Rolex and Patek Phillipe abandon Baselworld to create their own watch show
Five of the biggest names in watchmaking, including Rolex, Patek Philippe and Chopard have officially withdrawn from Baselworld watch fair. They intend to create their own, instead.
Joined by Chanel and Tudor, the five brands intend to leave Baselworld behind and create a new annual event in Geneval, starting April 2021.
It will be dubbed, the Foundation High Horology (FHH).
"This departure follows a number of unilateral decisions made without consultation by Baselworld management," the FHH said in a statement.
The FHH was highly critical of Baselworld organisers for unilaterally cancelling the 2020 edition of the show, over concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. It also accused Baselworld of the “inability to meet the brands’ needs and expectations”.
The new show will take place in early April 2021, at the Palexpo centre in Geneva.
"We have taken part in Baselworld since 1939," Rolex chief Jean-Frederic Dufour,
"Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved... and in spite of the great attachment we had to this watch show, we have decided to withdraw," he said.
According to Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern, "the decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate to this traditional yearly event."
"Today Patek Philippe is not in line with Baselworld's vision anymore, there have been too many discussions and unsolved problems, trust is no longer present."
Baselworld was long thought to be the biggest watch show in the world, but has attracted criticism over recent years due to its high costs. Last year Swatch Group, which includes brands like Omega, Longines and Tissot, also turned their back on Baselworld aiming to create their own fair in Zurich.
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