Buyer numbers may have dropped slightly at this year’s edition of Baselworld but the watch fair attracted a record number of 4300 media representatives from around the world –7.5 percent more than last year.
The eight-day fair, which showcased over 1500 watch and jewellery brands, attracted a total of around 155,000 visitors from March 19 to 26.
According to Baselworld managing director Sylvie Ritter, visitors to the fair “felt the pulse of the industry, discovered the novelties, and purchased the latest collections which will set the trends for the coming year”.
She said the record number of media visitors underscored the international interest in Baselworld.
“More than 4300 of the world’s financial press, major dailies, lifestyle publications, all the trade press, the biggest TV channels, and key players in the field of social media from over 70 countries attended the show to be among the first to discover those innovations and creations unveiled at Baselworld.
“With everyone from magazine editors seeking to discover cutting-edge trends and innovative designs to bloggers who deliver up-to-date editorials to consumers in every corner of the planet, the international press once again played a major role in creating an unrivalled global impact and underlining the show’s premier position for the watch and jewellery industry.”
Apart from the welcome increase in media coverage, Ritter noted the show had also been a positive one for the watch and jewellery industry in other ways.
“With resilience, responsiveness and creativity, the industry continues to lead the way forward such that the attractiveness and interest that this sector creates continue growing,” she said.
François Thiébaud, president of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, was similarly positive in his assessment of the fair. He said feedback he had received from brands over the course of the fair convinced him that “this year will be a positive one for the industry because everyone has continued to innovate, not just with creating products, but also with intensifying communication with the media and buyers”.
Likewise Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe, reported the fair was “an excellent edition that was really successful in terms of numbers and the interest in our products” while Jean-Claude Biver, president of LVMH Group’s watch division, said TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith had achieved “excellent” results “above all our expectations” at the fair.
Ritter concluded that “Baselworld is the heart of a whole industry” and “strengthens its position as the leader year-after-year”.
“This envied and enviable position has to be defended untiringly – that’s why Baselworld moves forward every year, improving convenience and impact, and never ceases to innovate to meet the constantly evolving requirements.”
She acknowledged that the current state of the watch and jewellery industry is not ideal but stressed that despite the challenges, 2014 was an extremely positive year, and “the attractiveness and buzz that this sector creates go on growing,” while the “attraction for consumers and the interest of the media are unflagging”.
Baselworld 2016 will be held from March 17-24.