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LVMH Decides to Stage Its Own Watch Show in Dubai

Paul Altieri

LVMH, the French-based luxury goods powerhouse whose watch portfolio includes luxury watch brands such as  Hublot, Zenith, TAG Heuer, and Bulgari, has announced plans to stage its very own watch show in Dubai next year. However, this is not a replacement for the increasingly beleaguered Baselworld – yet.

LVMH plans to host their own watch fair in Dubai – but not as a replacement for Baselworld. (Image: Zenith)

LVMH Watches in Dubai

In April, the company announced that it would participate in Baselworld in 2020, while simultaneously stating that “for 2021 and the following years, Baselworld is collaborating with the Group and its brands on new presentation concepts and formats.” Baselworld Managing Director, Michel Loris Melikoff said that “Baselworld will support each LVMH brand in the design of innovative exhibition formats for their presence in 2021 and beyond. The purpose of these new formats is to let each house express its creativity and provide an outstanding brand immersion.”

LVMH’s watch brands will continue to exhibit at Baselworld and are developing new presentation concepts and formats. (Image: TAG Heuer)

Dubai seems to be the first step in the process, and LVMH is leveraging its other luxury holdings to make it a success. The event will take place at the Dubai Bulgari Hotel in January 2020. Though details are scarce, the company says it will introduce its “watchmaking news for 2020.” This would of course not only scoop Baselworld, which is taking place April 30 – May 5, but the rest of the watch world, which isn’t accustomed to revealing its designs that early in the calendar.

The move comes on the heels of Jean-Claude Biver stepping down as President of LVMH’s Watch Division last fall. His replacement is Stephane Bianchi, the former CEO of the cosmetics firm Yves Rocher and not a natural choice to run major watch brands.

It was simply not possible for LVMH to go 13 months without a global presentation of their products. (Image: Hublot)

No Plans to Leave Baselworld

“We remain very supportive and loyal to Baselworld and the Swiss watchmaking industry,” Bianchi said in a statement. “However, it was not possible for us to go 13 months without a global presentation of our products and brands,” a reference to the later scheduling of Baselworld in 2020.

“This additional event further confirms the LVMH commitment to the strategic and profitable watch category. In between Geneva in January and Basel in March, we have had in recent years two major product presentations in the first quarter,” Jean-Christophe Babin, President of the Bulgari Group, added. “This early discovery of our strategies, news and novelties has allowed our media and retail partners to better plan the year ahead and as such we have decided on this setup for 2020 to balance the scheduling of the other events.”

This event in Dubai further confirms the LVMH commitment to the profitable watch category. (Image: Bulgari)
Paul Altieri