According to today’s issue of Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag (NZZ), a Swiss newspaper, The Swatch Group, one of Baselworld’s most important exhibitor, will be leaving the fair along with its 18 brands effective immediately. This is pretty big considering a large portion of the fair’s most popular hall (Hall 1.0) was Swatch Group territory. What does this mean for the world’s biggest watch and jewellery show who’ve just this year had various management changes, over 600 exhibitors drop out and two days shortened.
According to Swatch Group’s CEO, Nick Hayek, “annual watch fairs today no longer make much sense considering we live in a world that’s so transparent, spontaneous and fast paced”.
Earlier this year, TAG Heuer CEO, Jean Claude Biver, commented, “The future of the fair, is what it is right now! It’s the only place where I can see a thousand people over five days! Even if I travel a lot, I will never be able to replicate what I find here. It is fantastic. We want to be where the customer is. Basel makes a lot of sense. Basel is Swiss. It will always stay in Switzerland as the country will always be the hub of the watch industry”.
We’ve heard no news suggesting any such move by Baselworld’s key pillars including Hublot, TAG Heuer, Zenith, Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe or Chopard, and frankly we doubt that the Swatch Group’s decision may have some sort of a domino effect.