By Our Correspondent | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 23, 2017
As the world’s largest watch show BASELWORLD 2017 celebrates its 100th anniversary, Swiss watchmakers and jewellers, along with related sectors, are once again taking part in this not-to-be-missed trade event (which begins today and goes on till March 30, 2017), presenting their latest—often world-exclusive—new models, thereby displaying their impressive innovation and expertise in responding to a tense economic context.
Baselworld is universally recognized as the premier event and trendsetting show for the global watch and jewellery industry. What makes it unmissable is the fact that the world’s best and most reputed brands choose Baselworld as the venue to unveil their latest innovations and creations thereby attracting renowned buyers, the global press and visitors from every corner of the earth. Only in Baselworld will you find all the key players representing every sector from watchmakers to jewellers, from diamonds, pearls and gemstones dealers through to all the relevant suppliers.
Business and media effects reverberate around the globe
Baselworld becomes the focal point of the whole world for eight days a year, as this is where the tone for an entire industry is determined, and trends defined. Beyond the amazement and excitement lies a bountiful world of business opportunities. The most influential brand CEOs, retailers and press representatives unite under one roof to create this singular setting. More than 4,400 journalists attending and disseminating real time show news to every corner of the planet, help propagate these trends around the world.
From parts manufacturers to assemblers, independent creators to international brands, all are presently showing their new creations at Baselworld 2017.
Swiss made quality first and foremost
Compared with only 29 exhibitors at the first edition of the show held in 1917, no less than 220 Swiss companies are today unveiling their latest creations at Baselworld. Loyal to their reputation for excellence, Swiss exhibitors are constantly upping the creative ante to meet the demands of a market looking for simpler and more affordable models. While the trend is clearly towards restrained designs, innovation is more strongly present than ever.
Deliberately avoiding excess and extravagance, this approach is instead dedicated to serving functionality, durability and comfort, by means of useful complications, original adjustment systems ensuring enhanced user friendliness, as well as special attention devoted to construction designed to make watches more resistant to wear. The reinforced demands of the Swiss made label, which came into force on January 01, 2017, echo our watchmakers’ determination to offer consumers ever greater guarantees in terms of quality, craftsmanship and origin.
The new generation on show in “Les Ateliers”
Alongside perpetual self-renewal in order to create exceptional timepieces, Swiss watchmakers also reinvent themselves when it comes to ways of highlighting their creations. About forty newgen brands are taking their place in “Les Ateliers”. This welcoming area of Hall 1.2. gives them enhanced visibility, while reflecting their innovative spirit through a particularly modern booth design.
A competitive sector despite current upheavals
While the Swiss watch industry remains the world leader in value terms, it ended 2016 with a total of CHF 19.4 billion, meaning 9.9% down on the previous year and bringing the industry back to its 2011 level. Despite particularly marked international uncertainty with regard to politics, security and finance, coupled with less tourism in Europe and the persistent strength of the Swiss franc, the negative trend has levelled off in recent months. After two years of a distinct slide, China is enjoying renewed growth.
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