Ladies and Gentlemen,
I should like to welcome you wholeheartedly to Baselworld 2013. Here we are at last! But before we celebrate the opening of the exhibition halls, I would like to fit in a few remarks for you about this really special event.
This year’s edition of the World Watch and Jewellery Show represents a further milestone in the history of Baselworld.
Our show has the honour of being the first one to be staged in the hall complex designed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron. We can feel justifiably proud in ascertaining that our location today is the most modern of exhibition facilities. The top-grade infrastructure makes it possible to operate with maximum precision in every respect.
Over the past seven weeks, approximately 20,000 people have been working to create an unrivalled universe inside these halls, forming an immaculate setting in which to showcase the watches and jewellery. Around a thousand new stands are going to be inaugurated, and all the exhibitors in Hall 1 will be receiving their visitors in two and three-storey stands.
At this point, we should like to thank our exhibitors most sincerely for the confidence they have placed in Baselworld and for their loyalty that extends back over many years. It would be impossible to overdo this expression of thanks – the exhibitors’ dedication and their impressive investments in the new show setting for 2013 are creating an unforgettable, unique show experience which is second to none. And they represent a true commitment towards Baselworld.
Without this dedication, Baselworld would not be as strong as it is today. Thanks to our exhibitors’ investments, Baselworld is becoming even more distinctive as a show for the whole world to experience. With an incredible degree of perfection, architecture, brand design and product design are all blending in with one another here, allowing the individual brands to come to life and do themselves full justice.
We are eagerly looking forward to the new products and innovations that are going to be revealed for the whole sector here in the coming days.
Inside the halls too, we are presenting ourselves with a revised show layout. The concept mirrors market realities and reflects how things have been developing over the years. Watches and jewellery are products that have grown closer together in recent years and are now on display side-by-side at this event.
In Hall 1 you will find the ‘Global Brands’ – watch and jewellery brands that have a global impact and a worldwide reach.
Meanwhile, in Hall 2, the companies exhibiting under the title of ‘International Brands’ are internationally active in the watch and jewellery industry. They too are represented in several countries – even if not everywhere in the world.
The exhibitors of diamonds, precious stones and pearls are presenting their products in an autonomous sector called ‘Stones and Pearls’ in Hall 3. The layout of this hall too has been completely revised and adapted to the needs of the exhibiting companies.
The representatives of the machine and supply industry are to be found in Hall 4.U.
Building 4 is also where the ‘National Pavilions’ of the participating countries are to be found.
It really stretches the imagination to grasp how much will be converging on Basel over the next nine days and how complete this showcase of the watch and jewellery industry is going to be.
BRILLIANCE MEETS appositely expresses what we are experiencing here. Never before have so many imaginative brains been set the task of making the most out of Baselworld and come up with such creative diversity. It is truly amazing how much know-how and passion is being concentrated here and is about to be carried out into the whole wide world through you – more than 3 300 representatives of the media.
In order to make sure that you can arrange your visit to Baselworld in the best possible way, do, please, allow me to draw your attention to a couple of innovations:
– We are publishing the Baselworld Brand Book for the first time. This publication provides unique insight into the world of watches and jewellery and is the "Who’s Who" of a richly varied industry.
– Anyone wanting to gain an overview of where to acquire stones and pearls or machinery is warmly recommended to read our Baselworld Selection – another world premiere.
– Nor should you forget our Daily News, which keeps you completely up-to-date with the latest occurrences, and our Baselworld App, which will make it easier for you to find your way around the exhibition halls.
In drawing to a conclusion, I should like, at this point, to express my thanks to the Exhibitors’ Committee for the constructive way in which it works with us and for its much-appreciated support. My thanks go, in particular, to Mr. Jacques Duchêne and Mr. François Thiébaud for being such valuable partners for exchanging ideas and for their many, many years of commitment to the cause of Baselworld. I should also like to thank my own team for its indefatigable dedication in making this show of superlatives into a living reality.
Now I should like to turn to you too, Ladies and Gentlemen, and thank you all for attending. I am really looking forward to the coming days and I trust that all of you too are going to thoroughly enjoy Baselworld 2013. My hope is that our new Press Centre will provide you with optimum support in your work, enabling you to concentrate on unforgettable impressions and experiences. And perhaps we will see each other on one of these evenings in the Baselworld Village.
Many thanks to you all! It is you who make Baselworld what it is – an unrivalled world watch and jewellery show.