It would be beneath WatchPro to titter at the tagline attached to MCH Group’s Baselworld replacement show, HourUniverse, but it think it might have helped if we’d been in the focus group when “It’s We Time” was agreed.
In fairness, the slogan is designed to portray the event’s focus on “bringing the entire watchmaking, jewellery and gemstone community together by offering a new form of interaction”.
HourUniverse will take place from 8 to 12 April, 2021, in the cavernous Hall 1 of the Messe Basel event space.
Richemont’s Watches & Wonders Geneva event, and the new show with Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Tudor and Chanel, look certain to take place from April 7 to 13 next year, WatchPro has been told by sources close to both events, so visitors will be encouraged to tack on a trip to Basel with their visit to Switzerland.
Beyond naming its dates, details remain scarce about the new show, although promotional rhetoric is abundant.
“By defining one’s professional profile, presenting one’s activity, unveiling one’s innovations, creating new opportunities, widening one’s field of action and identifying the best partners, a whole ecosystem will be able to come together on the platform,” the show’s organiser MCH Group promises.
There is a strong focus on presenting HourUniverse as a global platform, whose activity will peak at the April show, but bring brands and consumers together all year round and through physical and digital activities.
With just seven months to go until the April show, and with most jewellery and watch brands finalising their plans for 2021 in the coming weeks, MCH Group will be disappointed it cannot name any major brands that have committed to participate.
Nobody is expecting to see brands from LVMH, Richemont, Swatch Group or Kering at the event, and Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Tudor and Chanel are also already accounted for.
However, the field is wide open for an event where challenger brands can present their 2021 novelties since the opportunity of showing in Geneva appears to be closed. Many are expected to choose Inhorgenta in Munich, which takes place in February, and turned out to be the biggest trade fair for watches in the world this year by sneaking in before the world locked down.
Assuming Swatch Group and LVMH go their own way, only four out of the top 25 Swiss watch brands might be considered prospects for HourUniverse, and that includes the vanishingly unlikely appearance of Richard Mille or Audemars Piguet.