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Major loss Swatch Group withdraws from Baselworld

View of the Swatch Group booth at the world watch and jewellery show 'Baselworld'

The famed Swiss watch and jewellery manufacturer Swatch Group has participated in Baselworld for years with nearly all of its 18 brands.

(Keystone)

With the departure of its largest exhibitor from 2019, it’s yet another setback for the world’s largest watch and jewellery trade show, which has seen participation dwindle in recent years.

Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday that “today, everything has become more transparent, faster-paced and more spontaneous", and that therefore, “traditional watch exhibitions are no longer useful for Swatch”.

Recently, several other watchmakers have withdrawn from Baselworldexternal link – including Hermès, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux – and have instead joined the international luxury watch show in Geneva (SIHHexternal link).

The 101st edition of the Basel-based fair took place in March with a stable attendance, but with 650 exhibitors – half the number that participated in 2017. Critics have called for a new approach to its organisation.

The German-language newspaper added that Swatch’s departure also jeopardises the future of the fair’s operating company, MCH Group, which belongs to the cantons of Basel-City, Basel-Country and Zurich.

Stalling Baselworld exhibitors set to halve

Baselworld, the biggest watch and jewellery fair in the world, is slowing down. No more than 600-700 exhibitors will be showing off their wares in ...

NZZ am Sonntag/SDA-ATS/cl

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