Baselworld 2016, the latest edition of one of the premier events for the watch and jewellery industry , closed earlier this week. Some 1,500 brands attended this year’s event, showcasing everything from watches and smartwatches to jewellery, diamonds, gemstones, pearls as well as machinery. It was attended by more than 145,000 people from over 100 countries but the number of buyers and visitors was down 3% over 2015.
The attendance drop mirrors a similar decline in traditional Swiss watch shipments in recent months. Q4 2015 numbers fell 4.8% over the same quarter a year ago, likely due to a combination of global economic conditions and the rise of smartwatches.
At the same time, more journalists came to Baselworld 2016 than last year. While not enough to offset the overall decline, some 4,400 press representative from 70 countries attended the event, pushing their attendance numbers up 2.3% in 2016.
Despite the slight attendance drop, attendees remain positive about the role of Baselworld on the horological industy.
Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe, said, “Baselworld is always the most important event of the year in terms of meetings, in fact it is the time of year where we meet all our partners and numerous journalists around the world in a concentrated period.” Mr Stern also had positive words to say about this year’s show: “Baselworld 2016 was a great success for us in terms of interest in our new
Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Watch Division and CEO TAG Heuer, echoed those sentiments, saying: “Considering the political, economic, financial and monetary tensions in the world, I am still quite optimistic for 2016, taking into account our results during these days of exhibiting at Baselworld. The general atmosphere at Baselworld has shown us that this optimism for our brands is shared by many of our retailers.” Regarding the value of Baselworld for the division’s brands, Mr Biver clearly stated that: “Participation in Baselworld is important as we meet the entire world, and Baselworld is the gathering of all sectors of our industry.”
The Baselworld organization has already announced dates for Baselworld 2017.
Source : Baselworld