The world may be in a recession but 93,900 watch and jewellery aficionados still found plenty to smile about at BaselWorld 2009 where 1952 exhibitors showcased their latest and greatest releases.
Although noticeably quieter than usual, the eight-day tradeshow reaffirmed its position as the world’s leading watch and jewellery fair with an extensive list of genuinely new products on display.
BaselWorld show director Sylvie Ritter said the 2009 event has shown that the watch and jewellery industry “is facing up to this difficult economic situation in an extremely constructive way”.
“BaselWorld 2009 has successfully given the watch and jewellery industry new momentum and as a result business has been boosted.”
She said the economic crisis had encouraged market players to seek refuge in established institutions which have stood the time.
“BaselWorld is such an established institution,” she said.
“If any proof of this were needed, then it is surely the 2009 event because while the current economic crisis is at the heart of every conversation and despite the fact that it has an effect on everyone’s life, BaselWorld has continued to develop its position as a global market leader thanks to the loyalty of its exhibitors.”
She said there was more exhibition space dedicated to watches at BaselWorld 2009 than there was in 2008 and “40 companies have invested in the construction of new stands in order to showcase their brands and products to even greater effect”.
“There have only been very few cancellations from the jewellery sector, which has been heavily affected by the crisis, mainly due to bankruptcy. Nevertheless, all jewellery companies which are well-positioned on the international market have continued to participate.”
Nonetheless, Ritter readily admitted that the number of buyers at this year’s BaselWorld was around 12 percent down on last year’s 106,800 but said the drop did not mean that “a lot of retailers and wholesalers had missed the trade show” but that “the delegations were smaller due to economic instability”.
Fortunately the drop in visitor numbers had no effect on the quantity or quality of the watches and jewellery on display at the show. The pictured pieces are a tiny sample of the many many impressive objets de désiÅ• that made BaselWorld 2009 as exciting as previous shows despite the recession.
BaselWorld 2010 will be held in Basel, Switzerland, from March 18 – 25, 2010.
For more information visit www.baselworld.com