Today, Richard Mille has announced its withdrawal from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie following the SIHH 2019 edition. First it was Baselworld, now the SIHH. We are sure this is not the beginning of another exodus now compromising the future of the SIHH, because in all honesty, this is the best watch show in the world and one that we absolutely love attending. Not only the SIHH takes place in a much nicer city like Geneva, but it is also a show worth attending for the so many important brands that are there including all brands from the Richemont Group, Audemars Piguet and the majority of the independents.
Richard Mille considerably developed its international distribution network over the last few years, opening a growing number of dedicated mono-brand boutiques. In turn, it has drastically reduced its representation through multi-brand retailers in order to qualitatively satisfy a constant increase in demand. Consequently, the brand’s presence at exhibitions no longer corresponds to its strategy for exclusive and selective distribution.
While we really don’t think that Richard Mille’s departure will put the future of the SIHH in jeopardy like the Swatch Group did with Baselworld, for some of the brands it is very clear that allocating dollars to other types of marketing strategies that get them closer to consumers is where the future seems to be. One thing we are certain about is how much we’ll dearly miss our friends from Richard Mille at the SIHH as well as their signature Ragusa hazelnut pralines.
In their press release it reads: “It is with deep regret therefore that we are announcing our withdrawal from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie —SIHH— following the 2019 edition. The team working alongside Fabienne Lupo at the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie have made it a genuine pleasure for all at Richard Mille for ensuring its presence at the prestigious SIHH fair over the years.”