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 Challenge Watch Prize is awarded to Tudor, for the Black Bay P01.
Tudor is Born to Dare
The Tudor “Born To Dare” campaign reflects both the history of the brand and what it stands for today. Daring individuals have long chosen Tudor while achieving the extraordinary on land, ice, in the air and underwater. It also refers to the vision of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Tudor, who manufactured Tudor watches to withstand the most extreme conditions, watches made for the most daring lifestyle indeed. It finally tells of the singular approach Tudor is known for today, having pioneered now major trends within the watchmaking industry.
The Tudor “Born To Dare” spirit is expressed in a campaign manifesto (below) and supported globally by ambassadors whose life achievements directly result from a daring approach to life. Jay Chou is one of them and Tudor is proud to welcome him to its family.
“We are devoted to the classic. But reject the status quo.
We keep the best of the past, the best watchmaking practices, the best designs.
And push the boundaries of what’s new.
Born for a purpose. Field-tested to the extreme.
For those who are up for anything.
For those who face their fears.
For those who reinvent themselves every day a Tudor is born to dare.”
Devoted to the classic
Brought up in a family of teachers in Taiwan, Jay Chou was introduced to the piano at the age of four, after he demonstrated an early gift for music. He later on picked up the cello and to this day, still mentions Chopin as his favourite composer. As a man of taste and culture, Jay Chou wears the new TUDOR 1926, a highly refined while understated mechanical timepiece blending traditional horology aesthetics and contemporary high-performance watchmaking.
Pushing the boundaries
In 2007 Jay Chou founded his own record company, JVR Music, which pioneered cross-cultural fusion of electronic music with Asian pop music. This stable of talents proved repeatedly that his approach as a producer is in perfect tune with the aspiration of the youth in most parts of Asia.
Not only does he write, compose and produce music, he is also the director of a large number of music videos, including his own. Recognized in the directing circles, both in Asia and in the USA, as a successful ads director, he fully expresses in those short formats the vibe he feels among his fans, the deep and personal inspirations he passes on to the crowds.
Up for anything
Jay Chou plays the piano, the cello, the violin, the guitar and various types of percussion instruments. He started his career as a lyrics and music composer, and then put those talents to even better use when he started his singing career in 2000. He pioneered the blend of European music styles such as R&B and electronica with Asian classical music, inventing the “Chou Style”. After several albums, all sold in millions of copies, he took up acting.
In several Asian super-productions and blockbusters and in major Hollywood productions, he proved to be as much in his place on a cinema set as on stage. His filmography also includes the writing and directing of two feature films, which gathered critic’s acclaim. In both of them, music naturally played a major part. While assuming many different roles, including actor, director and scriptwriter, he has never abandoned his first love, music, and rose to the top of the Asian charts touring the world with every new album l
Jay Chou is also a known philanthropist and advocate of good causes. He stepped up to provide critical support in the wake of disasters including major earthquakes in Wenchuan in 2008 and multiple earthquakes in Taiwan over the years. He is an ambassador, and a donor, to the Fubon Charity Foundation, which is dedicated to the cause dearest to him, the care and education of impoverished, distressed and disabled children. In 2016, Jay also joined WildAid in a new campaign against rhino horn, shark fin, elephant ivory and other products decimating wildlife around the world.