With a press release issued a few hours after the one issued by Rolex / Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard in which they communicated their decision to leave Baselworld definitively from 2021, here is the dry reply of MCH Group, or the organizer of Baselworld.
“It is with great surprise and equally great regret that the MCH Group takes note of the cancellation of the main exhibitors at Baselworld.
The new date for the inevitable postponement of Baselworld 2020 has been jointly defined with the main exhibitors. The goal was to find the earliest and best possible date for the industry after the Covid-19 related measures.
The companies that now "migrate" - including Rolex - spoke in favor of a postponement to January 2021. They are also represented on the Exhibitors' Committee, where the future vision of Baselworld has been discussed on several occasions and met with a positive response, as has also been shown by countless individual discussions. The intention to move to Geneva was never mentioned. The MCH group therefore has to conclude that the relevant plans have been in preparation for some time and that discussions related to the financial arrangements for the cancellation of Baselworld 2020 are now being advanced as an argument.
Based on the positive and supportive feedback received from exhibitors, especially small and medium-sized exhibitors from the watch, jewelery, gemstone and supplier industries, the MCH Group decided last year to invest huge sums in the further development of Baselworld and in the establishment of additional digital platforms. … In the coming weeks, the MCH group will make a decision on the continuation of Baselworld and investments in its further development, which is long-term oriented. "
The 103rd birthday of the most important event in the sector has a bitter taste to say the least. For years we have witnessed the 'decline' of Baselworld with the usual 'declaration of intent' between brands and organizers themselves, in an attempt to reshuffle the cards, adapt to the needs of professionals and end customers.
Now, thanks to the dramatic situation resulting from the spread of the COVD-19 pandemic, Baselworld seems to have come to an end even losing the trust of its most important supporters and market leader: Rolex e Patek Philippe, among the latest in a long series.
We are all facing important challenges, epochal changes and even our beautiful world of watchmaking seems to be ready to pick them up and get back into the game, starting with those who usually have a more wait-and-see approach.