Bremont will not exhibit at Baselworld in 2017, the British brand has confirmed to Watchpro.
Instead, the company will hold its own exhibition in central London running from February 27 – March 3, a week in the international watch calendar that sits between SIHH in January and Baselworld beginning on March 23.
Bremont accepts that withdrawing from the world’s largest watch exhibition is a risk, but feels the investment it has made in the Swiss show over many years can be better spent in the UK, particularly in light of changes to the way Baselworld is being configured this year.
“Basel is such a major global watch fair so we have to be confident that we can provide enough of an attraction here in the UK and I feel we can. The fact that our historical Basel exhibition space ‘The Palace’ will be closed for 2017 is also a factor in our decision making,” explains Bremont co-founder Nick English.
Bremont intends to launch its 2017 watch collection in a central London townhouse that will be converted to represent the essence of the brand. A number of its brand ambassadors and partners will be at the event talking about their connections to the watches.
Bremont is the second major brand in as many weeks to announce it will not exhibit at Baselworld in 2017. It follows the Swiss Luxury Division of Timex Group, which said it wanted to invest in initiatives as close as possible to its customers. “I think that Baselworld is a huge investment for everybody and is in my opinion losing some effectiveness,” Paolo Marai, president and CEO of the Swiss Luxury Division of Timex Group, said in an interview with Forbes.
Giles English, Bremont co-founder, expresses a similar sentiment. “As a British watch company we are very keen for retailers and media alike to see us in our own environment and to join us in the UK to really experience what British watch making is all about,” he says.
Bremont points out that the UK has been one of the best performing markets in the world in 2016 for luxury watches, and by far the largest market for its watches, accounting for over 50% of all sales.
UK revenue is up by over 20% in 2016, the company says.
It also believes that, with the majority of its manufacturing taking place in the UK, Bremont is better placed than other Swiss brands in the post-Brexit world.
“Brexit has of course put the prices of many of the Swiss watch brands up in the UK; as a local producer Bremont is benefiting from the weakness in the pound,” the company says.