Monday, May 18, 2020

Lausanne is the New Basel


Perhaps the worst guarded secret pinging around Watch Town today is the (I'm going to say less than surreptitious) first step made by MCH (organizers of the fair formerly known as BaselWorld) to potentially embark southwards to Lake Geneva.

Whether or not this is the future, and the stars will align remains to be seen.  A few things that bear consideration -

Shamelessly borrowed from the world-wide infoweb
1.  When Daddy Warbucks (read Rolex, Patek and that "rags to riches" group that being born into the controlling family of does wonders for your professional prospects - LVMH) told BaselWorld to piss up a rope, it didn't leave a lot of room for potential reconciliation.  It also bears mentioning that it seems clear that the breakaway group really is not too interested or bothered in the public, or more specifically, that ever elusive unicorn - a paying customer.  Well, fair enough.

2.  Although I have never visited Geneva, it has been explained to me that both the canton and the city itself are controlled with the type of iron fist that would make Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge blush.  Nobody farts in that burg without the proper permissions stamped and processed by 15 different offices.  Meaning if the SIHH is calling the tune, most of the other brands are not going to be invited to the dance, and suffice it to say, nobody will likely rent any sort of space to any potential interlopers for fear of what could (and likely would) happen. 

3.  There were already A LOT of brands who had abandoned the fair prior to COVID-19.  And sometimes break-ups happen for a reason.  And now it is going to be challenging to drip enough honey to bring back the jilted former lovers.

Now for me personally?  While I might be able to get in to see Rolex, Patek and Tudor, I am effectively persona non grata to the gate keepers at Richemont.  And truthfully?  I'm okay with that.  

I also think that Lausanne is maybe not the worst place to host a fair for those that were left behind following the "rapture" of Rolex, Patek and the other "popular kids".  So the question is, will this be a "make weight" effort, or will this maybe, just maybe, be a Festivus for the Rest of Us?
Shamelessly Borrowed from the world-wide infoweb
We shall wait, and we shall see.

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