Giant Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group will no longer exhibit at the annual Baselworld watch and jewelry trade fair.
“The Swatch Group has decided not to be present at Baselworld from 2019,” the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper quoted Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek as saying. Traditional annual fairs had lost their relevance in a more transparent and fast-paced world, he commented.
Swatch's portfolio includes Breguet, Omega, Longines and plastic Swatch timepieces.
The giant show is held every Spring, but has seen a number of exhibitors decide to end their association, particularly with the opening this year of the rival GemGenève fair in Geneva which attracted almost 150 exhibitors.
Major exhibitors such as Swatch have to spend around $50 million for each edition of Baselworld, to cover travel and hotel expenses for staff and guests, the paper said.
Smaller diamond, gemstone and jewelry firms have left the show as it did not provide them with sufficient foot traffic to justify the cost.