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LVMH quits Baselworld

By Kristopher Fraser

Apr 17, 2020

Luxury watch brands appear to be quitting Baselworld left and right. LVMH, the parent company of many luxury watch brands including Hublot, Tag Heuer, and Bulgari, will be quitting baselworld. This follows the announcement that Rolex, Chanel, and Patek Phillipe would all be quitting Baselworld.

“We are facing an opportunity to reinvent the format and content of one of the key moments of our watchmaking year, which represented both a major commercial challenge and a lever of influence for our brands,” Stéphane Bianchi, CEO of LVMH’s watchmaking division, said in a statement on Friday.

LVMH now plans to show in Geneva in April 2021. Baselworld has continued to lose major headlining brands over the years, including Breitling and Gucci. Chanel, Rolex, and Patek Phillipe say they will be setting up their own event alongside Watches and Wonders, another watch tradeshow that is organized by Fondation de la Haute Horlorgerie.

Luxury watch brands are looking at other events to showcase their new product. This year, LVMH showcased their new offerings with an event in Dubai. Bulgari and Ulysse Nardin are also looking at setting up a new event called Geneva Days that could potentially be a rival to Baselworld.

Like all parts of the luxury goods sector, luxury watches expect to take a hit from the economic fallout due to coronavirus. While key markets like China have reopened, many countries in Europe, the Middle East, along with much of the United States are still on lockdown. Retail stores don't seem poised to open anytime soon, with New York recently extending their lockdown to May 15. It continues to be a tough year for the luxury sector, although China does offer hopes of rebound, with one Hermés boutique doing 2.7 million dollars in a single day. Still, it will be a rocky road ahead for luxury brands as economies try to rebound.

photo: via PR Newswire