A few hours ago the shocking news of Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chopard e Chanel who choose not to participate in Baselworld 2021 and to inaugurate a new collaboration with Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie.
The five maison mentioned above, in collaboration with Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie (FHH) will organize their own fair in early April 2021 and the show will be held at Palexpo simultaneously with Watches & Wonders Geneva, with a focus on resellers, press and VIP customers.
The statement also states that "The abandonment of the brands follows a series of unilateral decisions made without consultation by the management of Baselworld, including the postponement of the watch program until January 2021, as well as its inability to meet the needs and expectations of the brands".
It is foreseeable that other brands will take part in this new fair, as the idea and program develop in the months to come.
Below are the statements of the main managers of the various brands.
Jean-Frédéric Dufour, CEO, Rolex SA, and member of the board of directors, TudorSaid: “We have been taking part in Baselworld since 1939. Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved and the recent decisions made by the MCH Group and, despite the great attachment we have had to this watch show, we have decided to retire. Following discussions initiated by Rolex, it seemed natural to create a new event with partners who share our vision and our continued and unwavering support for the Swiss watch industry. 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 sector ”.
These words Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe: “The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one for me as I am the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate in this traditional annual event. But life is constantly evolving, things change and people change too, whether at the level of the managers of the organization of the watch fair, of the brands or of the customers. We must constantly adapt, question what we do, as what was right yesterday may not necessarily be valid today! And today, Patek Philippe is no longer in line with the Baselworld vision, there have been too many discussions and unresolved problems, trust is no longer present. We have to respond to the legitimate needs of our dealers, customers and press around the world who need to be able to discover new models from Swiss watchmakers every year, at once, in one place, and this in the most professional way possible. That is why, following numerous discussions with Rolex and in agreement with other participating brands, we have decided to create, all together, a unique event in Geneva, an event capable of representing our savoir-faire. "
Frederic Grangier, CEO di Chanel Watches & Fine Jewelery, on what the new appointment will be a Geneva, is expressed as follows: “Like its partners, CHANEL shares the same independence and the same desire to protect and promote the values, know-how, highest quality and precision of Swiss watchmaking. This initiative marks a milestone in CHANEL watchmaking history and is part of a long-term strategy that began with the launch of this business in 1987. This exhibition will allow us to present all our new creations in an environment that meets our own. high quality standard. "
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-chairman Chopard et Cie SA, he stated instead: “Chopard exhibited for the first time at the Basel fair in 1964 with a stand of about 25 square meters. After careful consideration, our family decided to support the Rolex initiative and retire from Baselworld. A truly painful decision. The creation of this new watch show in Geneva, in parallel with Watches & Wonders, will allow us to better serve our watchmaking partners and customers. Through the alliance, these grand houses will also be able to work together to promote the best values and interests of Swiss watchmaking. "
Finally, Jerome Lambert, on behalf of Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, said that: "The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie is delighted to welcome a new show that will strengthen the historic Watch & Wonders event in Geneva next year in early April."