Rolex, Patek Philippe and Chanel walk out of MCH groups Baselworld

Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor now plan to create a new watch trade show in Geneva Courtesy of Baselworld

Art Basels parent company MCH group could see its Baselworld jewellery and watch fair go under after Rolex, Patek Philippe and Chanel walked out yesterday.

Along with Chopard and Tudor, the luxury watch makers now plan to create a new trade show in Geneva with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, which organises the rival Watches & Wonders fair, postponed until April next year.

MCH says exhibitors plans to move to Geneva were never mentioned in discussions about postponing its own show from April to January 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following the defections, the group says it will now spend the next few weeks “making a decision on the continuation of Baselworld and on investments in its further development”.

In a joint statement with other watchmakers, Rolex says it was unhappy with changes at Baselworld and recent decisions taken by MCH Group. Speaking to Reuters, the Geneva-based firm Patek Philippe describes a breakdown in relations with the Baselworld organisers, saying the company “is not in line with Baselworlds vision anymore” and that “trust is no longer present”.

However, MCH says that companies including Rolex spoke out in favour of a postponement to January 2021. “The objective was to find the earliest and best possible date for the industry following the Covid-19 related measures,” the firm says in a statement.

Exhibitors were apparently offered two refund options: either they carry over 85% of their fees to next year while MCH keeps 15% to offset costs already incurred, or they take a refund of 30%, with 40% rolling over to 2021 and the remaining 30% going to MCH. However, according to Rapaport News website, the terms angered some exhibitors who say they were not consulted over the new dates, which clash with a number of other shows including the Miami Beach Antique Show, Italys VicenzaOro fair and the Tucson Gem Show.

MCH concedes it didn't contact all 600 exhibitors, but consulted with an advisorRead More – Source