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Baselworld, SIHH Synchronize 2020 Dates

Dec 19, 2018 5:40 AM   By Rapaport News
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 Baselworld and Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva (SIHH) will take place back-to-back from 2020 in an attempt by their organizers to reinvigorate interest in the shows.

SIHH, which is usually a January event, will instead run from April 26 to 29 in Geneva, while Baselworld will begin immediately afterward, from April 30 to May 5. That show is usually scheduled for March. The two will conduct consecutive fairs until at least 2024, they said Tuesday.

The move follows industry discontent with the watch and jewelry fairs, with critics calling them too expensive and outdated. Baselworld lost several large exhibitors, including Swatch Group, Maurice Lacroix, Corum and Raymond Weil, while Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille plan to pull out of SIHH from 2020.

Baselworld has attempted to make changes to its program, including reducing exhibitor prices and negotiating cheaper deals with hotels and restaurants in the area. The new arrangement between the two fairs could potentially help visitors further, as exhibitors would now only need to travel to Switzerland once to attend both events.

“Baselworld and the SIHH are working for the industry and its clients,” said Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld. “We have sought dialogue with the SIHH and together have found a solution [that] benefits visitors, the media and the entire watchmaking industry enormously.”

Earlier this week, Kim-Eva Wempe, CEO of watch company Wempe, told industry news website WatchPro she favored an alignment between the two fairs.

“I would like to have one single trade show, and not two or even more,” she said.

Patek Philippe chairman Thierry Stern told Reuters that while the company would not be leaving Baselworld, the timing needed to be coordinated with SIHH.

“That is the key to the show’s future success,” he added.

In 2019, the dates for both fairs will remain separate, with SIHH running from January 14 to 17, while Baselworld will take place from March 21 to 26.

“Our two events have always been different, yet complementary,” said Fabienne Lupo, president and managing director of Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, which organizes SIHH. “Re-synching 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.”

Image: A Rolex watch. (Pixabay)
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Tags: Audemars Piguet, Baselworld, corum, Fabienne Lupo, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, Kim-Eva Wempe, Maurice Lacroix, Michel Loris-Melikoff, patek philippe, Rapaport News, Raymond weil, Richard Mille, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, SIHH, swatch group, WatchPro, Wempe
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