Swiss Exhibitors at the heart of the new Halls
As BASELWORLD closes its doors, the feedback from Swiss Exhibitors is most positive. They gathered in the exceptional setting of the new Halls, transformed in under a year by Herzog & de Meuron. Swiss and international press, along with some 122,000 visitors, filled the aisles throughout the eight days of the Show. BASELWORLD leaves no doubt that it is the biggest and best event for the watch and jewellery sectors anywhere in the world. Retailers and partners were out in force to admire the latest innovations from Swiss brands. Packed order books confirm the industry's good health, as do record figures for the first quarter.
This 41st Show confirms that the watchmaking year starts with BASELWORLD. Watch and jewellery brands benefited from an exceptional infrastructure, completed in less than a year and designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Within the Swiss Exhibitors' Committee, the vast majority of stands boasted new designs. Swiss exhibitors also took advantage of the extended space to offer an even better welcome to their international clients, and deliver a clear message: that Swiss watch and jewellery firms are world-class players. Doubtless this new Show will help drive Swiss brands forward in an uncertain business climate. Indeed, the majority of Swiss Exhibitors declared themselves satisfied with the event, an opinion shared by visitors and the press. Brands questioned reported that business volume for the first week had exceeded 2012 and confirmed the strong start to the year, with exports for the first quarter reaching CHF 4.7 billion (+2.4%), making this the best quarter ever.
Once again, Swiss watchmakers did justice to their fabulous shared heritage and pulled off yet another remarkable tour de force in terms of innovation. Most of the new models on view featured mechanical movements, both hand-wound and automatic. Emphasis was clearly on complex and prestigious complications: tourbillons, repeaters, striking mechanisms and a veritable comeback for the perpetual calendar. They were joined by GMT and moonphases, never out of the spotlight. Vintage chic was again high on the agenda for Swiss watchmakers, although innovation was never far whether for a 1950s-inspired timepiece or a resolutely futuristic design.
Swiss jewellers were also full of praise for the fabulous opportunities that BASELWORLD provides. Joining watch brands in Halls 1 and 2, they shared the same values and audience, with rings, earrings and pendants eliciting equal enthusiasm. Quality metals such as steel and titanium combined with the prestige of rose gold, palladium or platinum. Watches and jewellery in carbon fibre were also on display. Timepieces embellished with diamonds and other gems were another growing trend this year.
The Show was also highly rated by representatives of the related industries. The past eight days were more than encouraging, and give every reason to believe that results will match, if not outperform, those of 2012. New stands and strong attendance by members of the trade and public, not to mention the stimulus of this revamped 41st edition, put the industry's suppliers well and truly at the centre of business, and attention.
BASELWORLD 2013 facts and figures:
Date: April 25 - May 2, 2013
Visitors: 122,000 (+ 17 %)
Journalists: 3,610 (+ 9 %)
Exhibitors : 1,460 (from 40 countries)
Swiss exhibitors: 382
Date 2014 : March 27th - April 3rd
Date 2015 : March 19th - March 26th