At January’s LVMH Watch Week in Dubai, Bulgari chief executive Jean-Christophe Babin said at the opening press conference that 2020 would be the brand’s last appearance at Baselworld.
It appears his patience has run out faster than he thought at that time, because today news has reached Professional Jeweller that the LVMH jewellery and watchmaker will not participate at this year’s show either.
The current coronavirus health scare, which is likely to keep Chinese executives away, is stated among reasons given for the exit.
“This decision has not been an easy one but having in mind the SARS impact on the watch fairs years ago as well as acknowledging that the pandemic is still expanding, as suggested by the likely red alert in Singapore, we believe that the best option for Bulgari is to go directly to the markets as of March. It does not mean that Bulgari is definitely leaving Baselworld and decision for 2021 and beyond will be made by the end of June. As said in the past, the main criteria to continue participating to watch fairs will be the timing as well as the costs which today are not consistent with commercial requirements and returns of investments,” Babin says.
Coronavirus has already been blamed by Swatch Group for its decision to cancel its Time to Move event, scheduled for the first week of March.
A few weeks on from that announcement, the number of identified cases of Coronavirus has risen to over 43,000 and more than 1,000 deaths.
“In that context, and with only two and a half months to come, Bulgari has regretfully decided to cancel its participation to Baselworld 2020 and replace it by roadshows in its biggest markets to meet the clients and medias who were not present in Dubai. They will allow introducing further additional new products to the Dubai set of novelties, including a new ultra-thin World Record,” the company explains.