Breaking News: LVMH Watch Brands Leave Baselworld In The Wake Of Rolex, Patek Philippe, And Others

In a word: Everything. With the fair pushed to January 2021, Baselworld will now compete directly with LVMH’s own January watch event. By all accounts, this year’s edition in Dubai was a massive success, from both commercial and communications perspectives. Likewise, a press release issued by LVMH this morning cites “clearly weakened representation of the Swiss watch industry and hence inevitably lower participation” as some of its reasons for leaving Baselworld. All of this makes a lot of sense.  With the likes of Rolex, Tudor, and Patek Philippe out, and Swatch Group’s flagship brands such as Omega having already left, LVMH’s watch brands would be outsized giants in the halls of Baselworld, while their absence might feel conspicuous during the new set of Geneva-based fairs. The release goes on to reference the brands’ need to “preserve their image and their relations with their clients as well as with the media,” suggesting that the culture around Baselworld might have turned a bit toxic over recent weeks.

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