Stop the presses! Bvlgari has something to say…

Although I’ve always wanted to say that, I really wish it wasn’t under these circumstances. Minutes ago, the news that Bvlgari will not be attending Baselworld 2020 broke. As one of the most exciting and forward-thinking brands of the past decade, Bvlgari’s absence is a real blow to a fair already reeling from a mass exodus.


A decision for now

Bvlgari has made one thing very clear: This is not yet a decision to end the brand’s relationship with Baselworld going forward. It is simply a decision for now. Given the roaring success of LVMH’s watch week and the positive reception to Bvlgari’s latest releases (such as the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater In Sandblasted Rose Gold that we covered here), the brand feels its best option for the remainder of 2020 is to visit its prominent markets directly.

Learning from history

This is sad news for Bvlgari fans. We at Fratello enjoy meeting and working with the brand so this puts a downer on the upcoming fair season. However, it is important to respect this decision in light of past and present events. We have seen before the impact that an expanding pandemic can have on watch fairs (lest we forget the SARS outbreak several years ago), and it is wise to minimize risk wherever possible. Whether this decision will have a knock-on effect remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: The halls of Baselworld will be a lot quieter this year, for more than one reason.


2021 and beyond

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of the Bvlgari Group, had this to say: “[This] does not mean that Bvlgari is definitely leaving Baselworld and [a] decision for 2021 and beyond will be made by the end of June. As said in the past, the main criteria to continue participating [in] watch fairs will be the timing as well as the costs which today are not consistent with commercial requirements and returns of investments.”

While that doesn’t paint the sunniest picture, it is not all doom and gloom. Changing market conditions are providing brands with the stimulus to change. For those of us who desire (and occasionally demand) a more dynamic industry, this can only be a good thing. Learn more about Bvlgari here.