Fabienne Lupo, a 15 year veteran at the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and been the face of the re-branded Watches & Wonders Geneva, has been replaced with Richemont’s head of specialist watchmakers Emmanuel Perrin.
Mr Perrin is also a senior executive director at Richemont, suggesting the group is taking a more active role in developing the exhibition and its related digital activities.
Watches & Wonders Geneva takes place in early April next year at the same Palexpo venue as a new show anchored by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Bulgari and Tudor.
The industry has been hoping that there will be space and time in Geneva for other brands to present their novelties alongside the two major shows, but talks to pave the way for such an expansion appear to have stalled, leaving Baselworld’s organizer MCH Group persuaded it can launch another watch and jewellery event in Basel at the same time as the Geneva shows.
A statement from FHH today is full of praise for the progress Ms Lupo has made in her role as president of the organization.
“The FHH sincerely thanks Fabienne Lupo for her 15 years of engagement, commending the remarkable work she has done to secure the endurance and development of the Foundation. Fabienne has made Watches & Wonders the key meeting point for exceptional savoir-faire, creation, and innovation of the finest watchmakers. Throughout her tenure as President, Fabienne has made remarkable achievements. The Carré des Horlogers has brought together the best of independent watchmakers and workshops. Innovation has been given an even greater role with the SIHH Lab. SIHH Live has positioned the fair as the Think Tank of the profession. The digital transformation of the fair has accelerated with the launch of the watchesandwonders.com digital platform in a context marked by physical fair cancellations due to Covid-19. She has also planned the opening of the fair to the public with the creation of the Watches & Wonders ‘Geneva in the City’ program, a true festival of watchmaking in the heart of the city for all audiences, which should have taken place in April 2020,” says Mr Perrin.
Ms Lupo has given no details on the reason for her departure, but says, “It is time for me to develop new projects”.
“I leave the Foundation knowing it is more sounder than ever before, thanks to the unwavering support of its founders and partner brands. Watches & Wonders has become a truly global ecosystem, both physically and digitally, offering events around the world. Moreover and most importantly, Watches & Wonders is the reference in Fine Watchmaking fairs (previously SIHH) for the entire international watchmaking community, allowing Geneva to affirm its position as a cornerstone for Swiss watchmaking,” she adds.
The statement says that Mr Perrin, who is already a member of the management board of FHH, will take over as interim President and CEO, and assign all the duties of Ms Lupo.