Press release – A new watchmakers’ trade show is being created in Geneva in collaboration with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.
Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor are leaving Baselworld to create a new watchmakers’ trade show in Geneva, at Palexpo, with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, on the same dates as those planned for Watches & Wonders, in early April 2021. This decision comes in the wake of several unilateral decisions taken by the management of Baselworld, including pushing back the trade show to January 2021, as well as its failure to meet the needs and expectations of the brands.
The new trade show, which will be held jointly with that organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie—Watches & Wonders—, will be held at Palexpo. The aim of the new show is to offer the best possible platform for partner brands, to apply a common vision to overcome future challenges for the watchmaking industry and to shine an essential spotlight on the branch’s expertise and innovations, in Switzerland and around the world.
Other brands may be integrated, under terms that are yet to be defined. This new gathering is aimed primarily at retailers, the press and VIP customers.
Jean-Frédéric Dufour, CEO, Rolex SA, Director, Montres Tudor SA
“We have participated in Baselworld since 1939. Sadly, in view of the changes to this event and the decisions taken by the MCH Group recently, and despite of our fondness for this watchmaking trade show, we have decided to withdraw from it. Following the discussions initiated by Rolex, the creation of a new trade show with partners that have always shared our vision and our unwavering support for the Swiss watchmaking industry was the natural choice. It will allow us to present new models and innovations according to our needs and expectations, to unite our forces and to more robustly defend the interests of the branch.”
Thierry Stern, CEO, Patek Philippe
“The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to make, being myself the fourth generation of the Stern
family to take part in this traditional, annual event. But, life goes on, things change, as do people, either at the head of watchmakers’ organizations, brands, retailers or even end customers. We always need to adapt and to question ourselves, as what was true yesterday is not necessarily the case today! Patek Philippe no longer shares the vision of Baselworld, there have been too many discussions and unresolved problems, and the trust has gone. We must meet the legitimate expectations of our retailers, customers and journalists from around the world. Once a year, they must be able to discover the new models presented by Swiss watchmakers, in one place, in the most professional manner possible. That is why, after various discussions with Rolex and by agreement with other participating brands, we have decided to create a unique event together in Geneva, to represent our professional expertise.”
Frédéric Grangié, President Watches and Jewelry – Chanel
“Like its partners, Chanel shares the same independence, the same intention to defend and to embody the values, expertise and the quality of prestigious Swiss watchmaking. This initiative marks a key date in the history of Chanel Watches and forms part of a long-term strategy, which began when this activity was launched in 1987. This new trade show will give us the opportunity to present all of our new creations in an environment that meets our exacting requirements.”
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President Chopard & Cie SA
“Chopard was an exhibitor at the Basel trade show for the first time in 1964 over a surface area of some 25m2. After long consideration, our family has decided to be a partner in Rolex’s initiative and to leave Baselworld, not without some regret. The creation of this new watchmaking trade show in Geneva, alongside Watches & Wonders, will enable us to better serve our partners in the watch industry and our customers. With the collaboration of several large houses, we can also robustly defend the values and interests of Swiss watchmaking.”
Jérôme Lambert, speaking on behalf of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, is “thrilled by the creation of this new trade show associated with ‘Watches & Wonders’ Geneva at the start of April 2021”.
More information will be provided at a later date, in particular on the name and the organization of this new watchmakers’ trade show.