It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the exodus from Baselworld would continue after Rolex, Patek Philippe and the other star brands of Hall 1 announced their departure.
In a press release sent out by the LVMH group, they, the only significant group of brands that includes Hublot, Zenith, TAG Heuer and Bvlgari, have confirmed their departure as well.
The most telling part of the press release states:
“Within the context of clearly weakened representation of the Swiss watch industry and hence inevitably lower participation, it appears clear to the brands composing the Division and the House of Bvlgari that they must also withdraw to preserve their image and their relations with their clients as well as the media.”
Jean Claude Biver, who famously declared that the brands under his charge would never leave Baselworld, said: “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 ast 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 Geneva in April 2021, even though we still need to define the terms of our participation, which we will specify in the coming weeks.”
It’s a sad day, and the final nail in the coffin of the venerable fair that has been a mainstay in the world of Swiss watchmaking for over one hundred years. Great empires crumble all the time throughout history, and one of the main reasons is corrupt, weak and ineffective leadership.
How will Baselworld ever recover from this?