EXCLUSIVE: Baselworld shifts show forward three weeks as it admits April/May is too late

Michel Loris-Melikoff, Directeur Général de Baselworld. Bâle, Septembre 2019 © Fred Merz | Lundi13

Baselworld will take place three weeks earlier in 2021 than its already revised slot of April 30 to May 5 that it will occupy in 2020.

Next year’s much later date was chosen so that SIHH (April 27 to 29) and Baselworld could run back-to-back. There is no news yet on whether Swatch Group will also align with one of the two Swiss shows as it did earlier this year.

The 2020 dates were signed off by committees for both Baselworld and SIHH, which include representatives from major Swiss watch brands.

However Breitling, one of those committee members, almost immediately said it was quitting Baselworld, and LVMH reacted to the later SIHH dates by announcing that its usual January showcase, which has been held alongside the Geneva-based SIHH event, would move to Dubai.

Retailers have also told WatchPro that April/May is too late.

Placing orders for watches that can have six month lead times, could mean waiting until November for deliveries of new collections, they say.

Michel Loris-Melikoff, who was appointed as managing director of Baselworld in the summer last year, just weeks after Swatch Group withdrew all of its brands, reveals exclusively to WatchPro that the show would be around three weeks’ earlier in 2021, but would not give specific dates.

“We have negotiated until 2024 and we are soon going to publish the dates for 2021 that are a few weeks earlier. It is not easy to move the dates because it is not just six days of the show. The biggest stands like Rolex’s take six weeks to build. If I shift just one or two days, it has a huge impact on other shows, and in Geneva they have the same issue. It is a wonder we found the date at the end of April and only now we are told that it is too late. We have to find a solution, and that is a big job for us between now and the end of the year. It is very complicated,” he says.



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