Swatch Group’s CEO Nick Hayek made the announcement over the weekend that the organisation would not be exhibiting at Baselworld next year, prompting MCH Group, which owns the fair to say that it would be working hard to persuade Swatch to return. But an official statement sent to WatchPro this morning says that the group has left the event indefinitely. The statement reads:
“Today everything has become more transparent, fast-moving, and instantaneous. Accordingly, a different rhythm and a different approach is needed. With its 18 watch brands, Swatch Group has operated for a long time very successfully along these criteria in production, distribution as well as in marketing.
“In this new context, annual watch fairs, as they exist today, no longer make much sense. This does not mean that they should disappear. But it is necessary that they reinvent themselves, responding appropriately to the current situation and demonstrating more dynamism and creativity. At the moment, the trade fairs are failing to do so.
“The MCH Group, which organises Baselworld, is clearly more concerned with optimising and amortising its new building – which, incidentally, is largely financed by the watch industry during the fairs – than it is in having the courage to make real progress and to bring about true and profound changes.
“For all these reasons, Swatch Group has decided that from 2019 onwards, it will no longer be present at Baselworld.”