Three top luxury watch brands leave Basel Watch Show for SIHH in Geneva

Three of the world’s top luxury watch brands are withdrawing from the Basel, Switzerland, trade show, the world’s largest fair. They are expected to join the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), a smaller, rival luxury watch show in Geneva.

The three companies leaving Basel are IWC (International Watch Co.) and Jaeger-LeCoultre, both Swiss firms, and Länge & Söhne, a German firm.

Basel show officials were informed Sunday night that they would not take part in the Basel 2002 fair.

Basel officials expressed regret that the three watch brands are leaving, but added that the announcement was expected. The three luxury watch manufacturers comprise the Les Manufacturers Horlogeres group (LMH), which was purchased a year ago by Paris-based Richemont Group.

The five-day SIHH show, which opens in 2002 March 27, was started 11 years ago by the Richemont Group’s predecessor in protest against the Basel Show. The SIHH’s 14 luxury watch exhibitors include all of Richemont’s prestigious watch brands, such as Cartier, Dunhill, Piaget, Mont Blanc, and Baume & Mercier.