Breaking News: Baselworld 2021 Officially Cancelled

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If you’ve been following the recent watch industry upheaval that has centered around Baselworld over the last few months, today’s news likely won’t come as much of a shock. It was announced today that the 2021 Baselworld show, which had been scheduled to begin January 28 of next year, has been canceled. This comes after a steady stream of brands exiting the fair over the last two years, the Covid-19 related postponement of the 2020 show, and tentpole brands Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, and others dramatically cutting ties with Baselworld to start a new show of their own in Geneva.

Following the walkout of Rolex, Tudor, Patek, Chanel, and Chopard (which we covered in a podcast here), the LVMH brands followed suit, leaving Baselworld in a situation where the fair’s key exhibitors would all be absent from the next show. At this point, it seemed to be not a matter of “if” but “when” the MCH Group, Baselworld’s parent company, would make the decision to cancel the event outright.

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In a statement released by the MCH Group announcing the cancellation of the 2021 show, Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of Baselworld, seems to leave the door open for the show to somehow regroup and return, potentially in a different format, at a later date. “Together with the exhibitors and visitors, we are working intensively on clarifying and discussing the requirements and options for new platforms,” he said. “We will be taking a decision on possible follow-up formats by the summer and will then provide information on the new concept and scheduling.” 

While it remains to be seen if Baselworld can somehow be saved, what we know for certain today is that next year the watch industry will press on without the show that the entire industry revolved around for decades.

Today’s statement from the MCH Group can be read here

Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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