Baselworld strikes back

Goodbye HourUniverse, welcome back Baselworld. MCH Group is at it again and is launching the dates for the 2022 edition of Switzerland's oldest watchmaking fair, which has been going through a profound crisis since 2019: 31 March - 4 April 2022, in perfect concurrence with Watches and Wonders, in Geneva from 30 March to 5 April.

How does the MCH Group plan to resurrect the already defunct Basel Fair? By targeting the middle segment of the luxury market. No more sequins and glitter, no more household names - given that all the big groups had already pulled out of the event - but a compassed B2B fair, to offer mid-range brands an exclusive showcase, where they are not overshadowed by the presence of cumbersome names. It is a pity, however - I will allow myself this reflection - that those very names are the ones that attract visitors. This does not detract from the fact that the size of the mid-range market is decidedly larger than that of the ultra-luxury segment. And that the B2B formula is certainly more useful to these companies than to the big brands, which by now have a very select distribution.

"After the Corona pandemic had brought Baselworld to a standstill for the past two years, we took a lot of time to talk to our partners and exhibitors," says Baselworld CEO Michel Loris-Melikoff. Naturally, there was talk of a review of costs and also of capping the prices of hotels and restaurants, which used to triple their rates and menus on the days of the fair.

Finally, prior to next spring's edition, the Basel fair will be physically present at the Geneva Watch Days, to be held in Geneva from 30 August to 3 September, where a dozen independent brands will present their new products under the Baselworld banner. Basel has been animating the watch industry since 1917. Sincerely, also for sentimental reasons, we all hope that it will shine again, one way or another.