stands as a lasting symbol for this new chapter in the history of Patek Philippe.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Patek Philippe

Panthère de Cartier Manchette Watch

The forever piece: Watch-making meets fine jewelry in the form of Cartier’s timeless Panthère de Cartier Manchette, a true design treasure.

An investment piece of the highest order, Cartier’s iconic Panthère de Cartier Manchette became a highly sought-after collector’s item the moment it was first unveiled, back in the 1980s. With flowing links reminiscent of a panther slinking through the jungle – hence the name «panthère» – this eye-catching piece fluidly wraps the wrist in white, pink or yellow gold, depending on your preference.

Finished with an artfully off-center dial, eventually adorned with a border of brilliant-cut diamonds, there’s no doubt this timeless timepiece is dazzling – but it also boasts endless wearability. Whether peeking out from beneath a blazer cuff, accentuating the opulence of a silk evening gown, or even elevating a simple white shirt and jeans, consider this high-octane piece an effortless way to add polish to any ensemble. A magnificent addition to any watch collection, take good care of this heirloom piece and it will be cherished for generations to come.

Panthère de Cartier Manchette 22mm 18-karat rose gold and diamond watch
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Panthère de Cartier Manchette 22mm 18-karat gold and lacquer watch


iconPanthère de Cartier Manchette 22mm 18-karat gold watch


iconPanthère de Cartier Manchette 22mm rhodium-finish 18-karat white gold and diamond watch

Personally speaking, I couldn’t resist and got mine at Net-à-Porter. I am so in love…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Cartier, © David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
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Frédéric Arnault New CEO of Tag Heuer

Yesterday, LVMH announced the appointment of Frédéric Arnault to the role of CEO of
TAG Heuer from 1 July onwards. Frédéric joins some of his siblings in taking on a senior role within LVMH. Four of founder Bernard Arnault’s five children now occupy senior positions within the group, at Louis Vuitton and luggage maker Rimowa among others.

Frédéric Arnault (25)

A former student of France’s École Polytechnique (X2014), Frédéric Arnault (25) started his professional career at Facebook before moving on to consulting firm McKinsey. At the start of 2017 he joined TAG Heuer to manage its smartwatch activities. Since being appointed Chief Strategy and Digital Officer in October 2018, he has led an ambitious transformation and digitalisation campaign within the Maison in close collaboration with Stéphane Bianchi, CEO of the Watchmaking Division and TAG Heuer.

Presented this week: a special edition of Tag Heuer’s third-generation luxury Connected Watch for is dedicated to passionate golfers.

Fréderic’s position as head of the company will see him play a role in supporting innovation and accelerating the development of TAG Heuer, as he has done with the successful launch of the latest Connected watch after piloting the entire design phase.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Ayrton Senna Special Edition 2019

A pioneer of the watchmaking industry since 1860, the Maison will continue to maximise the value of its iconic ranges Carrera, Monaco and Aquaracer, all the while cementing its avant-garde status inthe industry with its third generation of smartwatches.

Stéphane Bianchi (53)

Stéphane Bianchi (53) will assume the role of CEO of the Watches and Jewelry Division from 1 July onwards. The role was held by Jean-Claude Biver before. This will see him take the reins of jewelry Maisons Chaumet and FRED, in addition to TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith.

Jean-Marc Mansvelt, Managing Director of Chaumet, and Charles Leung, Managing Director of FRED will report to Stéphane Bianchi in his new role. Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari, will continue to report to Toni Belloni, LVMH Group Managing Director.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Tag Heuer

Hublot Taps Into the Pastel Trend


Hublot launches a collection of Spirit of Big Bang timepieces tapping into the current pastel trends. The new Spirit of Big Bang 39mm collection embodies the «Art of Fusion» concept by being both timeless and fashion-forward, created for the modern woman expressing her style through a technically advanced and stylish timepiece. The new timepiece is paired with an alligator and rubber strap of pastel new shades: in light pink or light blue, the new strap matches its dial and lends the Spirit of Big Bang a touch of originality and femininity, to enrich the collection.

These newcomers reignite the success of the Spirit of Big Bang collection whose design is directly inspired by the Big Bang with a barrel shape. The new models combine all the signature elements of the iconic Spirit of Big Bang range including the tonneau-shaped case. Six H-shaped screws create a «sandwich» case construction, which enables an infinite number of combinations of materials and colours.

Available in 39mm, in titanium or in King Gold, the new Spirit of Big Bang captures the current pastel trend with the option of satin-finished and polished ceramic in light blue or pink. The colours indefinitely extend their power by also covering the satin-finished sunray dial completed with 50 diamonds set on the bezel, as well as the alligator strap stitched onto white rubber.
Each timepiece is equipped with the HUB1710 self-winding movement. At its heart, the movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour, with a power reserve of 50 hours.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hublot #Hublot #SpiritOfBigBang

Hublot x Marc Ferrero Part 2

For its second artistic collaboration with the master of Storytelling Art, Hublot invites «Lipstick», Marc Ferrero’s most emblematic work, back onto the dial of its Big Bang One Click 39mm. In white or black, symbolising inseparable complementarity, it illustrates the universal duality of day and night. An essential white that is subtle and minimalist, seductive without being a seducer. A deep black that is audacious and magnetic. Two watches to remind us that the day without the night is not a day, and that the night without the day is not a night.

«I love the power of black and white. Shade and light. Yin and Yang. One is profound, unclassifiable, eternal. The other is subtle, ethereal, timeless. They symbolise antitheses and complementarity. Choosing black and white means getting straight to the point without an excess of tonalities. The black and white make ‘Lipstick’ even more graphic and its red lipstick more magnetic.» – Marc Ferrero

This time, the artist known for his typically colourful palette tells a story in black and white, in the form of two limited-edition numbered models in a run of 100 pieces. One, in satin-finish polished steel and resin, with a lacquered dial and calf and rubber strap, all in white. The other, in black ceramic with a lacquered dial and calf and rubber strap, in a pairing of black and white. Two opposites that attract and complement each other. Marc Ferrero conveys the message of a free woman in this iconic duo of watches, by affixing his work from the dial and extending to the strap.

Playing with contrasts, only the lipstick asserts itself in colour, in a flashy red, a reminder that, underneath the large black glasses, «Lipstick» is paying tribute to the woman of the 21st century. A heroine of modern times, multifaceted, assured and enigmatic. A woman who dares to do anything, directly, and without subterfuge.

If you are interested in the first collaboration from last year, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hublot

Watches & Wonders: Monochrome Watches

A huge trend I have been spotting among the Watches & Wonders novelties are monochrome watches, meaning that the dial and strap come in one single color, preferably in an outstanding shade, such as red, green or blue. Monochrome watches are widely popular among watch enthusiasts who love sticking to a minimalist design or by fashionistas who are fascinated by color-coordinating these watches to their outfits.

Below are some of the most beautiful novelties presented at Watches & Wonders online, enjoy extraordinary colors, fantastic designs and a certain retro touch.

LoL, Sandra

From top left to top right:
PIAGET Altiplano Tourbillon Red – G0A45033
18ct white gold case with diamonds, ultra thin, hand-wound mechanical tourbillon movement, diameter 41, limited edition – Price upon request
PIAGET Altiplano Tourbillon Green – G0A45035
18ct white gold case with diamonds, ultra thin, hand-wound mechanical tourbillon movement, diameter 41, limited edition – Price upon request
JAEGER-LECOULTRE Reverso One Red Wine Boutique Exclusive – Q3288560
Steel case with 27 diamonds (0.3 ct), 40 mm x 20 mm x 7.9 mm case, quartz Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 657, water resistant (30m) – € 5500
From bottom left to bottom right:
PIAGET Limelight Gala – G0A45162
18ct white gold case with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1.75 ct), blue aventurine glass dial, Piaget 690P quartz movement, diameter 32 – unique edition of 300 units – Price upon request
PIAGET Possession – G0A45074
18ct white gold case with 42 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1.03 ct), pink mother-of-pearl dial set with 11 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.07 ct), Piaget 56P quartz movement, diameter 29 – $15.800
HERMÈS Cape Cod Martelée
Shaded-black lacquered and hammered dial – steel, quartz movement, diameter 23 – Price upon request.

From top left to top right:
PANERAI Luminor Marina Fibratech™ – PAM01663
Titanium, diameter 44 – unique edition of 270 units – CHF 19.300
PURNELL Escape IIS Treasure Baguette Diamonds 
18ct white gold case with diamonds, skeletonized movement, 32-hour power reserve,Double Triple Axis Tourbillon caliber, diameter 44 – Price upon request
VACHERON CONSTANTIN Fiftysix Self-Winding Boutique Exclusive – 4600E/000R-B576
18ct pink gold case, self-winding, diameter 40 – Price upon request.
From bottom left to bottom right:
ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Diabolus In Machina  – RDDBEX0842
Titanium, minute repeater coupled with a flying tourbillon (RD107), water resistant (30m), diameter 45 – limited edition of 1 – Price upon request.
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Portugieser Chronograph Boutique Edition – IW371614
18ct 5N gold case, automatic, self-winding, diameter 41 – CHF 17.900
MONTBLANC Heritage Automatic 
18ct yellow gold case, automatic MB 24.27 caliber, diameter 40 – CHF 8.600
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Portugieser Chronograph – IW371615
Stainless steel case, Automatic, self-winding, Diameter 41 – CHF 8.200

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, Collages: © Sandra Bauknecht

Watches & Wonders Novelties: Cartier

Today, the Watches & Wonders exhibition would have opened its doors in Geneva. However, due to the current worldwide pandemic, the fair cannot take place. But as it is more important than ever to stay connected, I am pleased to invite you to look at watchesandwonders.com, the new digital platform where you can experience the fine watchmaking universe all in one place. There you can discover the newest products, enjoy engaging and dynamic content and connect directly with the 30 participating Maisons.

During the next days, I will give you my own personal insight about the new launches and would love to start today with the House of CARTIER that have many beautiful watchmaking novelties for this year that are reunited by a global theme: the UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS.
The Maison has always encouraged the unexpected by combining shapes and ideas that were never intended to meet. This is Cartier’s unique style, the source from which all forms of creation begin. Unexpected encounters, a question of perspective, CARTIER’S SIGNATURE.

PANTHÈRE DE CARTIER
AVAILABLE IN APRIL 2020
THE PANTHER, THE MAISON’S EMBLEMATIC ANIMAL

Since its first abstract appearance in 1914, Cartier has reinterpreted the panther. From motif to material or volume, everything provides reason to go beyond the different crafts and techniques allowing new creative territories resulting from unexpected encounters.

THE PANTHER IN THE MÉTIERS D’ART
Left: RONDE LOUIS CARTIER WOOD AND GOLD MARQUETRY WATCH
Right: RONDE LOUIS CARTIER ENAMEL FILIGREE WATCH

Straw and gold marquetry and enamel filigree – this year, the artisans in La Chaux-de-Fonds reveal two new «Métiers d’Art» watches.

FINE WATCHMAKING PIECES
AVAILABLE FROM APRIL 2020

Mysterious skeleton, minute repeater mysterious double tourbillon, Grande complication: Cartier shines the spotlight its most beautiful complications.

MAILLON DE CARTIER
AVAILABLE MAY 2020
A WATCH, A STYLE, A TWIST

The Maillon de Cartier watch is firstly a jewel. A bracelet whose chain-links are offset by Cartier. The Maillon de Cartier collection is comprised of pieces in yellow gold, rose gold and white gold, with or without diamonds. It is completed by exceptional pieces issued in a limited edition numbered series. For more information, visit my previous post here.

SANTOS DE CARTIER
AVAILABLE FROM MAY 2020
A WATCH OF TODAY

The first modern men’s wristwatch created in 1904 by Louis Cartier, it made its mark both with a pure design incorporating a square bezel with visible screws.

THE SANTOS-DUMONT XL WATCH
The Santos-Dumont XL watch has been entirely reworked. Its history, the purity of its lines and the beauty of its mechanical movement with manual winding make it a watch for connoisseurs.

SANTOS DE CARTIER BLACK ANIMATION
The ADLC Santos de Cartier watch stands out and reveals a more technical face for this iconic watch.

PASHA DE CARTIER
AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2020
A CULT WATCH SINCE ITS CREATION IN 1985.

An extrovert watch with an assertive graphic signature: a square inside a circle, four oversized Arabic numerals, the clous de Paris which accentuate the bracelet and the creative chained crown. With its distinctive codes and extraordinary design, the new Pasha watch is faithful to the original model but even more sophisticated.
Produced in steel, yellow gold, rose gold and set with diamonds, the Pasha de Cartier collection includes fine jewellery and fine watchmaking creations with skeleton versions.

CARTIER PRIVÉ
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 2020
THE NEW ASYMÉTRIQUE WATCH

Highlighting the design of the Maison’s legendary watches, CARTIER PRIVÉ has been releasing variations in numbered in limited and numbered series since 2015.

With its two horizontal shafts connected by two oblique ones, and its numerals off-set by 30° to the right, the presence of this new Tank Asymétrique, born in 1936, is striking on the wrist.
It is equipped with the Manufacture 1917 MC movement with manual winding. The Arabic numerals and their separating indexes have been redesigned.

The traditional watch is available in pink gold with a grey dial and strap, in yellow gold with a champagne dial and brown strap, and in platinum with a silver-coloured dial, ruby cabochon and grey strap. The made-to-measure straps are fitted with an ardillon buckle. Each aesthetic comes in a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces.

The skeleton watch comes in red gold on a brown or grey strap, in platinum on a blue or black strap, and in a gem-set platinum version on a black or glossy blue strap. Made to measure, these straps are fitted with an ardillon buckle, a rare option in Fine Watchmaking. A watch created in a limited series of 100 numbered pieces for each aesthetic.

So many beautiful launches ahead of us, so many amazing pieces that make us dream, especially during those troubled times. Stay tuned, more to come from Watches & Wonders.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Cartier

Rainbow Watches

Whether you consider them primarily as jewelry pieces or timepieces, rainbow watches have been adding some serious color to the luxury watch landscape lately. Here are the most beautiful rainbow watches to chase right now as the trend has been championed by the big major brands including Rolex, Chopard, and Hublot, which over the past few years have released timepieces with a florid gradient of precious or semiprecious stones on the bezel and even on the bracelet.

 

ROLEX COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA RAINBOW IN EVEROSE GOLD

Rolex SA helped pioneer the rainbow bezel trend on mechanical timepieces. With three versions of a rainbow Daytona watch in different types of gold, the ­company has racked up a waiting list for each since introducing them in 2012. In 2018, my favorite version in Everose gold was introduced at Baselworld.

Not only does the bezel present 36 baguette-cut sapphires, but the dial also sports 11 rainbow-colored sapphires as indexes. The 40mm timepiece gets an exclamation point by way of a midcase encrusted with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Price upon request.

AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK FROSTED GOLD DOUBLE BALANCE OPENWORKED RAINBOW

Presented in 2019 at SIHH, the 18-karat frosted-gold piece features 32 baguette-cut sapphires running in color sequence around the bezel. That’s 2.24 carats of precious stones on the 37mm skeletonized wristwatch.
Price upon request.

FRANCK MULLER RAINBOW INVISIBLE SETTING TOURBILLON

This stunning watch has 230 baguette diamonds and 61 baguette-coloured sapphires set in white gold. It incorporates 122 baguette-cut diamonds at 7.99 carats and 21 baguette-cut coloured sapphires at 2.48 carats into the dial alone, as well as another 108 7.27 carat baguette-cut diamonds and 40 baguette-cut 8.44 carat coloured sapphires into the case.

The exposed Tourbillon mechanism is surrounded by another round of colored sapphires. It contrasts against the glistening clear design of the diamond dial with touches of gold and silver-toned hardware detailing the mechanics. The complex horological movement is designed to improve accuracy and commonly features on some of the world’s most expensive watches.
Price upon request.

JACOB & CO BRILLIANT FULL BAGUETTE RAINBOW

Set in 18K white gold, the watch is invisibly set with 226 baguette multi-coloured sapphires at around 16.38 ct., the crown is set with 12 baguette multi-coloured sapphires and one rose cut sapphire at around 0.14 ct.. Limited to 18 individually numbered pieces.
Price upon request.

HUBLOT BIG BANG ONE CLICK RAINBOW KING GOLD

Almost all of these rainbow watches showcase the same clockwise color gradient: Red is at 12 o’clock, and the colors run around to violet at 11. Hublot SA’s 39-millimeter Big Bang variation runs counterclockwise. But truly, is there any one way to make a rainbow?

473 brilliant-cut gem stones in pop colors, this joyful watch also welcomes the colors of the rainbow onto its iconic strap, a fusion of natural rubber and alligator leather. Thanks to its patented «One Click» interchangeable strap, the 39mm Big Bang Rainbow can even match its color to that of your It-Bag with a snap of the fingers.
CHF 78.000

BREITLING LIMITED RAINBOW SUPEROCEAN HERITAGE ’57

Originally dating back to 1957, the SuperOcean was a laid-back and fun dive watch.

Decades later, the new SuperOcean Heritage ‘57, launched last week by Breitling in a limited edition of 250, embodies every bit of that Bohemian presence yet updates the watch with modern specs and some special rainbow colors. Sitting at 42mm on the wrist, it features a ceramic bezel ring, Breitling’s COSC-certified Caliber 10 movement (42 hours power reserve), and 100 meters of water resistance. The most reasonable in price of all those watches.
CHF 4550.00

CHOPARD IMPERIALE JOAILLERIE RAINBOW 

Flaunting 581 sapphires totaling 47.98 carats, it took more than 1,000 hours of work solely to get the gem-setting portion of this high-jewelry rose gold watch right. And it’s not just the 40mm case, bezel, and dial of the automatic Chopard Imperiale Joaillerie Rainbow that shines bright with a kaleidoscope of sapphires — the bracelet is a veritable work of art too, featuring links set with different hued gems to get the rich gradient effect.

The watch is powered by Chopard’s 01.03-C calibre mechanical self-winding movement, and features an excellent 60-hour power reserve.
Price upon request.

PARMIGIANI FLEURIER TONDA 1950 FLYING TOURBILLON DOUBLE RAINBOW

Parmigiani Fleurier SA, a smaller company known for elegance and complications, presents its new radiant tourbillon that illuminates a shower of diamonds, revealing a double rainbow over a scintillating aventurine night sky.

This haute horlogerie timepiece, driven by the in-house ultra-thin PF517 movement, features a double gradient of extraordinary colors and represents a fine example of Parmigiani Fleurier’s skill in marrying the arts of watchmaking and jewelry.

DIOR GEM DIOR SECRET WATCH

The dial on this outstanding piece, designed by Victoria de Castellane, hides behind a movable, jewelled facade and is an explosion of colour. The yellow-gold bracelet is set with a variety of shapes and sizes of tsavorite, spinel, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, diamonds and tanzanite.
Price upon request.

Isn’t one watch more beautiful than the other… let me know which one is your favorite! I am definitely going for the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow in Everose Gold.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, Collages: © Sandra Bauknecht

This Is the End of Baselworld!

In Wednesday’s post about the departure of Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard from Baselworld, I rose the question if this will be the end of the famous watch and jewelry show. Here is the answer and some more breaking news as the Swiss watch manufactures belonging to the LVMH Group, the world leader in luxury, have chosen to leave Baselworld in order to join the other flagship brands of the Swiss watch industry in Geneva from 2021 onwards. This includes all brands from the LVMH Watchmaking Division, TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith, as well as the House of Bvlgari.

Within this context of clearly weakened representation of the Swiss watch industry and hence inevitably lower participation, it appears clear to the brands composing the Division and to the House of Bvlgari that they must also withdraw in order to preserve their image and their relations with their clients as well with the media.They will therefore not be taking part in the 2021 edition of Baselworld.

The four Maisons are examining various potential event formats corresponding to the need to present their strategic directions and new products to their commercial partners – as well as to the international press – next year. The LVMH Watchmaking Division on the one hand, and Bvlgari on the other, will decide on their plans in the coming weeks, according to their respective objectives.

Stéphane Bianchi

Stéphane Bianchi, CEO Watchmaking Division LVMH, said: «We are sorry to have to leave this over 100-year-old Baselworld event to which our Maisons have been consistently loyal. It is nonetheless clear that we must respond quickly and make other arrangements. We are facing an opportunity to reinvent the format and content of one of the key moments of our watchmaking year, which represented both a major commercial challenge and a lever of influence for our brands. With this in mind, we will do our utmost to be present alongside the other prestigious Maisons that will gather in Geneva in April 2021, and thereby meet the requirements of our partners and clients while offering them an unrivalled experience.»

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bvlgari Grou., stated: «Grouping the entire Swiss watch industry in a single location, Geneva – the historical capital of watchmaking – and around a single date, is a major opportunity to at last revive a sector that all too many divisions and divergent interests have weakened compared to the rest of the luxury sector in which Bvlgari is active and that is making much faster progress. We are looking forward to going to Geneva in April 2021, even though we still need to define the terms of our participation, which we will specify in the coming weeks. We are also delighted not to have to make up for the lack of institutional watch shows, which in 2020 forced us to take tactical initiatives that were necessary in the short term but undesirable in the medium term

So, dear ladies and gentlemen, this is the answer, this is the end of Baselworld…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

Is This the End of Baselworld?

Yesterday I received the breaking news: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor leave Baselworld to create a new watch trade show in Geneva with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). The show will be held early April 2021 at Palexpo, at the same time as Watches & Wonders (The FHH is the group that organizes what, until this year, has been known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH).) 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.

The announcement comes as no surprise – as open letters about the fair’s plans and its organizer’s handling of refunds, among other things, have been paramount this past week. Apparently, Baselworld management also opted to reschedule Baselworld 2020 for January 2021 without asking the exhibitors. The dates conflict with a host of other exhibitions around the world in jewelry and watches.

The new show, which will be linked to Watches & Wonders, organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, is to take place at Palexpo. The aim is to offer partner brands the best possible professional platform, applying a shared vision to successfully meet future challenges in the watchmaking industry. It will also give crucial prominence to the sector’s expertise and innovations, both in Switzerland and internationally. Other brands may also be added, according to terms that have not yet been defined. This new event will be geared predominantly towards retailers, the press and VIP customers.

Jean-Frédéric Dufour

Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Chief Executive Officer, Rolex SA, and Board Member, Montres Tudor SA, 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

Thierry Stern

Thierry Stern, President, Patek Philippe said: «The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate to this traditional 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 constantly 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.»

Frédéric Grangié

Frédéric Grangié, President 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

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 metres. 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 better serve our watchmaking partners and our customers. Through the alliance, these grandes maisons will also be able to collaborate in promoting the values and best interests of Swiss watchmaking.»

Jérôme Lambert

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 Watches & 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.

I fear this will be the end, pure and simple, of Baselworld…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands and © Sandra Bauknecht