Baselworld 2017: The 100th Anniversary Watch Show Begins

Posted: Mar 22 2017, 9:10am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 22 2017, 9:24am CDT, in News | Technology News

Baselworld 2017: The 100th Anniversary Watch Show Begins
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The history of Baselworld is now 100 years long.

The 100th Edition of Baseworld will kick off on March 23. Today the Baselworld 2017 inaugural press conference took place. A

Mr René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group, opened the event by welcoming all present to the 100th anniversary edition of Baselworld. He went to mention that the show has been a part of the MCH group’s journey from the outset and that historically speaking from an international perspective, “Baselworld has undoubtedly contributed significantly to our group’s success and global standing.”

Mr Eric Bertrand, President of the Exhibitors’ Committee, extended a warm welcome to Baselworld 2017 to all present on behalf of the exhibitors he represents. “Year after year, Baselworld resonates throughout the world and is of great importance for the industry as well as for Switzerland and the city of Basel,” said Mr Bertrand.

He summed up the value of the show, saying that “it is here and nowhere else that all the exhibitors have the opportunity to present their innovations and creations to the most influential and eminent retailers and media around the world.” Over and above that, “we know from experience that the new collections presented as a world premiere at Baselworld will make the news for the next 12 months and that the trends that emerge here will spread throughout the world.” On the topic of Baselworld’s history, Mr Bertrand noted that “this show demonstrates that Baselworld has constantly adapted to the context in perpetual mutations and transformations.

o achieve this, Baselworld has not only made significant changes but has always been proactive in reflecting the market. This envied status as a global platform only gets stronger when all players are looking for secure values and stability. The essence of Baselworld is to reflect the entire world watch and jewelry market and reflect it at its best.”

Mr Bertrand also addressed the current economic and geopolitical situation and is of the opinion that these times offer “an opportunity for those who have done their job properly in recent years and who have a solid foundation on the market.” He said that in the past he was surprised by the enthusiasm for watches by the brands that were foreign to the industry, adding that, “when unfavorable winds blow, then cold reality strikes”. It is therefore no wonder that “some of them have had to backtrack, whereas those brands that have stayed focused and relied on their know-how are still present.” The upshot of this is a consolidation of the market that will benefit the entire branch once the recovery has begun.

And Mr Bertrand is confident that “this recovery will enable the best-armed players to gain market share and be more successful than ever before. And, as the President of the Exhibitors' Committee, I am firmly convinced that Baselworld should and will continue to reflect the market and remain true to its strategy of favoring quality over quantity.”

As a logical consequence, those brands that had invested in watchmaking without real legitimacy, and who are no longer here today, have freed-up space. “We can now host ‘Les Ateliers’ Hall 1, a location that perfectly matches the independent watchmakers who are an integral part of this industry,” said Mr Bertrand, adding that “I am very proud that this new space was born under my presidency.” By way of conclusion, he underlined his commitment to the show, saying, “throughout the year, I maintain an ongoing dialogue with the management of Baselworld, and I will make a point of maintaining the quality of the show, its attractiveness and its influence worldwide.”

Mr François Thiébaud, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, rounded-off the press conference by highlighting the fact that for eight days a year Baselworld adorns time. Commenting on the results of Swiss watch exports, Mr Thiébaud noted that in 2016, Swiss watch exports were 9.88% lower than in the previous year. He pointed out that the last quarter of 2016 saw a slight improvement and recalled that the global political and economic context remained difficult and that watch exports had also been penalized by the valuation of the Swiss franc since the decision of the Swiss National Bank on 15 January 2015.

Mr. Thiébaud reminded the audience that in terms of value, the Swiss watch industry remains the world's largest exporter. Referring to Baselworld, Mr. Thiébaud commended the history and development of the show where beauty and innovation are in the service of time. He underlined the important evolution of Baselworld over the last 100 years by recollecting that at the first show in 1917, only 29 Swiss brands exhibited, whereas in 2017, 220 Swiss brands will be showcasing their novelties.

The Basel World 2017 takes place in Basel from March 23 - 30, 2017. The press day is on March 22. This is the most important trade show for watch makers. The traditional watch making will continue to collide with consumer electronics as smartwatches advance.

Baselworld 2016 expects 150,000 visitors over the coming week including about 4,000 journalists from around the world. Read all Baselworld 2017 News.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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