LVMH has announced all four of its watch brands will leave Baselworld.
TAG Heuer, Bulgari, Hublot and Zenith say that since Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard turned their back on the show, Baselworld’s “clearly weakened representation of the Swiss watch industry” makes it an unsuitable event at which to talk to customers and journalists.
“We are sorry to have to leave this over 100-year-old Baselworld event to which our Maisons have been consistently loyal,” says Stéphane Bianchi, chief executive officer of the LVMH watchmaking division.
“It is nonetheless clear that we must respond quickly and make other arrangements. We are facing an opportunity to reinvent the format and content of one of the key moments of our watchmaking year, which represented both a major commercial challenge and a lever of influence for our brands. With this in mind, we will do our utmost to be present alongside the other prestigious Maisons that will gather in Geneva in April 2021, and thereby meet the requirements of our partners and clients while offering them an unrivalled experience.”
Bulgari has announced it will be part of the new group of exhibitions taking place in Geneva in early April next year, but TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot have not yet reached a final decision on their plans, leaving the door open for them to present together at a 2021 LVMH Watch Week similar to their event in Dubai in January this year and again in Geneva in April.
Jean-Christophe Babin, chief exec Bvlgari Group, believes Geneva is the ideal place to present.
“Grouping the entire Swiss watch industry in a single location, Geneva – the historical capital of watchmaking – and around a single date, is a major opportunity to at last revive a sector that all too many divisions and divergent interests have weakened compared to the rest of the luxury sector in which Bvlgari is active and that is making much faster progress. We are looking forward to going to Geneva in April 2021, even though we still need to define the terms of our participation, which we will specify in the coming weeks. We are also delighted not to have to make up for the lack of institutional watch shows, which in 2020 forced us to take tactical initiatives that were necessary in the short term but undesirable in the medium term,” he says.
LVMH’s decision now leaves Hall 1.0 of Baselworld empty.