If Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld, could have his time again, he would not have listened to industry leaders telling him his number one priority should be to make sure SIHH and Baselworld run back-to-back.
This was the advice that caused both shows to make the disastrous choice to re-locate to a slot in late April and early May.
For sure, it is easier for American retailers to travel to Switzerland once to see new collections, but even that has not been achieved since it appears Swatch Group will launch its 2020 collections in March, LVMH brands will unveil at least one of their headline watches in Dubai in January and other major players such as Fossil Group and Movado Group have scattered.
Breitling, Seiko and Grand Seiko have all withdrawn from next year’s Baselworld, citing the timing as the biggest cause of their defection.
Both will participate at Inhorgenta, which takes place in Munich in mid-February. The show is becoming a magnet for brands needing to put on a show in Europe in the first quarter.
Casio is the latest brand to pull out, and again it is the timing of the show that triggered its departure.
Speaking to WatchPro Germany‘s editor this week, Kai-Christian Helms, senior marketing manager for watches at Casio Europe, said the timing of Baselworld was too late as he confirmed the decision had been made to withdraw in the past few weeks.