Swiss watch and luxury jewellery show, Baselworld was perhaps the industry’s biggest casualty last year, but it appears a return is imminent. Event organiser MCH Group has announced that a new exhibition entitled HourUniverse is set to the take the place of the beleaguered fair, resurrecting interest from watch lovers across the globe.
Held from 8 to 12 April 2021 in Basel, Switzerland, the almost return of Baselworld does indicate a step towards normality. The 2020 edition of the iconic expo was initially rescheduled for January this year, following the devastating impacts of COVID-19.
That plan fizzled out quickly, however, after industry mainstays Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor made the landmark decision to step away from the fair, prompting organisers to can the event entirely. Admittedly, Baselworld’s issues predated the pandemic, with direct sales and e-commerce seeing the trade show struggle to retain the interest it once had.
Now, almost a year later, a reinvigoration is on the cards. “This show is a new start, the first step in a continuous transformation. We can no longer define a strategy that takes place over five to ten years,” said Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of HourUniverse, in an interview with Europstar.
“Cutting and pasting from one year to the next is no longer possible. Transformation becomes a perpetual mission in itself. We have just come out of four months of intense exchanges to clearly identify the needs of the industries we cover. But if we ask the same questions next year, we won’t necessarily get the same answers.”
According to the official website, HourUniverse will be a mostly physical event, including an expanded indoor and outdoor venue space, with aims to attract as many attendees as possible. Event-goers can expect pop-up stores, pavilions, initiation workshops, collectors’ corners and sales areas, alongside a forum with a programme of conferences and debates streamed live to reflect on the major challenges and demands of the industry. Naturally, there will also be a strongly digital presence at the event, in line with the current pandemic protocols.
“This brand-new show is a B2B2C meeting point that places the customers of the brands and exhibitors at the heart of its focus,” the HourUniverse website reads. “The entire platform is conceived and designed around them.”
HourUniverse will be held from 8 to 12 April 2021 in Basel, Switzerland, concentrated in Hall 1.