For many years, the standard belief in the jewelry and gemstone sectors was that, from the perspective of industry trade shows, three events dominated the sector, with all others lagging far behind. These were the JCK Show in Las Vegas, focusing predominantly on the American market; the September shows in Hong Kong, covering Asia; and Baselworld, the Swiss show in the heart of the traditional European luxury markets.
Baselworld was in a dimension of its own. Elegant and patrician, it was anchored by ITS legendary watch pavilion, where the world’s most powerful watchmakers held sway, recording a significant portion of their annual business during the days of the show. The jewelry was sophisticated, impeccably designed, fabulously crafted and generally high end. Where other shows had the common touch, Baselworld was decidedly blue-blooded.
But in recent years, Baselworld’s bright light seemed to be dimming. With Europe’s sluggish economy paling in comparison to the more vibrant markets in East Asia and North America, the legendary Swiss event was facing stronger competition from increasingly brash trade fairs in Germany and Italy. And then it was a dealt a telling blow in July 2018, when the giant Swiss watch group Swatch announced that all of its brands would not be exhibit at the upcoming fair.
But reports of Baselword demise appeared to be somewhat premature. At of the end of February, almost 500 brands had committed to the Swiss show, which will run this year at the Messe Basel from March 21 to 26. While that is quite substantially down deom the number of exhibitors of two years ago, among them are leading watch brands, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, Citizen, Seiko, Casio, Zenith, and Hublot, as while as a host of exclusive jewelry brands, such as Graff, Roberto Coin, Messika, Picchiotti and Chopard.
NEW BASEL MANAGEMENT LOOKS TO REVITALIZE SHOW
Baselworld clearly is in a rebuilding mode, under a new management team that appears to be decidedly more attentive to the concerns of both exhibitors and visitors about the cost of visiting and doing business at the show and in the city. This includes lobbying hotels and restaurants to not inflate prices during the show, as well as bringing on-site catering onto the show floor, rather than having at the edges of the show and outside the halls.
The show’s management has also come to terms with now appears to be a be a general trend with major industry trade fairs, in that they recognize that in the in the current business environment major trade fairs typically are no longer are made up of a single event, but rather series of shows taking place in the same geographic location over several days or a couple of weeks. Such is the case in Hong Kong, and even more so in Las Vegas, where a series of shows now take place simultaneously in hotels and exhibition centers in close proximity to the city’s famous Strip.
Given its limited infrastructure and number of hotel rooms, Basel itself would struggle to host more than one show. But with its supremely good transportation infrastructure, other cities in Switzerland have come into play. There was surprise, therefore, when the Baselworld management
announced that, starting in 2020, it would be synchronizing its show with Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the country’s other large watch show, SIHH, taking place in Geneva.
And in all likelihood Baselworld will remain an industry fixture for many years to come, because despite the general sluggishness of the European economy, when it comes to luxury product, and first and foremost jewelry, the continent remains a formidable force to be reckoned with. According to the most recent edition of the followed carefully luxury product by Deloitte, nine of the top 15 of the world’s too luxury conglomerates are European, and two of them are Swiss.
MID TO EXHIBIT AT BASELWORLD, MARCH 21 TO 26
MID House of Diamonds will be exhibiting at Baselworld in 2019, and will be bringing what certainly will be among the largest collection of diamonds at the Swiss show.
The MID booth will be located at Booth 3.1 B-07. It already is possible to set up an appointment at the show by contacting the company’s branch offices by phone or email.
The MID booth will feature a more than 10,000 white and fancy-colored loose diamonds, including blue, pink, green and yellow, in all shapes and sizes from 0.30 carats to plus-10.00 carats. All eight of the company’s international sales offices will be sending much of their top-quality material, among them a selection of rare GIA certified loose diamonds.
Visitors to the Baselworld are invited to discover what MID is offering by way of the company’s MID HOUSE OF DIAMONDS app. Designed for smartphones and tablet computers using the Apple IOS and Android operating systems, it has been created especially to meet the needs of the professional diamond trader, tapping into the massive global inventory of merchandise of one of the world’s largest diamond suppliers. It is a fully-functional ordering system. Users are able to conduct detailed searches for specific loose diamonds, receive real-time responses, visually examine the stones and relevant grading reports, view prices and place orders and requests. During shows at which MID exhibits, it provides information about booth location, directions and live updates.