Baselworld 2017–The 100th anniversary of the most important show and premier event for the world’s watch and jewellery industry re-affirmed its status as the global trendsetting show. T
his unrivalled premier platform celebrated the convention of the crème de la crème of the entire industry who united once again to take the pulse of the market, marvel at the new collections and witness the start of a new trendsetting cycle.
Baselworld 2017 was the focal point for more than 106,000 buyers (-4% vs 2016) from over 100 countries. With the world’s best-known and most celebrated brands from every sector revealing their newest collections, Baselworld 2017 lived up to its reputation as the hub of the global industry.
Attendees benefited from the unique opportunity to feel the mood of the market, discover those new trendsetting collections that will prevail for the following 12 months, and equally importantly, to capitalise on the enormous business opportunities that are available at Baselworld.
Passion, precision and perfection presided once again as the world’s best brands showcased their innovations and newest collections for all the world to discover.
Eric Bertrand, President of the Baselworld Exhibitors’ Committee, underlined the significance of Baselworld for the watch and jewellery industry. “In the last week, we have experienced the value of this show for the entire industry especially in difficult times, which makes the show’s role as the global platform even more compelling at a time when all players are looking for secure values and stability. We know from experience; our new collections and creations will be all the talk in the coming 12 months’ thanks especially to the immense press coverage of the show and the global interest we have observed.”
François Thiébaud, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, concurred and was full of praise for this anniversary of Baselworld. For him, taking a show from a small event with just 29 brands in 1917, and transforming it into the unparalleled global leader is “thanks to Baselworld being the only show that fully reflects the excellence of the industry by uniting everyone, representing every sector and putting each and every player on a pedestal to present themselves in the best light.”
Regarding the outcome of this year’s show, Mr Thiébaud said that: “Although it has been a challenging year, Baselworld 2017 dispelled any concerns about the market as the event has fuelled a renewed spirit of creativity and innovation. The show confirmed that the innovation and passion that epitomise our industry, continue to hold centre stage.”
Regarding his estimation of the 2017 edition, Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe, found that “the organisation of the show was good as were the number of visitors, our retailers and the press.” He added that there was a “good general reception of our novelties.” Mr Stern also listed a number of reasons why Baselworld is an important platform: “Important in terms of an annual meeting with our network of retailers and partners from all over the world. Important in terms of public visibility and especially in terms of world press resonance. A very important communication platform.”
For Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Watch Division, CEO TAG Heuerand CEO Zenith, “Baselworld is not just a show of the best Swiss watch brands, but more importantly the showcase of the entire Swiss and international industry. During eight days, people do not only enter into the heart of the industry, but also feel the pulse of it, getting a vision of the future.”
Commenting on the essential nature of the show, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard, stated that: “Baselworld continues to be the most important event for the watchmaking and jewellery industry. It is also a unique networking opportunity in terms of brand communication.” He added that at this year’s show, “the overall mood was positive and the level of business conducted satisfactory.”
This sentiment was shared by Frédéric Grangié, President of CHANEL Watches and Fine Jewellery who concurred saying: “Baselworld is essential to the watch industry, it enables us year on year to display our creativity and know-how to the most important opinion leaders, journalists and watch retailers.”
Baselworld is an essential date in the calendars of internationally renowned retailers and buyers because it offers them the opportunity to discover and explore the innovations, creations and new collections that are unveiled here. What makes Baselworld additionally indispensable is the show’s renown as a market mood and trend barometer.
Willie Hamilton, Chief Executive of the Company of Master Jewellers, UK, clearly states that “Baselworld is the most important show of the year for anyone who is serious about buying and selling timepieces. For the UK independent retailer, it is not only a chance to see and buy the latest watch trends, view new jewellery brands and buy precious gemstones, but it offers a chance to network with the most important players in our industry and catch up with our peers both in the UK and across the globe.”
“Nowhere else in the world does so much expertise and know-how come together as at Baselworld,” said Kim-Eva Wempe, Managing Director Juwelier Wempe, Gerhard D. Wempe KG, Germany. She added that: “It’s important for us to have the greatest possible number of our employees here.”
Greg Simonian, President, Westime, USA, is of the opinion that “Baselworld is truly unique, it’s the only chance I have every year to see virtually everyone from the industry.”
“I attend for the innovations that are introduced, but also to participate in the single most important gathering of the world’s watch community,” says long-term attendee Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of leading luxury watch retail group, The Hour Glass Ltd. Singapore, who is convinced that “the opportunities for week-long engagement, exchange and learning are second to none.”
An impressive number of accredited journalists and those following from afar are a clear indicator of the immense interest generated by the show internationally. News of the novelties and latest collections from Baselworld are relayed instantly to every corner of the planet creating a singular global impact with repercussions that last for a whole year. More than 4,400 representatives of the press from print, television, radio and digital from over 70 countries attended the show underlining the unmissable character of Baselworld. Paying further tribute to the global reach and significance of this show, an overwhelming 86,000! (vs 11,000 in 2016) viewers around the world followed the Baselworld 2017 press conference in real time.
Rachael Taylor, Contributing Journalist, Financial Times: “Baselworld is an invaluable barometer of the year ahead, both in terms of design innovation and direction, and also how the marketing is reacting to current opportunities. Attending the show this year has given me a snapshot of the global industry and I’ll be leaving armed with fresh story ideas, new contacts and an Instagram feed bursting with some of the most inspiring new products the market has to offer.”
Karan Karer, Editor/Associate Director, Hours & Minutes Australia: “Baselworld is an institution, rather than just a show; it’s THE place to be for all the watch and jewellery manufacturers. A show of this scale has never been done before.”
Karishma Karer, Editor, Hands on Time: “I think Baselworld sets the trend and the mood for the year; it sets the benchmark for how the year is going to pan out, both in terms of the tone and the products.”
“Golden editorial opportunities,” says Maria Doulton, Editor-in-Chief of The Jewellery Editor, explaining why she travels to Basel. “Baselworld offers a great overview of what is really happening. We get months’ worth of editorial, insight, great interviews and fantastic content for social media – this is exactly what we’re looking for.”
For Ariel Adams, Founding Owner and Editor, a BlogtoWatch: “Baselworld is a pivotal moment for our business as we get more traffic to a BlogtoWatch than at any other time of year.”
Baselworld 2017 was once more the global point of convergence where the leading players in the watch and jewellery industry shone in the spotlight for a full eight days. Reflecting on the show, Sylvie Ritter, Managing Director of Baselworld, said: “Baselworld once again gave the sector a positive impulse by putting it on a pedestal to shine. The passion behind the innovative spirit that distinguishes the industry has been reaffirmed.”