Baselworld is not the only watch fair that is been shaken up. Earlier SIHH already announced that Van Cleef & Arpels will not be back for the next edition, and is welcoming Bovet in its place, but now Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet have announced that they will leave the SIHH as well. Richard Mille has recently invested extensively in its network of brand boutiques, while at the same time decreasing the amount of independent retailers that they collaborate with. In this strategy attending a trade show, which the SIHH still is, is not effective explaining the withdraw of Richard Mille.
Audemars Piguet is leaving for more or less the same reason, as it wants to change their business model, with a greater focus on selling their products through their own brand boutiques and have a more direct contact with the people that buy them. While SIHH has yet to comment on these changes, they are of a different nature as the Swatch group leaving Baselworld. While it may not be in line with the approach of these brands, the fair as a whole is still very popular and offers a different platform which many brands favor. Hence also that this year Hermès was not at Baselworld, but joined the SIHH and that they now also feature a wide array of independent brands.