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Watch fair celebrates its 100th anniversaryBASELWORLD 2017: Innovation and excellence as the answers to current challenges

As the world’s largest watch show celebrates its 100th anniversary, Swiss watchmakers and jewellers, along with related sectors, are once again taking part in this not-to-be-missed trade event. From March 23rd to March 30th 2017, they are presenting their latest – often world-exclusive – new models, thereby displaying their impressive innovation and expertise in responding to a tense economic context.

Swiss made quality first and foremost

Compared with only 29 exhibitors at the first edition of the show held in 1917, no less than 220 Swiss companies are today unveiling their latest creations at Baselworld. Loyal to their reputation for excellence, Swiss exhibitors are constantly upping the creative ante to meet the demands of a market looking for simpler and more affordable models. While the trend is clearly towards restrained designs, innovation is more strongly present than ever. Deliberately avoiding excess and extravagance, this approach is instead dedicated to serving functionality, durability and comfort, by means of useful complications, original adjustment systems ensuring enhanced user friendliness, as well as special attention devoted to construction designed to makes watches more resistant to wear. The reinforced demands of the Swiss made label, which came into force on January 1st 2017, echo our watchmakers’ determination to offer consumers ever greater guarantees in terms of quality, craftsmanship and origin.

The new generation on show in “Les Ateliers”

Alongside perpetual self-renewal in order to create exceptional timepieces, Swiss watchmakers also reinvent themselves when it comes to ways of highlighting their creations. About forty new-gen brands are taking their place in “Les Ateliers”. This welcoming area of Hall 1.2. gives them enhanced visibility, while reflecting their innovative spirit through a particularly modern booth design.

A competitive sector despite current upheavals

While the Swiss watch industry remains the world leader in value terms, it ended 2016 with a total of CHF 19.4 billion, meaning 9.9% down on the previous year and bringing the industry back to its 2011 level. Despite particularly marked international uncertainty with regard to politics, security and finance, coupled with less tourism in Europe and the persistent strength of the Swiss franc, the negative trend has levelled off in recent months. After two years of a distinct slide, China is enjoying renewed growth.