The uncertainty clouding the future of Baselworld was, in many ways, clarified with the announcement by Swatch Group that it would not take part in 2019.
Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling and LVMH have since re-stated their commitment to the exhibition, but the days of the event’s organizers dictating terms, conditions and eye-watering prices to smaller brands are over.
Maurice Lacroix is the latest mid-sized brand to announce its departure from the Basel showcase, and will instead exhibit in Geneva alongside SIHH in January.
Corum and Raymond Weil have also pulled out of the 2019 show.
A statement from Maurice Lacroix says: “After 30 years participating at Basel World, Maurice Lacroix has decided to withdraw from the annual watch and jewellery fair. The watch industry is constantly evolving, as are the expectations of the Swiss firm’s retail customers, Maurice Lacroix felt that now is the time to upgrade its business and distribution model. The brand will move to Geneva and exhibit for the first time on the “Ile Rousseau”, in the heart of the city (January 14-18, 2019). During this event, the Swiss company, synonymous with iconic design and Swiss craftsmanship, will launch its latest Masterpiece creations.”
Maurice Lacroix has not ruled out returning to Baselworld in future years, stating: “Maurice Lacroix would like to thank Baselworld for its help over the last 30 years and particularly for the support of the new management team. The company looks forward to discovering the new concepts prepared for Baselworld 2020.”
- In related news, Meistersinger has confirmed to WatchPro that it will be exhibiting at Baselworld and Munich’s Inhorgenta in 2019.