During the eight days that Baselworld 2014 was open, 150,000 people visited to explore what the watch and jewellery world had in store for the growing consumer marketplace over the next 12 months.
As always, the end of the show marks the beginning of a new year of business for Swiss brands which, throughout this not-to-be-missed event, fill up on orders from their retailers and distributors from around the world, and meet the journalists who will take news of their latest products to the four corners of the globe.
Swiss watchmakers still riding high
The 42nd Baselworld ends with a positive mood for Swiss watchmaking, encouraged by a cumulative increase in exports of 6.8% in January and February, compared with 2013 when exports still posted 1.9% growth. The watches unveiled this year presented numerous innovations, both in functions and design. Women took a front seat with more timepieces imagined especially with them in mind. Mechanical or quartz, they continue to combine Swiss excellence with the ultimate in refined elegance. The watches on show were also characteristic of a trend among prestige brands to include affordable styles in their collections that will appeal to emerging markets’ fast-growing middle and upper classes.
Jewellery continues to shine
Business was especially brisk among Swiss jewellery brands in the two distinct segments of exceptional fine jewellery and the less exclusive segment of fashion jewellery. In one as in the other, brand image and appeal are important attributes influencing purchase decisions. Demand for jewellery in rose gold and 950 palladium continues its upward trajectory, while creations that bring together different metals abound.
A good year for the related branches After drawing a record number of visitors in 2013 among a public eager to discover Baselworld’s new architecture, this year the related branches registered a drop in the numbers visiting their stands. This decline in quantity is, however, no great cause for concern as it was compensated by a rise in quality, with a public composed for the most part of trade visitors. Overall then, this proved another positive show for suppliers who are increasingly adding substance to their offering for watchmakers to accompany the numerous innovations in time measurement. The sector is performing well, as shown by the upturn in interest from European markets and steady demand from Asian markets.
Where all the market players and international media converge
With a brand-new infrastructure, unveiled in 2013, Baselworld makes its mark as the biggest, most important global gathering for watches and jewellery. The sumptuous complex created by architects Herzog & de Meuron provides players from these industries, all beacons of excellence, with a unique showcase in which to present their latest creations. A focal point for manufacturers, suppliers, trade visitors and the general public, Baselworld also attracts representatives of the media from across the globe. Proof that watches and jewellery continue to work their magic, more and more journalists travel to Basel for an event whose appeal extends far beyond the specialist media, with the growing presence of lifestyle and general interest publications.