Watches & Wonders is the new name that replaces SIHH, as of late 2019. The moniker was initially used for regional shows run by the Richemont Group in locations such as Hong Kong and Miami. Whether those regional shows will continue has not been announced, but the main (international) show, held in Geneva, will happen in April 2020.
A lot of changes have happened at the #1 watch show (Baselworld) and the #2 (Watches & Wonders), in the past few years. Although, Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH), has been able to adapt quicker, likely because of a smaller infrastructure, and a management team run by the Richemont Group, which sells watches. Baselworld, on the other hand, is run by a group that specializes in trade shows, not selling watches. Both shows are going through widespread changes due to the disruption of the way products are marketed nowadays. However, while Watches & Wonders has more quickly added experiences and focused on social media, Baselworld has been slower to change.
Still, last year, Watches & Wonders lost two important, longtime exhibitors: Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille. Now, Greubel Forsey joins them, which is not surprising when you consider the ultra-high price points that Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, and Greubel Forsey charge. All three make very expensive watches and don’t need to achieve the volume of the more mainstream brands.
Here’s the official statement we received from Greubel Forsey on Monday:
“The 2019 edition saw the last participation of Greubel Forsey at the SIHH, recently renamed “Watches and Wonders”. The model of such a large-scale salon is no longer in keeping with the evolution of our global markets, which is why we have taken the decision to leave this event as of 2020.
Greubel Forsey is continuing with a more bespoke means of communication, as successfully initiated this autumn with the ‘Greubel Forsey World Tour.’
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey would like to sincerely thank the FHH for their ever-enthusiastic welcome over the years.”
In 2020, Watches & Wonders will take place from (April 26 to April 29), followed by Baselworld from (April 30 to May 5). The internet, e-commerce, and social media have greatly impacted the large format watch shows, which have had to adapt or risk becoming irrelevant.