Mar 20, 2015

Baselworld 2015 Inaugurated

Baselworld 2015, the premier global watch and jewellery show, was officially inaugurated yesterday by Swiss Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann. The show will run from March 19-26, 2015 and is expected to have about 1,50,000 professionals from different sectors of the two industries. This year there are 1,500 brands participating in the show.

Speaking at the inauguration, René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group, said that the presence of the Federal Councillor at the opening underlined the importance that the Swiss government gave to the show. He added that Baselworld had been held earlier in conditions that were more favourable and amidst a more optimistic mood, but also stressed that “fortunately there were never occasions when we had the impression that the watch and jewellery industry was running out of innovative ideas."

Kamm paid a special tribute to industry legend, Jacques J. Duchêne, President of the Exhibitors' Committee, who had unexpectedly passed away just before the opening of the show. He highlighted many of Duchêne's excellent qualities and acknowledged that through his "indefatigable commitment" to Baselworld his "contribution to the development of the show and raising it to this standard was immense."

Kamm added that this year Duchêne would have celebrated two anniversaries: his 60th attendance at Baselworld and his 20th as President of the Exhibitors' Committee.

Basel-Stadt Cantonal Council Member, Christoph Brutschin, who welcomed the guests, described the show as "similar to the fabrication of a watch mechanism; a lot of thought and passion with a high standard of precision is invested in this masterpiece that is Baselworld."

On his part, Schneider-Ammann affirmed the importance of the watch industry for Switzerland by describing how it has developed into a uniquely strong economic force, which now boasts more than 500 companies that provide more than 50,000 people with a livelihood. "I am of course proud that Switzerland is one of the most important centres of this art and that Baselworld celebrates this with due solemnity," he said.

Summing up the uniqueness of the show, Ms Sylvie Ritter, Managing Director of Baselworld, "the attractiveness and buzz that this sector creates go on growing," and equally importantly, "the attraction for consumers and the interest of the media are unceasing."