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, 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…
Photos: Courtesy of the Brands