Fighting Fair: Baselworld, SIHH to Occur Back-to-Back in 2020

Rival watch shows Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) and Baselworld have decided to sync up their calendar dates, starting in 2020—which means both fairs will move their current times.

In 2020, SIHH will take place April 26–29 in Geneva, after which Baselworld will occur April 30–May 5 in Basel, Switzerland. The shows’ dates will remain synchronized until at least 2024.

In recent years, SIHH has taken place in January, and Baselworld was held in March—requiring attendees, including press and retailers, to travel to Switzerland twice in as many months.

When Swatch announced it was leaving Baselworld in July, many assumed that its smaller, more upscale competitor SIHH would be the beneficiary. But since then SIHH has been hit with defections, too, and the current agreement is seen as a step toward keeping shows relevant to the watch business.

Found in 1991, SIHH for years took place immediately after or overlapped with Baselworld. However, in 2009, the fair moved to January.

But in the current environment, the split seemed to be a luxury neither could afford. In October, Thierry Stern, chairman of the powerful Patek Philippe brand, told Reuters he hoped to see the two fairs’ dates align.

For 2019, the dates will remain as they have been for about a decade—Baselworld will take place March 21–26, and SIHH will run January 14–17.

“Our two events have always been different, yet complementary,” said Fabienne Lupo, president and managing director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, which organizes SIHH, in a statement. “Re-syncing with Baselworld will further confirm Switzerland as the foremost destination for watchmaking in the world.”

Added Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld, in the same statement: “We have sought dialogue with the SIHH and together have found a solution, which benefits visitors, the media, and the entire watchmaking industry enormously.”

(Image courtesy of Baselworld)

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JCK News Director