More than 500 brands will exhibit at this month’s Baselworld, a significant drop from the roughly 650 that presented in 2018, but not the catastrophic collapse that some feared after Swatch Group pulled out.
A list of participating brands, published today at Baselworld.com, shows 468 exhibitors, headed by the big guns of Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, Citizen, Seiko, Casio, Zenith, Chopard, Breitling, Hublot, Chanel, Tudor and Bulgari.
Baselworld has already announced that from 2020, the exhibition will run back to back with its rival SIHH, at which the majority of Richemont brands present.
The hope will be that Swatch Group can be attracted back as retailers and press tire of attending multiple events in the first quarter from warring luxury watch groups.
Retailers this year will be shown Swatch Group’s luxury brands’ watches at an event in Zurich the week before Baselworld.
“Baselworld is expecting more than 500 exhibiting brands. 2019 will be a compact fair, focused on Halls 1, 3 and 4,” the show’s managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff tells WatchPro today.
“It is right that we have less exhibitors than last year, but we are convinced that, with the transformation process which is in full run, more brands will be back to Baselworld in the upcoming years. Of course it will take some time to see the results, but the feedback of many brands makes us feel very optimistic that we will be successful. Especially in the last weeks new brands decided to exhibit at Baselworld. At Baselworld 2019 the vision for Baselworld 2020+ will be revealed which will hopefully give us new tailwind as well,” he adds.
While the promised 500+ exhibiting brands maintain’s Baselworld’s position as the Europe’s largest watch and jewelry show, it is a sharp decline from as recently as 2014, when around 1,500 exhibitors from over 40 countries held their annual showcase. The exhibition was open for eight days, but this has now been reduced to six.
Baselworld will fill the area in Hall 1.0 that used to be occupied by Swatch Group brands including Omega, Tissot and Longines, with a ‘Central Plaza’ that will act as a space for informal meetings along with hosting better services for the media and new restaurants, bars and lounges.
Organizers have also revealed agreements that prevent hotels from hiking prices beyond reasonable levels and with restaurants and bars in an effort to stop them gouging the captive audience that Baselworld attracts.