Well, this one caught us by surprise.

Starting from 2020, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) and Baselworld, the two biggest watch events in the world, will be synchronising their calendars.

SIHH will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from April 26 to 29, while Baselworld will take place in the city from April 30 to May 5. The calendars will remain the same until 2024.

“Our two events have always been different, yet complementary,” Fabienne Lupo, president and managing director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, which organises SIHH, says.

“Resynching with Baselworld will further confirm Switzerland as the foremost destination for watchmaking in the world.”

Our two events have always been different, yet complementary. Resynching [SIHH] with Baselworld will further confirm Switzerland as the foremost destination for watchmaking in the world
Fabienne Lupo, president, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie

Michel Loris-Melikoff, who became the managing director of Baselworld this year, says: “We have sought dialogue with the SIHH and together have found a solution, which benefits visitors, the media, and the entire watchmaking industry enormously.

This partnership between the two most prominent exhibitions in the industry represents a major breakthrough for the future
 Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director, Baselworld

“This partnership between the two most prominent exhibitions in the industry represents a major breakthrough for the future.”

How much of an affect this joint effort will have on either fair remains to be seen.

At the very least, it will mean internationally based exhibitors, retailers and even journalists will need to plan one trip to cover the two fairs.

Swatch Group just pulled out of Baselworld – what will happen next?

Baselworld has been in existence for more than 100 years, but over the past few years it has started to lose its footing as the most important watch and jewellery fair.

The exhibitors’ presence at the fair had been dwindling, with only 650 brands taking part at this March’s fair.

Some watchmakers, such as Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux and Hermès, swapped Baselworld for SIHH.

Other brands have also pulled out, such as Corum and Maurice Lacroix, which announced they were leaving in October.

Yet the biggest departure happened in July, when Swatch Group pulled out, which meant bidding farewell to brands such as Omega, Longines, Harry Winston, Breguet, Jaquet Droz and Glashütte Original.

Independent watchmakers flock to Carré des Horlogers at SIHH 2018

However, other brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe, arguably the two most important brands in the watchmaking industry, will still be welcoming attendees at Baselworld.

SIHH, an invitation-only event organised by the Richemont group, has taken place in Geneva every year since it was first founded in 1991.

It now welcomes 35 brands, 17 of which fall under the “Carré des Horlogers”.