Seiko and Grand Seiko have not said they will leave Baselworld for ever, but the timing of next year’s exhibition from April 30 to May 5 is too late in the year for them and they have withdrawn.
Instead, an insider told WatchPro today that new collections would be presented to retail partners and the press earlier in the year.
No date or location was given for shows in Europe or America, but a Grand Seiko Summit is scheduled to take place from March 15 to 20 at its headquarters in Tokyo.
The Seiko executive speaking to WatchPro today also said the decision on whether to exhibit at Baselworld will be reviewed if the dates fit better with their plans in future years.
Losing Seiko and Grand Seiko six months ahead of the 2020 show is a massive blow to the organiser because it was a huge anchor stand in Hall 1.1 along with other Japanese giants Citizen Watch Company and Casio.
It comes a year after Swatch Group quit the show, causing an exodus of other significant brands including Raymond Weil, Michel Herbelin and Maurice Lacroix. Breitling has also said it would not return in 2010, but the giants of Hall 1.0: Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, Zenith, Tudor and Bulgari have confirmed they will exhibit.