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Seiko And Grand Seiko Step Away From Baselworld 2020

Seiko And Grand Seiko Step Away From Baselworld 2020 Watch Industry News

While Baselworld has historically been the center of the horological calendar, a shifting focus by manufacturers towards spreading out major new releases throughout the year and departures by high-profile brands, including the Swatch Group, in the past several years have left the industry institution on shaky ground. On the morning of November 7, 2019, Baselworld was dealt another heavy blow for 2020 by Japanese giant Seiko, which announced that neither Seiko nor its luxury Grand Seiko division will display at the 2020 event.

Seiko has cited the date of the 2020 event, scheduled for April 30 – May 5 in Basel, Switzerland as the reason for its departure. The brand claims the event is too late in the year, opting instead to unveil its 2020 novelties directly to its retail partners and industry press earlier in the year. Seiko currently has no scheduled unveiling events for 2020 in Europe or North America, but there is currently a Grand Seiko Summit event scheduled from March 15 – 20 at Seiko world headquarters in Tokyo.

While the announcement signals a major change for Baselworld in 2020, Seiko has not confirmed that its withdrawal from the event will be permanent. Seiko brand representatives have stated that the marque may return to Baselworld in the future if the event dates align better with its annual unveiling plans.

With that in mind, Baselworld Managing Director Michael Loris-Melikoff has announced that dates have been set for the event through 2024. Event dates for 2021 are roughly three weeks earlier in the year than the 2020 event, so there is a potential for Seiko and Grand Seiko to return to Basel in future years.

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  • PR

    Ah well, GS launches all year only gave away that this was going to happen. I guess Instagram is the new Baselworld.

  • Mikita

    Well, Baselworld should have considered the so-called big holidays in Japan – a period when all Japanese get back to their families (from 29th April to 6th May, if I’m not mistaking). And they did schedule the fair exactly (!!) during these holidays. Bad choice and ignorant act IMO. Anyway, Seiko is a big player, so expect much less hype than before.

    • Polerouter

      It is also during ramadan which is a big problem for certain important markets. But to be honest, finding a common date with SIHH with a so short delay may have been very difficult. While Messe Basel is not that much in use, Palexpo in Geneva has a very tight schedule.

    • pubnum

      How is it ignorant? If Seiko were the only company, then yes. Come on dude.

      • SuperStrapper

        You’re underestimating the impact Seiko has on this show.

  • SuperStrapper

    Good for them. I don’t want to see the show die but it need a major overhaul. The consolidation of shows will help, but that will take time (pun… intended. Why not.) to settle in and normalise.

  • Who really cares about doomed imploding Baselworld shows with their self centred greedy arrogant 0rganizers, cut throat extortionate hotel room rates, overrated, overpriced so so F & B services??
    To add insult to injury, the 2019 GPHG Oscar for the Best Diver’s Watch goes to…

  • Pedro Lambareiro

    Brands want more and more to control the story on their new models. They prefer to have a few and sedate journalists around and then have amazing early reviews than to have everybody coming and having an opinion. Concerning Seiko and as a proud owner of many Spring Dive timepieces I’ll keep saying the obvious: ditch that stupid power reserve indicator.

  • NaJo

    We don’t need baselworld! We have abtw.. n others. And now a days brands release all year long keeping customer interest throughout instead of Q1 reveal leaving rest of the year blank. Swatch, lvmh, seiko, breitling left, we can simply call it Rolex world 2020 and we already know it’s release – change colours, dials, upgrade movements on older models and bracelets!

  • Danijel Tojagic

    Thez charge to much for exibiting. That is reason. Gread

  • Garrett Hu

    Smart move. Spend that on local AD events with Seiko and Grand Seiko. Most of the events I go to some people always leave with a new watch. At least I have been and it’s what pushed me to take the plunge on a Grand Seiko. Let’s face it GS is a tough sell in the US to get new customers but it’s becoming popular as folks see the work that goes into it. They need to take that message to the consumers directly via AD events, you wine and dine them, you give out valuable give aways just like you would at Basel but the difference here is that person is much more likely to buy on site especially if the master watchmaker is also there signing boxes! Lol I love those and it really helps with the overall experience. At the end of the day buying decisions are emotional ones.

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