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Baselworld 2014
By: Diamond World News Service
Apr 23 2014 5:31PM
Reference: 9061  

Over the years, Baselworld has evolved into a superlative event. For the watchmaking and jewellery industry, Baselworld has become an indispensable platform for the latest products and innovations. As the world’s biggest watchmaking and jewellery gathering opened its doors, creations in Swiss colours once again shined as the stars of the show. Kunjal Karaniya brings you the show report.

Baselworld 2014 is considered THE event of the year for the watch making and jewellery industry. The Baselworld show was opened by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, Member of the Cantonal Council of Basel-Stadt Christoph Brutschin and prominent representatives from the watch making and jewellery industry. Around 100,000 visitors and over 3,500 journalists from all over the world attended this year's event. This year, just like every other year, there were many highlights at Baselworld. With their luxurious and sometimes spectacular presentations, the 1,400 exhibitors ensured that their pavilions showcased highlights every day, almost round the clock. Baselworld 2014, which was also open to the general public, was slated from March 27 to April 3, 2014. The pavilions, which were specially designed for the event, were exceptionally elegant and conveyed to visitors the luxurious and perfectionist world of the watch and jewellery brands.

Opening the conference, René Kamm, CEO of MCH Switzerland, the company that owns Baselworld, was confident that this year's edition would once again be characterised by the numerous new features, innovations and trends that this industry brings forth and presents here every year. For the MCH Group, the internationality of the show is really important as with shows such as Baselworld and Art Basel in Basel, Miami Beach and Hongkong, the group definitely counts among the global players in the show scene. “And with that comes an obligation to continue to develop and innovate no less than the exhibitors,” said Kamm. Baselworld Managing Director, Sylvie Ritter said, “Our show is a microcosm of the industry, where for one week a year all the leading players in the world of watchmaking and jewellery unite; it is a true and highly focused reflection of the changes, trends and innovations within the entire industry.” She also went on to mention how much the market for watches and jewellery had evolved over the past decade and that Baselworld strives to be an accurate reflection of the reality of the industry and its players, one that combines modernity, luxury and aesthetics with comfort and efficiency. “To preserve a perfect harmony between tradition and demands of the moment, we must constantly demonstrate foresight and skill.”

Baselworld was as glamorous as always and watch industry dominated the show and did very well. The Hall 3 which had the precious stones and diamond dealers had a decent response but felt bit slow than previous years. They felt that the traffic was less and important big buyers had done business in Hong Kong two weeks ago while the small ones can't afford to be in Basel as everything from the show to the city is an expensive affair. The jewellery companies in Hall2 had a mix response as big brands which did their homework well had fix appointments and hence were doing okay while others were waiting for clients to come. Indian pavilion was at Hall 3 with 9 booths as well as in Hall 2 with jewellery booths. Russians and Americans were less at the show, the majority were European buyers and Chinese were there as well.

Baselworld 2014 came to a close having once again succeeded in bringing together around 150,000 attendees (including representatives from exhibiting companies, buyers, journalists and other visitors) from every continent, underlining its position as the most important marketplace and trend-setting event for the world's watch and jewellery industry. The eight outstanding show days were comprehensively covered by extensive global media presence. With enthusiastic feedback from all players, Baselworld 2014 ended on a high note, having met and exceeded expectations in terms of business, quality, media presence and exposure.

Baselworld is the ultimate meeting place for the entire industry with all sectors represented: watchmaking, jewellery, diamonds, gemstones and pearls, machines, and supply industries. It is the annual event, where around 1,500 exhibitors, including all the leading brands, from over 40 countries first showcase their innovations and novelties. On top of that, the economic impact is enormous. The Swiss watch industry, 95 per cent of which is represented at Baselworld, had exports of around 21.8 billion Swiss francs in 2013. And it is not only the watch and jewellery industry that benefits; the whole of Switzerland profits, as Baselworld directly and indirectly generates an income of around 2.4 billion Swiss francs a year and thereby approximately 13,000 jobs.

Overall, the exhibitors enthusiastically expressed their general satisfaction both with the show and with the business outcome.

“Historical! It's been a great Baselworld for Bulgari and it will be remembered for a long time,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari. For him, “Baselworld is that moment in time that determines the future. In the course of one week, we unveil our novelties to business partners and to the press of the whole world; possibly one of the most intimate exercises of a brand, the creation. In return, we feel the emotions that our creations evoke. A capital experience for the future to continue to improve ourselves.”

Thierry Stern, CEO of Patek Philippe, found the whole show to be a very smooth process with pleasant ambiance and excellent attendance of the press. He went on to say, “We have been present in Basel since 1931, as it is the most important platform for meeting all of our retailers and an excellent platform for our media partners. This year, we received more than 1,000 journalists in a few days.”

“Baselworld 2014 has been a good edition, similar to 2013,” said Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard, adding that, “Baselworld reaffirms its dominant position as ‘The Rendezvous’ of the industry.”

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