Baselworld – the world’s most famous watch fair
Baselworld was, to date, the world’s most famous watch, jewelry, gem and related industries, fair eagerly awaited by all watch fans. The fair has linked leading industry brands, the most influential media and the world’s most important customers. It was at the Baselworld that the novelties and innovations of the world’s largest brands chose not to participate in any other trade show.
Rolex is creating its own watch fair
Rolex has canceled its participation at Baselworld, having been a continuous participant since 1939. Not only did Rolex cancel, but the brand also launched an initiative bringing together several other major brands, such as Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard, to organize their own Geneva show in early April 2021. The news followed an announcement made by Rolex and Tudor of postponing their 2020 novelties presentation for later this year or even early 2021.
Chief Executive Officer of Rolex, Jean-Frédéric Dufour said: “We have taken part in Baselworld since 1939. Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved and the recent decisions made by MCH Group, and in spite of the great attachment we had to this watch show, we have decided to withdraw. Following discussions initiated by Rolex, it seemed only natural to create a new event with partners that share our vision and our endless, unwavering support for the Swiss watchmaking sector. 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 industry.”
Rolex has also made it clear that its new event will be similar to Watches & Wonders insofar that it is not generally open to the public, with an emphasis on guests to the show being retailers, media, and VIP customers. It is also generally believed that Rolex, Tudor, and Patek Philippe (as well as perhaps others) will skip introducing new products in 2020 entirely, with an emphasis on debuting new watches in the year 2021.
“Creating our own fair 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 industry.”
The innovative future of watchmaking
Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe said: “The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate to this traditional yearly event. But life evolves constantly, things change and people change as well, whether it is at the level of those responsible for the watch fair organization, the brands or the clients. We constantly have to adapt ourselves, question what we do, since what was right yesterday may not necessarily be valid today! Today Patek Philippe is not in line with Baselworld’s vision anymore, there have been too many discussions and unsolved problems, trust is no longer present. We need to answer the legitimate needs of our retailers, the clients and the press from around the world. They have to be able to discover the new models from Swiss watchmakers each year, at one time, in one place, and this in the most professional manner possible. That is why, following several discussions with Rolex and in agreement with other participating brands, we have decided to create, all together, a unique event in Geneva, representative of our savoir-faire.”
It looks like in 2021 we will be experiencing a real renaissance of watch novelty exposure. This news is exciting and we cannot wait to see what will Rolex, Tudor and other brands design and how they will reinvent the current novelties presentation, and adapt it to the new age.
“Life evolves constantly, things change and people change as well, whether it is at the level of those responsible for the watch fair organization, the brands or the clients. We constantly have to adapt ourselves, question what we do, since what was right yesterday may not necessarily be valid today!”