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Baselworld Responds To Allegations

Claims they were blindsided.

Yesterday, we ran a story on Rolex, Patek Philippe, and other major exhibitors leaving Baselworld in favour of a new watch fair to be organised with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. This has since descended into an ugly showdown with Baselworld organiser MCH Group saying they were surprised at the move.

While the main players like Rolex asserted they were not consulted on the postponement of Baselworld to January 2021, MCH Group claims the brands (including Rolex) were in favour of the postponement. In a press release, MCH Group stated, “They (the brands) are also represented on the Exhibitors’ Committee, where the future vision of Baselworld has been discussed on several occasions and has met with a positive response, as was also evidenced by countless individual discussions.”

In a further swipe, MCH Group added: “The intention to move to Geneva has never been mentioned. The MCH Group must therefore conclude that the relevant plans have been in preparation for some time and that the discussions concerning the financial arrangements for the cancellation of Baselworld 2020 are now being put forward as an argument.”

Certainly, the departure of the big players will be a blow to smaller independent brands who have long leveraged the scale of Baselworld to showcase their products. Unfortunately, deep-seated issues, which have been evident from years before, have led to the current fracture, with the pandemic being the straw that broke the camel’s back. Will there be a Baselworld 2021? We wouldn’t hold our breath.


Ex Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".