Baselworld, the watch and jewelry show held in Basel Switzerland, will open to consumers and collectors.

Attendance dropped by 22% at last week’s Baselworld watch fair, which has been held in Basel, Switzerland, every spring since 1917. The number of exhibitors at the 2019 show also dropped – down to 520, compared to 650 last year and 1,300 in 2017 – but exhibitors and fair organizers, including a new management team, say this is a transitional year and expect new dates and other changes in the works for next year to resurrect the show.

Rolex is a key exhibitor at Baselworld.

Baselworld took a hit last year when the Swatch Group announced it would drop out of the 2019 show in favor of staging its own trade event in Zurich, earlier this year. The group’s 16 brands include luxury marques Breguet, Harry Winston, Omega, Blancpain, Jaquet Droz and Glashütte. Several smaller brands have also exited Baselworld in the past two years, including Corum, Dior, Maurice Lacroix and Raymond Weil. And Girard-Perregaux, Ulysse Nardin and Hermès recently decamped for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, a rival show held in Geneva in January.

Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld.

The fair’s new management and remaining exhibitors consider this a year for the dust to settle, and the show retains the support and loyalty of key exhibitors, including Rolex, Patek Philippe and the LVMH Group, including Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot. New managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff replaced Sylvie Ritter immediately following Swatch’s departure last year, and Rene Kamm, longtime CEO of Baselworld’s parent company, MCH Group, has been replaced by Bernd Stadlwieser, a watch executive most recently with Mondaine. The first thing new management did was negotiate an agreement with the SIHH to hold the two shows sequentially next year: SIHH will be April 26-29, followed by Baselworld April 30-May…