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Seiko and Grand Seiko will not attend Baselworld in 2020, after exhibiting at the show for more than 30 years.
Seiko and Grand Seiko will not attend Baselworld in 2020, after exhibiting at the show for more than 30 years.

Another Baselworld casualty: Seiko pulls out

Seiko has announced its two brands, Seiko and Grand Seiko, will not exhibit at Baselworld in 2020.

Multiple media reports confirm that the reason for the departure is the timing of the show, 30 April to 5 May, which is significantly later than its traditional March timeslot.

The dates coincide with Golden Week, a Japanese holiday period.

Seiko had exhibited at Baselworld since 1986. Its stands occupied a large space in Hall 1.1 – the upper floor of the main exhibition hall – alongside fellow Japanese watch brands Casio and Citizen.

According to a WatchPro report, the new Seiko collections will be presented to retail and press at an unspecified earlier date.

Meanwhile, a ‘Grand Seiko Summit’ event will be held at the Seiko headquarters in Tokyo from 15–20 March 2020. No equivalent events have been announced for Europe or the US.

Seiko is the second high-profile exit to be attributed to the new Baselworld dates, with Breitling also withdrawing in May and announcing its own ‘Breitling Summit’.

Michel Loris-Melikoff, CEO Baselworld
Michel Loris-Melikoff, CEO Baselworld
“It is not easy to move the dates… If I shift just one or two days, it has a huge impact on other shows”
Michel Loris-Melikoff, Baselworld

However, like Seiko, Breitling has not confirmed whether its decision to abandon Baselworld is permanent; trade show management has said the 2021 dates will be changed again – three weeks earlier – in order to address exhibitors’ concerns.

Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director Baselworld, has previously said, “It is not easy to move the dates because it is not just six days of the show – the biggest stands, like Rolex’s, take six weeks to build. If I shift just one or two days, it has a huge impact on other shows… [However] we have to find a solution.”

Baselworld has shed more than half its exhibitors in three years – including Swatch Group – falling from 1,300 in 2016 to between 500 and 600 this year.

In a recent interview with Jeweller, Loris-Melikoff reiterated his commitment to creating a show focused on the needs of the exhibitors, explaining, “We need to create a platform from the industry for the industry.

“And that’s been my motivation and that’s why I had 800 meetings between my first day in the job [in 2018] to the closing press conference of this year’s show, to understand what the needs are and what has to be changed to make this platform more successful.”

Reflecting management’s commitment to change, the layout of the exhibition halls has been altered for the 2020 event. The new design – aimed at reducing costs and improving footfall – has succeeded in wooing back Maurice Lacroix, which left the show in 2018.

 

More reading:
Back to basics: Baselworld confronts home truths
Baselworld announces new dates, Maurice Lacroix to return
Breitling exits Baselworld











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Monday, 16 December, 2019 08:42pm
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