Creation of a New Watch Trade Show in Geneva in Collaboration with the Fondation DE La Haute Horlogerie
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. The show will be held early April 2021 at Palexpo, at the same time as Watches & Wonders. 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 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.
The Italian brand confirms its path in the worlds of Watchmaking and High Watchmaking as well as Jewellery and High Jewellery
Baselworld will welcome the Dolce&Gabbana Group as an exhibitor in the prestigious Hall 1.0. By participating in the show, the Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana continue to communicate their passion for craftsmanship in the watch and jewellery industry.
Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of Baselworld said: “We are delighted to welcome Dolce&Gabbana to Baselworld and to start working together. We are embarking on a creative process that will allow Dolce&Gabbana to express not only its uniqueness to the 80,000 expected visitors, but also to benefit from the program we are putting in place to keep the international community alive throughout the year, digitally and physically. Because this is precisely our vision of a platform of experiences: enabling brands to be unique in their presentation to their various audiences while benefiting from the networks and powerful audience of Baselworld.”
“We tiptoed into the watch and jewellery industry knowing it wouldn’t be easy,” says Domenico Dolce. “The work of researching was long and hard, but it was worth it. It is a very fascinating world in which we have brought our values: the love for craftsmanship, the art of handmade, the attention to detail and the scrupulous choice of materials.”
Stefano Gabbana: “This world represents an exciting challenge. Every goal we’ve achieved has taught us that there’s always more to learn, that nothing is impossible when it’s passion that drives everything. Today, we are happy to take part in this important international event.”
It is the first time that the Italian Group and its international management will be present at the fair with the new jewellery and watch proposals, resulting from years of research and technical development, and with the unique creations from the Alta Gioielleria and Alta Orologeria Collections. Dolce&Gabbana has already participated in Baselworld in the past, but through a licensed partner for the watch and jewellery collections created for a young audience.
Synonymous with Italian savoire faire and Sicilian tradition, creativity, audacity, allure, hand-made ornaments, fine engravings and chisels, original inlays, extravagant settings, a singular vision of time through limited series and unique pieces, an atypical reinterpretation of the codes of elegance while cultivating traditional know-how, Dolce&Gabbana presents High Jewellery and High Watchmaking creations whose inspiration is drawn from innovation combined with the many references of the Mediterranean heritage of its origins and the engineering accuracy of Swiss mechanisms, as with its own proprietary movement entirely assembled by hand by the master watchmakers of Geneva.
Alfonso Dolce, CEO of Dolce&Gabbana said: “Baselworld will be an accelerator for our business. Michel Loris-Melikoff and his team were able to listen to our needs by proposing an innovative concept that corresponds to our ambitious development strategy. We are very pleased to join the world’s largest trade show and the largest, broad and unique global community platform, and we will be exploiting every opportunity to take advantage of it.”
The densification of Les Ateliers, a largely reinvented Watch Gallery, integration of the Incubator in Hall 1.1: Baselworld promotes independent brands with a variety of formats reflecting the richness and diversity of the watchmaking industry.
De Bethune is one of the new arrivals for the 2020 edition. It has joined renowned watchmakers such as Akrivia, Ateliers Louis Moinet, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, Claude Meylan, Czapek, Kari Voutilainen, L’Epée 1839, Reservoir, Romain Gauthier, Urwerk and many others.
Brands speak, express themselves. Baselworld listens to them and takes action. The areas of Hall 1 on the south side dedicated to the hosting of Les Ateliers, the Watch Gallery and the Incubator have also been the focus of attention in recent months by Baselworld.
By engaging in a constructive and transparent dialogue with the many independent brands who contribute to the richness and diversity of the watch industry, by taking various measures in consultation with them, and thanks to the commitment of Michel Loris-Melikoff, his team and a whole community to strengthen and redeploy the rich and varied ecosystem of independent brands present at Baselworld, Les Ateliers, the Watch Gallery and the Incubator have been redeveloped, improved and even extended as of the next edition in 2020.
Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director de Baselworld said:
“The work has only just begun. Baselworld aims to be a community and resolutely unifying entity. Listening, dialogue, entrepreneurship, creativity, we continue to implement our 2020+ strategy and work to make Baselworld not only the best business platform, but also the most varied and complete possible.
Major brands, medium-sized and smaller, independent watchmakers, represent the incredible richness and creative variety of the watchmaking fabric that we highlight to our visitors. The thousands of end customers, enthusiasts and collectors who complement the professional attendance of retailers, distributors and media also come to Baselworld to discover, be surprised and seduced by the unexpected. Baselworld is a unique global industry experience.
Finally, we are working to control costs, which today allow more competitive offers and a better return on investment for all our exhibitors. The creation of user-friendly networking and quality catering spaces at the heart of the show will also improve the experience of all the show’s audiences.”
The new developments include a more appropriate redistribution of the spaces on the south side of Hall 1: in Les Ateliers on the ground floor, the Watch Gallery on the first floor and the Incubator now on the same level.
Les Ateliers will remain in Hall 1.0 south and the space will be expanded to accommodate more brands. De Bethune is one of the new arrivals for the 2020 edition, joining renowned watchmakers such as Akrivia, Ateliers Louis Moinet, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, Claude Meylan, Czapek, Kari Voutilainen, L’Epée 1839, Reservoir, Romain Gauthier, Urwerk, and many others.
The Watch Gallery will be largely reinvented, with three levels of offers integrating the Incubator successfully launched in 2019 and which will thus find its place in the watchmaking landscape of Hall 1.1. With these new offers, Baselworld is strengthening its leadership position as the preferred platform for independent brands.