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Breitling to Exit Baselworld Fair

Timing of 2020 show doesn’t suit watchmaker’s schedule.
Apr 16, 2019 5:14 AM   By Rapaport News
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 Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling will not return to Baselworld in 2020, and will instead focus on marketing through its own platform.

Although the watch and jewelry exhibition proved successful for the company this year, the fair’s new schedule, which will begin next year, clashed with Breitling’s.

“The decisive factor is the timing of Baselworld at the end of April, which cannot be reconciled with our scheduling,” Breitling CEO Georges Kern said Sunday.

The watchmaker intends to focus on its own event, the Breitling Summit. The platform enables the company to be more flexible, and to interact on a personal level with its customers, media representatives, sales partners, and collectors, Kern noted.

“We very much regret that Bretiling will not be exhibiting at Baselworld 2020,” said Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld. “That’s why we jointly strove to integrate the summit into Baselworld. In the end, no agreement was reached because the end-of-April date set for Baselworld 2020…was too late for Breitling.”

Last year, Baselworld owner MCH Group announced it would hold its fair at the end of April rather than in March in 2020, to synchronize dates with the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) show in Geneva. The alignment was an effort to make it cheaper and easier to attend both shows.

Breitling left open a possible return to the watch show the following year. The company also noted the changes at this year’s fair were positive.

“We will decide whether we will return to Baselworld from 2021 onward at a later date, and this will depend on the timing of the event and the possibility of holding the Breitling Summit,” Kern said. “We would like to emphasize that the extensive innovations developed and implemented by Baselworld’s management under Michel Loris-Melikoff in such a short time frame have had a positive impact and can lay the foundations to take Baselworld in a new direction in the future.”

The positive innovations were also noted by Rolex sister brand Tudor, which will expand its presence at Baselworld and showcase at its own stand, fair organizers said.

“This is a strong demonstration of confidence in the successful future of Baselworld,” said Loris-Melikoff. “Our strategy has met with very strong approval from exhibitors, the media and visitors. We will drive change forward with great energy and passion.”

Image: A Breitling Navitimer watch. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Baselworld, Breitling, Georges Kern, Michel Loris-Melikoff, Rapaport News, Rolex, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, SIHH, Tudor
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