News just came in this afternoon that the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) and Baselworld will begin to coordinate their dates from 2020 onwards. If you remember, SIHH takes place in January in the Palexpo building in Geneva, while Baselworld has its own dedicated facility in the historic city of Basel. Unlike SIHH, Baselworld traditionally took place in mid-March, making international travel quite tricky for some. While most of the exhibitors are based within a few hours of either city, some of them, as well as most of the press and AD reps have to come from further afield such as the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
The President and Managing Director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, Fabienne Lupo which runs the show, stated that:
“Our two events have always been different, yet complementary. Resynching with Baselworld will further confirm Switzerland as the foremost destination for watchmaking in the world. This is something we welcome wholeheartedly, as it is in the interests of all.”
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Baselworld, Michel Loris-Melikoff said:
“Baselworld and the SIHH are working for the industry and its clients. We have sought dialogue with the SIHH and together have found a solution, which benefits visitors, the media, and the entire watchmaking industry enormously”. “This partnership between the two most prominent exhibitions in the industry represents a major breakthrough for the future.”
Of the two shows, it’s pretty much always been thought that SIHH has been the more exclusive of the two, it has a tiny amount of exhibitors in comparison to Baselworld and is traditionally invite only, apart from the last day where the doors open to the public. Also, it was predominately used by the Richemont Group to showcase its brands, but it also has the Carré des Horlogers for unique independent brands to reveal their wondrous timepieces.
Baselworld has been the headline date for most of the industry, as well as for jewellers and other luxury brands too. Until earlier this year, it was comprised of 5 key players: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, LVMH and the Swatch Group, the latter of which announced earlier this year that it was leaving in order to focus on its own marketing strategy.
Given that Baselworld has been losing exhibitors left, right and centre, and SIHH is due to lose Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille in 2020, we wonder how long these shows have left to run, although we hope they will continue to do so for a while.