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Watch market imploded. Swatch pulled out. They subsidized MCH to the tune of $50m per year.

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Does the resignation of a top executive at a trade fair have broader implications for the realm of art fairs? As with in other industries, the increased emphasis that luxury-goods companies are placing on online distribution channels and social media for promoting their wares has made the physical trade fair less of an integral factor in the way business is done.

René Kamm, the longtime CEO of Art Basel parent company MCH Group, resigned last week after reported troubles at Baselworld, the premier trade fair for watches. Kamm’s resignation came immediately on the heels of news that the fair’s largest exhibitor, the Swiss watch company Swatch, had suddenly pulled out of the event’s 2019 edition.

In a statement, the exhibition company described Swatch’s departure as “a decision MCH Group deeply regrets.”

To read more on Artnet:

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