Major brands leave Baselworld to create a new watch trade show in Geneva
Patek Philippe, Tudor, Chanel, Chopard and Rolex have announced their departure from the annual Baselworld fair to create a new watch trade show in Geneva with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. The show itself will be held early April 2021 at Palexpo, at the same time as Watches & Wonders Geneva.
The aim of the new show—which will be geared predominantly towards retailers, the press and VIP customers—is to offer partner brands the best possible professional platform, applying a shared vision to successfully meet future challenges in the watchmaking industry. Furthemore, it will also give crucial prominence to the sector’s expertise and innovations, both in Switzerland and internationally. To top it off, other brands may also be added in the future, according to terms that have not yet been defined.
This departure follows a number of unilateral decisions made without consultation with Baselworld management. Key deciding factors include the postponement of the watch show until January 2021 as well as the trade fair’s alleged inability to meet the brands’ needs and expectations.
“The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate in this traditional yearly event,” explained Patek Philippe’s President, Thierry Stern.
“But life evolves constantly, things change and people change as well. 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,” he added. “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.”
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