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Baselworld resurrected, HourUniverse defunct; new dates confirmed

Organiser MCH Group has confirmed its Swiss watch, jewellery and gemstone show has reverted to the Baselworld name, following its rebranding and relaunch as HourUniverse last year.

Once one of the world’s premier luxury trade fairs, Baselworld had a well-publicised decline in recent years, with both exhibitors and visitor numbers falling precipitously amid management mishaps and rising costs.

With the 2020 event cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers made the decision to close and relaunch the show as HourUniverse, adding a year-round digital platform to the annual physical event.

However, the inaugural HourUniverse show was postponed in early 2021 as the virus continued to impact global travel, with exhibitors informed that a physical show would take place at an unspecified time in the Northern Hemisphere summer.

On 23 June 2021, Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director HourUniverse, announced via LinkedIn, “Baselworld is back,” confirming new dates:

·Baselworld Pop-Up in Geneva: 30 August–4 September 2021, coinciding with Geneva Watch Days

·Baselworld physical show: 31 March–4 April 2022, coinciding with Watches & Wonders Geneva (30 March–5 April 2022)

In a statement published on the revamped Baselworld website – to which the now-defunct address redirects – Loris-Melikoff explained the return to the Baselworld name.

“After the Corona Pandemic had stalled Baselworld over the last two years, we took a lot of time to talk to our partners and exhibitors. One thing became very clear: the Baselworld brand must remain, but it must fundamentally change,” he said.

Speaking to Jeweller, Loris-Melikoff added, "COVID-19 changed everything and led us to rethink our plans. Our initial thinking was to rebrand the show and create something totally new.

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