BaselWorld to innovate in line with exhibitors

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Doors open on the 2014 edition of the watch and jewellery show.

BaselWorld 2014 opened its doors to the media yesterday, with the show’s management team stating that it will continue to innovate and develop in line with the creations of its exhibitors.

The annual watch and jewellery show, based in the Swiss city of Basel, welcomes about 120,000 visitors over the course of seven days, and is selected as the event for key launches from luxury and fashion watch and jewellery brands.

Members of the global press were addressed by René Kamm, chief executive of MCH Switzerland, the show’s organiser, and BaselWorld managing director Sylvie Ritter, who thanked the media for its ongoing support.

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Opening yesterday’s media conference Kamm stated that he was confident that this year’s show would once again be characterised by new features, innovations and trends that the watch and jewellery industries bring forth each year.

According to Kamm, with the MCH Group’s role in organising fairs such as BaselWorld and Art Basel in Basel and Miami Beach and Hong Kong "comes an obligation to continue to develop and innovate no less than the exhibitors".

Last year marked a new era for BaselWorld with the extension of its main halls and a change around of the show layout. For 2014 and beyond, MCH is hoping to remain the flagship event for jewellery, watches, gemstones and their ancillary industries, with a drive to continue to look ahead in terms of the show’s development.

Ritter said: "Our show is a microcosm of the industry, where for one week a year all the leading players in the world of watchmaking and jewellery unite; it is a true and highly focused reflection of the changes, trends and innovations within the entire industry. To preserve a perfect harmony between tradition and demands of the moment, we must constantly demonstrate foresight and skill."

Yesterday’s presentations were rounded-off by François Thiébaud, president of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, who shared watch sales figures from the past year. Although growth in the industry in 2013 was indeed weaker than in previous years, the Swiss watch industry did record a small growth in 2013, with exports up 1.9% compared to 2012, at nearly 22 billion francs.

The media conference ended on a positive note with promising early figures for 2014. Exports in January and February touched 3.3 billion francs, up already 6.8% compared to the same period last year.

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