It appears that the next chapter in the Baselworld saga has been written. This morning came news from MCH, Baselworld’s parent company, that a new show, dubbed HourUniverse, will debut in April with an all new structure. It will take place in April in Basel, timed to align with the newly announced Watches & Wonders event in Geneva.
According to the MCH press statement, HourUniverse is a completely new concept, and promises to be more focused on the consumer than Baselworld. Per the MCH statement:
The new concept is a B2B2C meeting point that places the customer at the heart of its focus, reversing the order of the past. The entire platform is thought out and designed around the customer. This applies to all players of the distribution chain, traditional and online retailers, including those of the CPO (certified Pre-Owned).
This represents a somewhat radical, but predictable, change from the old Baselworld model. Baselworld, for most of its history, was a trade show geared toward watch retailers. It was only relatively recently that it became a marquee press event covered widely in the media, with interest from the public following suit. A new format with a focus on the consumer would seem to indicate an acceptance of the massive changes that have taken place in watch retail over the last several years, as social media and online sales have become increasingly important to the big Swiss houses.
MCH also explains in their announcement that HourUniverse will apparently exist outside of the actual show in April, and have a virtual home on the internet and be “digitally active” throughout the year. More information is expected from MCH in August.