Baselworld will take place three weeks earlier in 2021 than its already revised slot of April 30 to May 5 that it will occupy in 2020.
Next year’s much later date was chosen so that SIHH (April 27 to 29) and Baselworld could run back-to-back.
The 2020 dates were signed off by committees for both shows, which include representatives from major Swiss watch brands.
However Breitling, one of those committee members, almost immediately said it was quitting Baselworld, and LVMH reacted to the later SIHH dates by announcing that its usual January showcase, which has been held alongside the Geneva-based SIHH event, would move to Dubai.
Retailers and jewellery suppliers have also told Professional Jeweller that April/May is too late. Notably, Italian brands said they would not showcase because this timeline wouldn’t allow them to fulfill retailer orders before closing for summer.
Meanwhile, placing orders for watches that can have six month lead times, could mean waiting until November for deliveries of new collections.
Michel Loris-Melikoff, who was appointed as managing director of Baselworld in the summer last year, just weeks after Swatch Group withdrew all of its brands, has exclusively told our sister title WatchPro that the show would be around three weeks’ earlier in 2021.
Specific dates are yet to be confirmed.
The MD tells WatchPro: “We have negotiated until 2024 and we are soon going to publish the dates for 2021 that are a few weeks earlier. It is not easy to move the dates because it is not just six days of the show. The biggest stands like Rolex’s take six weeks to build. If I shift just one or two days, it has a huge impact on other shows, and in Geneva they have the same issue. It is a wonder we found the date at the end of April and only now we are told that it is too late.
“We have to find a solution, and that is a big job for us between now and the end of the year. It is very complicated.”
Alongside moving the dates to suit buyers visiting numerous watch shows in the year, the managing director has vowed to become more jewellery focused and strengthen its ties with the jewellery trade.