This year at Baselworld we had noted that there was a huge drop in the number of exhibitors (around 850) but all was good as most of the high-revenue brands were still present. Today, we just got word (via Hodinkee and SJX) that the Swatch Group will be pulling out of Baselworld 2019.
This is a huge deal as The Swatch Group is the show’s largest exhibitor with 18 brands including Swatch, Omega, Breguet, and Longines, as well as several suppliers.
According to the weekend edition of Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Nick Hayek, the Chief Executive of Swatch Group told the paper that Baselworld was no longer relevant since the watch industry has become “more transparent, faster-paced and more spontaneous”.
This announcement also comes following the departure of Hermes and Girard-Perregaux to join SIHH starting this year. With the biggest exhibitors pulling out, will others follow? I guess we’ll have to wait for the official statement from the organisers of Baselworld.