It’s not often that there’s true breaking news in the watch world. This is an industry, after all, that has existed for hundreds of years and has been notably slow to change. And, of course, watches, in the grand scheme of things, just aren’t as important as the events that are highlighted above the fold in every newspaper over these past few months in particular. Still, this morning we saw something happen in the industry that is genuinely newsworthy, and represents what could potentially be a major shift in how watch brands do business.
As reported by Hodinkee, Revolution, and SJX, it was announced that Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tudor, Chopard, and Chanel had collectively made the decision to withdraw from the re-scheduled Baselworld fair, currently on the calendar for January 2021. Not only are these major Swiss brands leaving Basel behind, but they’ve announced their own show, in partnership with FHH (the group behind Watches & Wonders, formerly SIHH), for the Spring of 2021.