EPHJ, the first physical Watch Exhibition of 2021

Temps de lecture : 2 minutes

Postponed! From September 14 to 17, 2021, the EPHJ exhibition will take place at Palexpo Geneva. More than 800 exhibitors are expecting nearly 20,000 visitors! Hope for the post COVID era is rising again in the most impacted ranks of the watchmaking industry and its terroirs.


By Joël A. Grandjean, JSH® Magazine & Swiss Watch Passport’s Editor in Chief


Founded by André Colard and Olivier Saenger, the EPHJ has grown in two decades from 92 exhibitors to more than 850. A less mediatized trade fair than the watch brand shows, it is nevertheless the annual event that has the greatest impact on the current watchmaking history.


Major influence of suppliers on global watchmaking
Baselworld used to call them the “side branches”, not without a touch of condescension. However, the shadowy players in the watchmaking industry are rather the “heart of the business”. Already, thanks to these co-contractors and suppliers to the watchmaking industry, Geneva was to deprive Basel of its century-old title of “world capital of watchmaking on exhibit.” That was already in 2018, when MCH, the ungrateful heir to the centuries-old “Basel Fair”, lost nearly 600 exhibitors in one fell swoop. By then, thanks to the 800 or so exhibitors at the EPHJ, to which the 200 at the Gem Geneva show had recently been added, Geneva and its cluster of some 50 brands gathered in and around the SIHH had just overtaken the city of Basel and its century-old supremacy.


Entrée de l'EPHJ 2019


Geneva and the “Greater Geneva”
Obviously, the departure of Rolex-Tudor and Patek Philippe from Basel, leading Chopard and Chanel in their trail, definitely made the balance tilt towards Geneva. Towards the “Greater Geneva” should we say, since Lausanne Beaulieu has just joined the ranks with the “Imagination” salon. A more than logical reaction following the disastrous attitude of the City and the Canton of Geneva which were not able to say “welcome”, faced with the desire of more than 500 brands to be in the neighborhood of their giants (Rolex and Patek). All because of a non-compete agreement held by the Richemont group, which, although within its legal rights, will have to morally assume responsibility for the most anti-sector attack in contemporary watchmaking history. This is another story, which JSH® Magazine had already revealed on its channels in May 2020.


Re-read the article revealing the existence of a non-compete clause held by the Richemont Group.


Review the TV news broadcast about the departure of Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chopard and Chanel from Baselworld.


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