A unique window to the universe of watches and jewellery Basel world 2017 kicks starts at Basel, Switzerland.
The 100th Edition of the one unmissable trendsetting show Baselworld 2017, that unites key players from all sectors of the global watch and jewellery industry and sets the tone for the coming year is all set.
One of the marked events on the horological calendar, Baselworld started from a trade show, attracting 1,500 exhibitors and some 150,000 visitors every year. The 2017 event, which opened on 23th March, features around 220 Swiss brands that are showcasing their novelties. Including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega and TAG Heuer.
“The very essence of a show is to reflect the market, to meet the expectations of its various players and therefore to be continually changing. Baselworld has never been static and will never stand still!” said Sylvie Ritter, Managing Director Baselworld stressing upon the Baselworld’s concept.
She went on to demonstrate exactly how this change process and market adjustment is being implemented by unveiling the new concepts. “New adaptations have allowed us to offer the independent watchmakers, previously in the Palace, a space of first choice in Hall 1. The creation of this space, called ‘Les Ateliers’, has enabled us to meet the growing demand in this sector.” She then revealed news of another novelty in Hall 1 called the ‘Design Lab’. “This space is dedicated to designers, mainly in jewellery, featuring unique innovative pieces and avant-garde creations.”
Mr Eric Bertrand, President of the Exhibitors’ Committee addressing the current economic and geopolitical situation and is of the opinion that these times offer “an opportunity for those who have done their job properly in recent years and who have a solid foundation on the market.” He said that in the past he was surprised by the enthusiasm for watches by the brands that were foreign to the industry, adding that, “when unfavourable winds blow, then cold reality strikes”. It is therefore no wonder that “some of them have had to backtrack, whereas those brands that have stayed focused and relied on their know-how are still present.” The upshot of this is a consolidation of the market that will benefit the entire branch once the recovery has begun.
Mr François Thiébaud, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, rounded-off the press conference by highlighting the fact that for eight days a year Baselworld adorns time. Commenting on the results of Swiss watch exports, Mr Thiébaud noted that in 2016, Swiss watch exports were 9.88% lower than in the previous year. He pointed out that the last quarter of 2016 saw a slight improvement and recalled that the global political and economic context remained difficult and that watch exports had also been penalized by the valuation of the Swiss franc since the decision of the Swiss National Bank on 15 January 2015.
Mr. Thiébaud reminded the audience that in terms of value, the Swiss watch industry remains the world’s largest exporter.