The Fondation de la Haute Horlorgerie announced today the creation of a new watch trade show that is slated to be held in conjunction with Watches & Wonders in April 2021. Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard, and Tudor are reported to be part of the new event, following their departure from Baselworld, the world’s largest exhibition and trade show of the watch industry.
No other details have been shared as of yet, other than it to be held at the Palexpo in Geneva. While previous editions of watch shows have included days for public admission, the new show will primarily be catered for brand retailers, the press and VIP customers.
The following contains official statements from the head of brands, including the head of the Fondation de la Haute Horlorgerie council:
Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Chief Executive Officer, Rolex SA, and Board Member, Montres Tudor SA: “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.”
Thierry Stern, President, Patek Philippe: “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.“
Frédéric Grangié, President of Chanel Watches & Fine Jewellery: “Like its partners, CHANEL shares the same independence and the same desire to protect and promote the values, know-how, utmost quality and precision of Swiss Watchmaking. This initiative marks a key milestone in the history of CHANEL Watchmaking and is part of a long-term strategy, which began with the launch of this activity in 1987. This exhibition will allow us to present all of our new creations in an environment that meets our high-quality standards.”
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President Chopard et Cie SA: “Chopard first exhibited at the Basel fair in 1964 with a stand of some 25 square metres. After careful consideration, our family decided to support the Rolex initiative and retire from Baselworld – a painful decision. The creation of this new watch show in Geneva, in parallel to Watches & Wonders, will allow us to better serve our watchmaking partners and our customers. Through the alliance, these grandes maisons will also be able to collaborate in promoting the values and best interests of Swiss watchmaking.”
Jérôme Lambert, on behalf of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Council: “The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie is delighted to welcome a new salon which will strengthen the historical Watches & Wonders event in Geneva next year in early April.”