There’s No More Baselworld, as Fair Drops Name (and Maybe City)

While Baselworld’s owner, MCH Group, has not made any decisions about the fair’s future plans, it has decided to change the name of the 100-year-old fair.

“It is clear that a new format cannot run under the name Baselworld,” said MCH Group spokesperson Christian Jecker. “After the departure of the big watch brands, it will certainly no longer be Baselworld as we have known it. Everything else—including the name—is now being clarified.”

It is also considering moving from its traditional home of Basel, Switzerland.

“There is no decision that a new platform will move,” Jecker said. “We will have more information in summer, when the concept and things [such] as date and location will have been analyzed and decided.”

Once embraced by the watch industry as quaint hospitable town, the business has largely soured on Basel, Switzerland’s third-largest city, with some complaining about expensive hotel and food options.

MCH denied a report that it plans to hold its new show in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

“Although the concept, date and location of a potential new platform still remain to be determined, the location of Lausanne can be ruled out from the current perspective,” the company said a statement. “The project group, which also includes new and young experts, is engaged intensively on clarifying and discussing the needs and options for new platforms with the exhibitors and visitors.”

On May 7, Baselworld canceled its planned January 2021 edition, after a group of major watch companies, including Rolex and Patek Philippe, announced they would no longer participate in the century-old fair but instead organize a rival event in Geneva in April, beginning next year.

The April 2020 edition of Baselworld was canceled earlier this year, due to the spread of COVID-19.

The fair was originally called Schweizer Mustermesse Basel. It eventually changed to the Basel World Watch and Jewelry Show, before settling on Baselworld in 2003.

(Image courtesy of Baselworld)

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JCK News Director