Baselworld!

Today’s post is about Baselworld which opens this Thursday in its new $454.9 million home, with fewer exhibitors in a smaller space, but this years look is much more modern, according to shows organizers.  The conceptualizer’s of this years Baselworld is seeking “Quality and not quantity”.  This is also a message that is highly emphasized by Baselworld executives at the show’s opening press conference which was held this morning at the Congress Center Basel, across the street from the exhibition space.

This year, a total of 1,460 companies are set to exhibit at the show, which is down 24 percent from 1,815 last year. Some notables absent include David Yurman. News surfaced this past December that the popular U.S.-based jewelry brand opted to withdraw from the show this year after a  tense exchange with event organizers.

In addition to a simpler design, the show also gave its halls simpler names, Hall 1 is for global brands, or watch and jewelry brands with worldwide reach. Hall 2 is for international brands, or brands that sell in a number of countries but don’t have quite the global reach as those brands in Hall 1. Hall 3 is for jewelry containing precious and semi-precious stones and pearls, while Hall 4 is for the machine and supply industry.

Although the show includes both watches and jewelry, Baselworld is traditionally a timepiece-centric show–an executive from one luxury brand described it as “the new year of the watch industry”–that brands anticipate as a stage for their latest innovations.

Francois Thiébaud, who heads the committee of Swiss exhibitors at the show and is a member of the board of watch giant Swatch Group, said this year he expects watches with many complications as well as those with gold, diamonds and—interestingly–pearls, to dominate the trends.

He also said he anticipates watches that bear a neo-classical look with references to styles from Ancient Greek and Ancient Rome in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The anticipation that brands will display more complicated watches and embrace the use of gold and precious stones makes sense for the Swiss watch industry, which has seen sales of higher-price watches grow at a faster pace than watches with a lower price point.

As always, Live, Life, Lamour,
R.Lamour

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