It’s official: Baselworld 2021 is cancelled. However, following an amicable agreement between organisers and exhibitors, does Baselworld have the potential to come back in future?
Until the last couple of years, Baselworld has been the cornerstone of the watch release calendar for most brands irrespective of their origins. However, following the departure of major exhibitors and, most importantly, the Swatch Group in 2018 commentators have questioned the importance of such a show.
Of course, the last few weeks have seen the departure of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Chanel and the LVMH Group. Provoked by enduring friction with the MCH Group — the organiser of Baselworld — the cancellation of Baselworld 2020 and reluctance to issue refunds, these events spelled, for many, the end of Baselworld. However, the show was not officially cancelled in 2021 despite the absence of all major exhibitors. This change is now official and Baselworld 2021 is cancelled.
However, the press release issued by Baselworld has also noted a curious agreement between the show and the major brand exhibiting. Notably, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chopard, Chanel, Hublot, Zenith & TAG Heuer have agreed to reduced refunds “so that other exhibitors can benefit from better conditions”. Whilst nebulous as to what these “better conditions” are, we can assume that they will receive more generous refunds.
In the light of what seems to be a rather amicable conclusion, we can only guess what the future holds for Baselworld. Will it return in 2022 with the renewed faith and attendance of the big names of the watch industry or will it disappear for good? This is anyone’s guess but tell use what you think in the comment section below.