Are things returning to normal in the center of the watch world? Let’s face it, the period between Baselworld 2019 till today was a turbulent, near messy one for the iconic 104-year-old event, not to mention segments of the watchmaking industry. Flagship brands were gradually choosing not to exhibit at the fair, with Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tudor, Chanel and Chopard leaving the show in 2019 and moving to Geneva-based Watches & Wonders. This coup de grâce saw organisers MCH Group repackaging the entire event as the HourUniverse [with ‘The former Baselworld’ in brackets, of course]. Then in the midst of all the hand-wringing, the Corona pandemic rustled things up even further, supply chains and all.
In an unexpected move, the MCH Group has now announced in an official statement that the show will be back with its historical name, as Baselworld 2022.
Baselworld 2022 is expected to happen in March or April next year, yet there is a bit of a change from the red carpet, celebrity-flush premiere events that Basel was so associated with.
Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of the show, put it best, saying that “After the Corona Pandemic had stalled Baselworld over the last two years, we took a lot of time to talk to our partners and exhibitors. One thing became very clear: the Baselworld brand must remain, but it must fundamentally change.”
In addition to the B2B show, Baselworld will launch a digital platform in autumn 2021 ahead of the show, supplemented by live events, which will be available to the jewellery, watch and gems industry around the clock, 365 days a year, worldwide. As Loris-Melikoff elaborated, “Everyone will meet on our platform. The brands, the manufacturers, the retailers, the fans and the media. We will offer attractive conditions and prices for all brands that want to benefit from this unique platform.”
As the statement from the MCH Group elaborates “The future concept combines trends in the experience marketing market with the needs of the entire community in the mid- and high-end segment of the watch, jewellery and gemstone industry.” And this is where Baselworld 2022 seeks to reinvent itself. Whereas the show used to be an annual meeting place for the luxury brands in the watch, jewellery and gemstone industry, the new Baselworld show will be a platform on which smaller watches and jewellery manufacturers and gemstone traders can present their products.
Baselworld 2022 is expected to happen in March or April next year, and they are yet to announce confirmed exhibitors.