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LVMH Pulls Out of Baselworld

Apr 20, 2020 9:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... LVMH has withdrawn its four watch and jewelry brands from the 2021 Baselworld show after several other industry heavyweights quit the event.

Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith will instead take part in a new exhibition in Geneva next April, LVMH said in a statement Friday. They will join Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard, which pulled out of Baselworld last week to launch the breakaway fair.

“Within this context of clearly weakened representation of the Swiss watch industry, and hence inevitably lower participation, it appears clear to the brands composing the [LVMH watchmaking] division and to the house of Bulgari that they must also withdraw in order to preserve their image and their relations with their clients, as well with the media,” LVMH said. “They will therefore not be taking part in the 2021 edition of Baselworld.”

The new show, organized by Switzerland’s Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, will take place in early April 2021 at Geneva’s Palexpo convention center alongside the Watches & Wonders show (formerly SIHH). LVMH will clarify the terms of its participation in the coming weeks, it said.

This week, Baselworld’s management will begin talks with the shareholders of its parent company, MCH Group, to decide whether the show should continue, a spokesperson for the event said. Those parties are also looking into “new formats” for the fair, she added. She declined to comment on LVMH’s decision.

Several exhibitors have fallen out of love with Baselworld in recent years, as many considered it outdated and not worth the high costs. Swatch Group’s decision to sit out the 2018 edition came with a sharp criticism of the show management’s approach, and sparked a string of further exits, including Breitling and Gucci.

Bulgari had already pulled out of the 2020 show, but said in February it was open to returning in 2021. This year’s event was ultimately postponed to January 2021 because of the coronavirus, but disagreements over the event’s new timing and refund policy led to some of the biggest brands walking away.

Image: A Bulgari store in London. (Rapaport News)
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Tags: Baselworld, Bulgari, Chanel, Chopard, hublot, LVMH, patek philippe, Rapaport News, Rolex, SIHH, Tag Heuer, Tudor, Watches & Wonders, Zenith
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