Baselworld 2017 starts tomorrow morning and you might have noticed that we are very excited! Today the event kicked off with a press conference to welcome the world to Basel for the most exciting edition of Baselworld yet – the 100th anniversary.
Welcome to Baselworld!
As is tradition, the world’s media were given a warm welcome to Baselworld at the opening press conference. The Press Conference was live streamed around the world on the Baselworld web site this year, allowing watch lovers everywhere to join in.
Mr René Kamm, CEO of the MCH group, opened the event welcoming those in attendance and around the world to Baselworld. He advised that “Baselworld has undoubtedly contributed significantly to our group’s success and global standing.”
Mr Kamm then handed over to Ms Sylvie Ritter, the managing director of Baselworld. She reflected on the history of Baselworld over the last 100 years and looked at some of the major milestones which had been achieved along the way. She commented on the success of Baselworld, she put the success down to the way that Baselworld had succeeded in “reinventing, renewing, adapting, modernizing and continuously transforming ourselves.” She insisted that this is what they would continue to do because “looking to the future is our vocation!”
Mr Eric Bertrand, President of the Exhibitors’ Committee, extended another welcome to Baselworld. He addressed the economic and geopolitical situation which has caused problems for many watch manufacturers around the world. He said that the current situation is a great opportunity for those who have “done their job properly in recent years and who have a solid foundation on the market.” He said that he is confident that “this recovery will enable the best-armed players to gain market share and be more successful than ever before. And, as the President of the Exhibitors’ Committee, I am firmly convinced that Baselworld should and will continue to reflect the market and remain true to its strategy of favouring quality over quantity.”
François Thiébaud rounded off the event by commenting on the evolution of Baselworld over the years. He made a very important observation in the way that the event has grown from 29 Swiss brands in 1917 to 220 Swiss brands in 2017.
What to Look Forward to!
Sylvie Ritter was very clear that Baselworld had “refused some exhibitors” at this years event and that they made the decision to do so. The reason that they chose to do so was because they wanted to focus on “quality over quantity”. While this means that Baselworld 2017 may not have the highest number of exhibitors, the watchmakers who do attend should provide the highest levels of quality.
One exciting change is the decision to open up “Les Ateliers” which allows independent watchmakers space in Hall 1. Sylvie Ritter explained that this is in order to meet the “growing demand in this sector.” Another novelty has been added to Hall 1 in the “Design Lab” which will feature unique innovative pieces and avant-garde creations from designers – mainly jewellery designers.
There’s no doubt that this welcome to Baselworld is one of the most exciting in the history of Baselworld. We will keep you up to date all week on the exciting news coming out of the most important event on the homological calendar.