As Baselworld 2016 comes to a close, event organisers have confirmed that the numbers of buyers and visitors was down on last year.
More than 145,000 attended the world’s biggest watch show from more than 100 countries, however visitor numbers were down 3% compared to 2015. This may simply be a reflection of the overall state of the Swiss watch industry, whose exports were down 3.3% in 2015 compared to the previous year.
Speaking as one of the show’s major exhibitors Jean-Claude Biver, president of the LVMH watch division and chief executive of TAG Heuer, said: “Considering the political, economic, financial and monetary tensions in the world, I am still quite optimistic for 2016, taking into account our results during these days of exhibiting at Baselworld. The general atmosphere at Baselworld has shown us that this optimism for our brands is shared by many of our retailers.”
Despite this drop in overall numbers 2.3% more journalists attended representing 4,400 members of the press from more than 70 countries.
In total 1,500 exhibitors showed their wares in the halls of the Congress Centre Basel, taking in watches, jewellery, gems, machinery and suppliers.
Willie Hamilton, chief executive of the CMJ, added: “Baselworld is the centre of the universe for eight days, because it’s where everybody from the watch and jewellery industry comes together on a positive note. It gives us a flavour of what’s ahead of us as all the brands are launching new products, and it’s also great to see the emerging brands which will be with us for the future.”