As Baselworld wraps up after eight days of intense activity, the first assessments shared by the Swiss brands indicate that despite the slight downturn (-3.3%) in 2015, Swiss Exhibitors remain confident regarding this year’s results.

The second semester should counter-balance a difficult start to the year. More than 145,000 strode the aisles of the show during this year’s edition, in order to admire creations and innovations by watchmakers, jewellers and representatives of related sectors.

The wealth of the Swiss watchmaking heritage on display confirmed Swiss brands’ determination to continue cultivating their skills, convinced that they will endure despite a tough international context. Witness the impressive media coverage of the event and the constantly growing press exposure that makes Baselworld a firm focus of interest within the luxury world.

Determination and confidence are the order of the day

Baselworld is beyond doubt the world’s biggest trade show of its kind, in which all partners from watchmaking, jewellery and related sectors rub shoulders. 1,500 exhibitors from 40 countries congregate there each year.

This unique platform is without equal and enables all stakeholders to vie with each other and stimulate their respective creativity. Baselworld is not only the Salon where one measures time, but also the place where time is clothed in materials, technologies and values that reflect its emotional nature.

A tense international context

This 100th edition featured a tougher economic environment than the previous year. In the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks, many travellers cancelled their trips to Europe, thereby affecting end-of-year sales which are always very important for the Swiss watch industry.

Stocks acquired for the festive period were only partially sold, which explains the tough start to the year. The situation has also been compounded by certain modifications involving visa regulations. All sectors have been affected, including diamonds, precious stones and related sectors.

After a steep 7.9% drop in January, the figures for February herald an improvement, with a smaller 3.3% decline. One must hope that this improvement will result in restocking as sales pick up.

More journalists than ever

The media world continued paying close attention to Baselworld, notably via a steadily growing number of on-line TV channels and media. This edition drew a record number of 4,400 media representatives (+2.3%), and only slightly fewer participants than last year (145,000). Retailers and partners were on hand to admire the latest “Swiss made” innovations presented by the 304 Swiss brands taking part in Baselworld.