The first day of Baselworld kicked off yesterday with around 150,000 professionals gathering to visit the global brands on exhibition.
Representatives from the world of jewellery, watches, diamonds, gemstones, pearls, machines and supplies gathered for the first of eight days, which will host visitors from more than 100 countries in its halls.
Speaking to Professional Jeweller, director of PJ Watson, Stephen Dewhirst commented: “I’ve been coming for 25 years now, and this year I’m just really looking forward to being inspired. There are usually some really nice things on display. I hope to see some gems – I’m particularly interested in fine gems.
“In our own brands we’ve also got some beautiful things to show. We’ve got a new collection with Marco Bicego called Masai, which has been previewed in SAKS in the United States, and it sold very well, so we’re confident in that. We’ve got some very fine, exquisite pieces. “
Speaking to Professional Jeweller from her stand, Nadine Fink, of Nana Fink Jewellery, said: “ Things are good, but the first day is always a bit quiet. But I’ve had people from all over visiting the stand and it’s also really nice to network with other designers at the show. I have a new collection, Stella, that I’m really excited about, made out of antique diamonds. It’s been very popular.”
Although usually slow to start, the event organisers anticipate that new global innovations in design will generate record levels of business activity over the next eight days.
At its inaugural press conference, René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group, highlighted the show’s growth, from the first Baselworld which hosted just 29 exhibitors compared to the 1,500 companies involved this year.
“Reaching this esteemed position is mostly thanks to the commitment of the exhibitors whose very presence contributes to being the most important factor in the appeal of Baselworld,” he said.
Sylvie Ritter, managing director of Baselworld, enthused that there were a number of points that made the show stand out. “It’s unique because Baselworld is the nerve centre for the watch and jewellery industry where the pulse of the business is taken; unique because the most prestigious brands, most influential retailers and most prominent journalists gather under one roof; and unique because year after year this is the birthplace of trends that will prevail for the following 12 months.”