Watches & Wonders moves to China, Baselworld reinvents as HourUniverse
The latest update to the timepiece exhibition saga sees Watches & Wonders moving to Shanghai, while Baselworld resurrects itself as a new trade fair with “customers at the heart of its focus”.
The world’s two largest watch shows – Baselworld and Watches & Wonders – have become victims of the coronavirus pandemic, but just when the traditional watch fair appears to be dead in the water, the next chapter has arrived.
The organisers of Baselworld have announced that they are reinventing the trade show as HourUniverse, which will debut in April 2021. In the meantime, Watches & Wonders is moving back to Asian shores and will take place much sooner this year, scheduled for Sep 9 to Sep 13.
MCH Group, the trade show organiser behind the now defunct Baselworld, has launched a new platform called HourUniverse. Where Baselworld was more geared towards watch retailers, distributors and the press, the new trade show will have “customers at the heart of its focus”, MCH said in a press release.
“The entire platform is thought out and designed around the customer. This applies to all players of the distribution chain, traditional and online retailers, including those of the CPO (certified Pre-Owned),” the company said.
The live show will take place in Basel, Switzerland in April 2021. MCH also explained that HourUniverse will exist outside of the live show, with a virtual home on the Internet. It will be “digitally active” throughout the year.
Meanwhile, this year’s Watches & Wonders Geneva showcase, formerly known as SIHH, was cancelled due to the pandemic. In its place, show organisers set up an online platform for the launch of new watches.
Moving forward, Watches & Wonders will take 11 labels (most of which are Richemont-owned) for a live show in Shanghai for the first time. The show will take place from Sep 9 to Sep 13 at the West Bund Art Centre.
The eleven labels participating are A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Purnell, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin.
The new China-based show marks Watches & Wonders’s homecoming to Asia. It started in Hong Kong in 2013, before moving to Miami and Geneva.