LVMH Group Leaves Baselworld
Baselworld

LVMH Makes It Official: The Entire Group Is Leaving Baselworld for Geneva

Hublot, TAG Heuer, Bulgari, and Zenith join Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard, and Tudor out the door. What does this mean for the future of Baselworld?

By Watchonista

After countless departures and skirmishes between exhibiting brands and Baselworld organizers MCH Group, it would appear that there is now a very limited path forward for the future of Baselworld. Following yesterday’s news (read HERE), MCH Group issued a counter press release (read HERE) stating their "surprise" at the decision of these major brands to leave Baselworld,

“On the basis of the positive and supportive feedback received from exhibitors, especially the small and medium-sized exhibitors from the watch, jewellery, gemstone and supplier industries, the MCH Group decided last year to invest substantial sums in the further development of Baselworld and in the establishment of additional digital platforms. The MCH Group is convinced that, in addition to a physical platform, a connection with the community must be maintained throughout the year. More than ever before, it sees an opportunity to develop a modern platform in the watch and jewellery industry for brands that do not rely primarily on tradition, but above all on innovation. In the next few weeks, the MCH Group will be making a decision on the continuation of Baselworld and on investments in its further development, which is geared to the long term."
 

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Black Sandblast-Polished Ceramic

Now, LVMH is out

In a press release issued today, the LVMH Group put the proverbial final nail in the coffin of what was already a severely hobbled show. The group confirmed the departure of ALL of its brands from future editions of Baselworld. All four LVMH Group brands (Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Zenith) have left the show. This communication follows Bulgari's February announcement of their intention to not exhibit at Baselworld 2020 (read HERE).
 

The new TAG Heuer Connected

According to the statement, Stephane Bianchi the CEO of the LVMH watch division says, "We are sorry to have to leave this over hundred-year Baselworld event to which our Maisons have been consistently loyal. It is nonetheless clear that we must respond quickly and make other arrangements. We are facing an opportunity to reinvent the format and content of one of the key moments of our watchmaking year, which represented both a major commercial challenge and a lever of influence for our brands.”
 

Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon Rose Gold

LVMH Group held its own event in Dubai earlier this year entitled LVMH Watch Week and this “watch week” format is one of the options for the four brands moving forward. Bianchi noted, however, that joining the other flagship brands in Geneva was definitely on the cards. “We will do our utmost to be present alongside the other prestigious Maisons that will gather in Geneva in April 2021, and thereby meet the requirements of our partners and clients while offering them an unrivaled experience.”
 

Hublot Big Bang Integral in King Gold and Titanium

Time will tell, but one thing is clear, without the support of major brands and groups, Baselworld has a challenging path ahead.
 

Ricardo Guadalupe (Hublot CEO), Stephane Bianchi (TAG Heuer CEO and CEO of the L

Press Release

The Swiss watch Manufactures belonging to the LVMH Group, the world leader in luxury, have in turn decided to leave Baselworld in order to join the other flagship brands of the Swiss watch industry in Geneva from 2021 onwards.

April 17th 2020 - The Swiss watch Manufactures of the LVMH Group, including the LVMH Watchmaking Division (TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith) and the House of Bvlgari, have taken note of the departure of Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard from the Baselworld show scheduled for January 2021. Within this 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 to the House of Bvlgari that they must also withdraw in order to preserve their image and their relations with their clients as well with the media. They will therefore not be taking part in the 2021 edition of Baselworld. amining various potential event formats corresponding to the need to present their strategic directions and new products to their commercial partners – as well as to the international press – next year. The LVMH Watchmaking Division on the one hand, and Bvlgari on the other, will decide on their plans in the coming weeks, according to their respective objectives.
 

LVMH Watch Week Dubai

The four Maisons are examining various potential event formats corresponding to the need to present their strategic directions and new products to their commercial partners – as well as to the international press – next year. The LVMH Watchmaking Division on the one hand, and Bvlgari on the other, will decide on their plans in the coming weeks, according to their respective objectives.

"We are sorry to have to leave this over hundred-year Baselworld event to which our Maisons have been consistently loyal. It is nonetheless clear that we must respond quickly and make other arrangements. We are facing an opportunity to reinvent the format and content of one of the key moments of our watchmaking year, which represented both a major commercial challenge and a lever of influence for our brands. With this in mind, we will do our utmost to be present alongside the other prestigious Maisons that will gather in Geneva in April 2021, and thereby meet the requirements of our partners and clients while offering them an unrivalled experience.” Stéphane Bianchi, CEO Watchmaking Division LVMH.

LVMH Watch Week

"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 at 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 going 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. We are also delighted not to have to make up for the lack of institutional watch shows, which in 2020 forced us to take tactical initiatives that were necessary in the short term but undesirable in the medium term.” Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bvlgari Group.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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