Baselworld runs until March 26, 2019. And while the show has been and still is heavily criticized, there is also some good news. At the opening press conference, it was announced that in 2018, the Swiss Watch industry recorded a 6.3 percent increase in exports, and had reported a turnover of CHF 21.2 billion.
But some already had made up their mind about this year's edition of the Swiss fair. This is what Frank Mueller, principal of The Bridge to Luxury, a Dresden-based consultancy, had to say:
“Today, I am leaving Baselworld 2019 with mixed feelings. A luxury industry that is no longer able to celebrate its glory and desire for the exclusive will face severe difficulties in convincing customers to buy high-end classical timepieces. From the more than 2.000 exhibitors Baselworld hosted in the past, their numbers have dwindled to some 500 this year. What I found most striking and sad was the lack of any attractive, emotional and innovative branding concepts. This is an industry in shock and without answers for its future except for hopes that omnichannel distribution will bring salvation.”
Visiting jewelers also had their opinion ready. This is what Luca Alfonsi, a prestigious retail jeweler from Cortina D’Ampezzo, a well- known Italian ski resort, said:
“As a jewellery retailer I’ve been visiting Baselworld since 1990 and I predicted its downfall years ago. Switzerland is not a competitive host country. Basel is unfriendly, unconvenient and ridiculosly expensive: 450 swiss francs per night in a modest hotel , 100 for a normal dinner and one ‘germanish’ pizza at the same price of Montecarlo.
While other fairs in the world send you invitations and special offers, Baselworld imposes...