It is the end of an era, that of Baselworld. What happened now, until three or four years ago seemed unthinkable. Perhaps the fair will attempt a relaunch, no one knows: but the great event dedicated to watches and jewels will certainly not be the same if it ever lives on.
The largest companies, capable of attracting visitors and buyers from all over the world, namely Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor, have announced their farewell to Baselworld. Alternatively, companies will offer a new watch trade show, but at the Palaexpo in Geneva. It will be held from April 2021, together with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, which organizes the Watches & Wonders (ex Sihh) salon. This year the two events, Baselworld and Watches & Wonders, have been suspended due to the coronavirus.
We have been present at Baselworld since 1939. However, despite our great attachment to this event, given its evolution and the recent decisions made by the Mch group we decided to withdraw and, following the discussions started by Rolex, it seemed natural to us to create a new event with partners who shared our vision and our continuous and unshakable support for Swiss watchmaking.
Jean-Frédéric Dufour, CEO of Rolex and board member of Tudor
Days ago, was born a dispute arose about the costs incurred from the companies: Baselworld, in fact, proposed to use 85% of the advance payment by exhibitors for the subsequent fair, set at the end of January 2021, while 15% was calulated to cover the costs incurred by Mch, the company that manages the Basel fair. A proposal that raised companies and led to the strong decision to abandon Baselworld to their fate.
“The goal is to offer partner brands the best possible professional platform, with a shared vision that allows them to face future challenges in the watchmaking world. The event will also give crucial importance to the sector’s expertise and innovations, both in Switzerland and internationally “, is written in the press release of the transfugee companies.
Today Patek Philippe is no longer in line with Baselworld’s vision: there have been too many discussions and unresolved problems that have undermined our trust. We must meet the legitimate needs of our dealers, customers and the press around the world. These must be able to discover new models from Swiss watchmakers every year, at once, in one place and in the most professional way possible. This is why, following an in-depth comparison with Rolex and in agreement with other participating brands, we decided to create, all together, a unique event in Geneva, representative of our know-how.
Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe
Mch Group, for its part, expressed “great surprise and deep regret”. But the damage is been done.