Inhorgenta in Munich has quietly built itself into Europe’s second largest watch and jewellery event, and now looks set to step out of the shadow of the now defunct Baselworld fair to become a crucial second stop for retailers visiting Watches & Wonders and the Rolex-led show in Geneva next year.

Dates have not been confirmed for the Richemont-backed Watches and Wonders, nor the unnamed show featuring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Tudor and Chanel, but it is widely assumed they are pencilled in for April 7 to 13 in 2021.

Inhorgenta organiser Messe München has extended the length of the show to five days running from April 15 to 19, and will be encouraging international visitors to Geneva to make the one hour flight to Munich to take in both events.

MCH Group, which owned Baselworld, has launched a new event called HourUniverse that is scheduled for April 8 to 12, so there is now a head-to-head battle to get into the spring calendars of retailers and media from around the world; not to mention intense competition to persuade watch and jewellery exhibitors to participate.

As a host city, Munich has considerable advantages over Basel in normal times. If there are any lingering doubts over covid-security, it is likely that the German city will be more attractive since the country has fared so well throughout the pandemic.

Germany has recorded 144 deaths per million of its population, less than half Switzerland’s 359 and the UK’s 740.

Messe München knows it is reliant on covid cases dropping dramatically after the current wave breaking across Western Europe, but is sufficiently confident to proceed.

“With the new dates and by extending the duration by a day, we are offering our customers not only excellent conditions, but also more security by equalising the flow of visitors,” says Klaus Dittrich, chairman and CEO of Messe München. “We are now looking ahead and working together with the industry to organize a successful Inhorgenta Munich in April 2021.”

The change of dates decision was made in consultation with industry leaders and exhibitors, which have voiced support for the move.

“The one-time decision to postpone Inhorgenta to April makes allowances for the pandemic and helps us to carry out a safe trade fair for everyone involved in spring 2021. As a physical gathering of industry and commerce, Inhorgenta is indispensable to the sector. It is the anchor of a reconfiguring trade fair landscape. This decision was made by the Advisory Board together with Messe München and has the support of the associations,” says a joint statement from Joachim Duenkelmann, managing director of the Federal Association of Jewellers, Jewellery and Watch Retailers (BVJ), Dr. Guido Grohmann, managing director of the Association of Jewellery, Watches, Clocks & Supplying Industry and Joerg Lindemann, director general of the Federal Association of the Precious Stones and Diamond Industry.

Anja Heiden, CEO of the Jewellery Division at Wempe, adds: “The early planning security is beneficial to us all. That’s why I think it’s good and the right thing to do to have the show take place in April.”

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