The company controlled by the French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton cited “increasing travel restrictions” as a reason for its exit. The jewelry house said it will instead host presentations targeted to its most relevant markets.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but we believe that the best option for Bulgari is to decamp directly to the markets throughout March. This does not mean Bulgari is exiting Baselworld for good,” Jean-Christophe Babin, Bulgari’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. The executive did not specifically attribute the decision to the coronavirus outbreak.
“A decision for the 2021 edition and beyond would be taken from now until the end of June,” he continued. “As we said in the past the main criteria leading us to take part to the watch fairs are the dates, as well as the participation fees and those two criteria, in the current context, are not compatible with the commercial needs and return of investment.”
In January, Bulgari’s parent group hosted its first LVMH Watch Week in Dubai via a range of intimate presentations in seaside luxury villas, sunset cocktail parties on the beach, fireworks and spa treatments to present the latest collections of its labels Tag Heuer, Hublot and Zenith, as well as Bulgari.
Marquee trade shows Baselworld and the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, known as SIHH, shifted their calendars to take place back-to-back, starting in 2020 with SIHH, traditionally held in January in Geneva, moving to April 26 to 29. Baselworld, meanwhile, will take place in Basel from April 30 to May 5. Show organizers want to make it easier for visitors from outside Europe to attend both events.
Explaining its need to present products to the media and retailers earlier in the year, LVMH at the same time pledged loyalty to the Basel, Switzerland-based fair.