Duraflex Group Australia
advertisement
Duraflex Group Australia
advertisement
Duraflex Group Australia
advertisement
Goto your account
Search Stories by: 
and/or
 

News

Articles from WATCHES (859 Articles)

Scenes from Basel 2011
Scenes from Basel 2011
 Image Gallery (3 Images)









 

BaselWorld opens in confident mood

BaselWorld has opened full of optimism with the luxury goods market making a comeback in 2010, yet it was revealed that not all is well for the Swiss watch market in Australia. Coleby Nicholson reports from Basel, Switzerland.
The world’s largest jewellery fair, BaselWorld, opened yesterday with a great degree of optimism. The mood was especially bouyant considering the recent natural disasters in Japan, political instability in the Middle East and the effect of the GFC on the Swiss watch industry.

Rene Kamm, chief executive of MCH Group, which organises BaselWorld, revealed that the luxury sector had largely recovered from the downturn of 2009, and further growth was forecast for 2011. "The economic upturn was successfully rung in last year and the slump in the luxury goods sector is now a thing of the past."

A total of 1,892 exhibitors, the same number as last year, are present at this year’s fair. This includes 736 jewellery companies, 627 watch brands and 529 with related products.

Asked if the events in Japan would affect the fair, BaselWorld managing director Sylvie Ritter said no exhibitors had cancelled, adding that the effect on visitor numbers at the eight-day event would only be known after the fair closes on March 31.

Japan is traditionally the third biggest market for Swiss watches behind the US and Hong Kong, and before recent events had shown signs of recovery from its recent slump, with Swiss watch imports up 11.5 per cent.

Speaking at a media conference the day before the opening of BaselWorld, Francois Thiébaud, chairman of the Swiss committee, presented figures revealing that Swiss watch exports rose 22 per cent in value terms in 2010, on the back of a steep 22 per cent decline in 2009.

Scenes from Basel 2011
Scenes from Basel 2011

"We have had an even better start [to 2011] than the record year of 2008,” he said. Swiss watch exports in the first two months of 2011 are 18.1 per cent ahead of 2010. Thiébaudadded that February was a record month for the sector.

However, the statistics showed a decline in Swiss watch sales to Australiasia. Whereas China had a 34.6 per cent increase in 2010, sales in Australia and New Zealand fell by 13.4 per cent. The 2010 result was most encouraging because, at CHF16.2 billion ($17.5 billion), it was marginally behind the record 2008 figure of CHF17 billion ($18.37 billion).

Even though 2011 has started strong, Thiébaud warned: "We have to be cautious, not rush into jubilation, hoping that things will develop in our favour."

Exhibitor committee chairman Jacques Duchêne was upbeat about the “positive context” but, like Thiébaud, offered a note of caution, saying that “even if the trend seems to be going in the right direction, the uncertain geopolitical situation warns us to be prudent in our analyses”.

Thiébaud, who is also a Swatch Group executive, said he saw a return to designs inspired by the 1950s and 1960s and the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as dials that are stripped down to the essentials. He said the popular metals will be pink gold along with white gold, platinum and palladium.

Scenes from Basel 2011
Scenes from Basel 2011

While BaselWorld attracts over 100,000 visitors each year, Australian visitor numbers are limited compared with other international fairs. However, Steven Rom, managing director of Avstev, the Australian distributor of Raymond Weil, Girard-Perregaux, Ball and Frederique Constant, said he had been very busy seeing select Australian retailers.

“We have appointments booked on the hour every day and already we are very pleased with our results [in seeing Australian buyers],” Rom said.

Ken Abbott, managing director of Timesupply, the distributor of Danish Design watches, said that he was looking forward to presenting the brand’s new models to the Australian market.

“This is my second time at Basel, and we will have some great new designs for our stockists,” Abbott said.

BaselWorld runs from March 24 to March 31.

More reading:

Bulova picks Branson as brand ambassador










Designa Accessories
advertisement





Read current issue

login to my account
Username: Password:
SAMS Group Australia
advertisement
Duraflex Group Australia
advertisement
Jeweller Magazine
advertisement
© 2024 Befindan Media