Baselworld: producing the products when the going will get robust

Roll up, roll up, the brand new watch releases are on the town! EMILY MOBBS visits Baselworld 2017 to find what’s in retailer for the native market within the season forward.

It’s that point of yr once more when the world’s most well-known watch and jewelry present concludes and the native business eagerly awaits the arrival of scorching new product.

Baselworld 2017 occurred from March 23 to March 30 and was set in opposition to a backdrop of troubling market situations (see separate story on web page 32) however it’s in robust intervals the place the sturdy is separated from the weak; the place these wishing to succeed work more durable to reinvent and innovate.

This was a sentiment expressed by the present’s organisers, who pushed the ‘high quality over amount’ mantra throughout media conferences and press releases all through the week.


Addressing the media at some point earlier than the occasion formally opened, Baselworld Exhibitors’ Committee president Eric Bertrand stated he believed that the difficult occasions would offer “alternative for individuals who have carried out their job correctly in recent times and who’ve a stable basis available on the market”.

Additional, Bertrand said on the final day of the watch and jewelry present that the standard of product releases on show was proof that the sector was resilient amidst troublesome situations.

Baselworld stays necessary for the Australian and New Zealand industries as a result of it gives suppliers with their first glimpse on the newest watch fashions for the manufacturers that they distribute whereas additionally presenting an opportunity to hunt out new distribution offers.

Seiko Australia group advertising supervisor Stuart Smith is one member of the 2017 Baselworld Australian contingent who expresses confidence in his model’s providing. Talking with Jeweller on the present, Smith stated that Seiko had achieved 4 years of constructive leads to a troublesome market and the native staff anticipated an analogous final result for the yr forward.

“It [the market] has bought its challenges – not everyone experiences it as being good and, most likely in the direction of the again finish of final yr, it began to get a bit bit more durable – however we’re all fairly assured,” Smith said, including, “When you’ve bought good product releases then you definitely’ll most likely have a great yr. We’ve had quite a lot of curiosity on the brand new releases at Baselworld already.”

Again on house soil, Smith confirms there are numerous fashions that ought to excite native retailers and customers. For starters, the Japanese model has re-imagined the previous with new releases within the Prospex assortment.

“Each fashions are modern re-interpretations of Seiko’s unique 1965 diver’s watch,” Smith says of the 2 timepieces coming to the native market in November.

The watches echo the unique design idea however, as Smith explains, now have the most recent specs required by divers – automated calibre with 21,600 vibrations per hour; wider arms with longer-lasting Lumibrite for elevated legibility; 200-metres of water resistance; sapphire, crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating; bigger case measurement of 42.6 mm.

The model additionally invokes glamour with its Presage Assortment, impressed by a cocktail bar and launched in July.

“This collection of mechanical watches has solely beforehand been obtainable on the Japanese home market,” Smith says. “Since its introduction in 2010, the collection has developed a cult following on the world’s blogs, boards and web sites.

The ‘cocktail’ launch will see six fashions launched in two totally different calibres – automated calendar and automated with energy reserve indicator.”

Lastly, Smith says Seiko has expanded its Astron GPS Photo voltaic collection with the Astron Huge-Date calibre. The mannequin has chrome steel and titanium case and bracelet choices with key options together with GPS-controlled time and time-zone adjustment, twin time with AM/PM indication and perpetual calendar to the yr 2100.

The collection additionally encompasses a watch designed in honour of brand name ambassador Novak Djokovic’s achievement of securing a Profession Grand Slam after successful the French Open in 2016. Each Astron fashions are anticipated to be obtainable by early September.

Given its focused distribution, the Grand Seiko vary doesn’t affect closely upon the Australian and New Zealand markets; nevertheless, it ought to nonetheless be famous that it’s now to be thought of a stand-alone model, in line with an announcement made at Baselworld.

Know-how meets adrenaline

Casio Timepieces has a give attention to know-how too, the model highlighting its new G-Shock Gravity Grasp as a key launch in 2017.

Out there in June and falling beneath G-Shock’s Grasp of G vary, the watch was developed in response to the precise wants of pilots and is a part of G-Shock’s new ‘Linked’ providing, which introduces Bluetooth connectivity with a wise gadget for easy configuration and knowledge logging.


Casio has additionally introduced its third launch of the restricted version Mr-G Hammer Tone, which Arujunan Gunasingam, nationwide industrial gross sales and advertising supervisor of Casio native distributor Shriro, describes as “magnificence meets toughness”.

“Restricted to 500 items worldwide, each bit is hand made by grasp metalwork craftsman Bihou Asano,” Gunasingam says of the mannequin that can launch regionally in September.

Embracing the motorsport spirit is the most recent Edifice iteration that has a smartphone hyperlink chronograph and was created with enter from skilled racing-car staff members.

“The addition of a smartphone linkage functionality has enabled set up of a perform for managing particular person laps throughout races,” Gunasingam concludes.

Whereas on high-adrenaline pursuits, Vostok Europe’s newest releases proceed the model’s popularity of distinctive watches designed for excessive situations – timepieces are even offered in a water-resistant dry field that can be utilized throughout actions carried out by individuals who take pleasure in residing life on the sting.

Ken Abbott, managing director of Vostok Europe’s native distributor Timesupply, explains that one of many model’s distinctive promoting propositions is using tritium illumination tubes – a laser-sealed, gas-filled tube with radio-luminescent materials that glows with no need to be charged by an exterior mild supply.

“Vostok Europe consumers are a really combined demographic, from enterprise males and collectors who desire a strong distinctive watch not designed by a ‘committee’ via to tradies, emergency/police and safety companies who depend on tritium illumination,” Abbott explains.

Together with a Japanese multi-function motion, 300-metres of water resistance and an automated helium launch valve, the most recent Lunokhod-2 mannequin’s tritium tubes are mounted vertically across the dial and horizontally on the hour and minute hand, offering essentially the most superior illumination with out the necessity to recharge with mild.

“The Energia [new release] additionally has the tritium lighting tubes mounted horizontally on the arms and dial however there may be one other intelligent characteristic to additional improve the brightness of the tritium fuel – the arms and dial batons are mirror completed,” Abbott provides.

In search of tranquillity

These seeking one thing a bit extra relaxed can look to the basic, clear aesthetic of Danish Design, one other model distributed by Timesupply.

“Danish Design is about type, simplicity and high quality,” Abbott says, highlighting two new releases. One showcases satin gold ion-plated chrome steel and chocolate-coloured leather-based strap and the opposite showcases satin rose gold ion-plated chrome steel with a gray dial and taupe-coloured leather-based strap.

Danish Design advertising director Ronan Weisz additionally instructed Jeweller at Baselworld new advertising marketing campaign was within the works and anticipated to be launched later this yr.

Additionally famend for a minimalist type is Bering, a model synonymous with Scandinavian design. Nils Rasmussen, managing director of native distributor BYMR, factors to the model’s photo voltaic look ahead to males as a key launch from the present.

“Combining photo voltaic know-how with trademark minimalist Danish design, and with a robust perception in environmental safety, Bering has launched a placing, black photo voltaic watch with yellow highlights,” Rasmussen says of the timepiece that launches this month.

Different highlights embody a highly-polished metal and gray ladies’s watch with Swarovski parts in addition to a unisex timepiece, which Rasmussen explains, adopts the most recent color development of black mixed with rose gold. Each are out in June.

Talking of developments, Daniel Wellington has secured a robust footing throughout the trend watch class and introduced at this yr’s Baselworld the appointment of US mannequin and social media darling Kendall Jenner as model ambassador.

“Central to this relationship was the launch of the brand new Traditional Petite assortment, as worn by Kendall Jenner,” explains John Rose, normal supervisor of Daniel Wellington’s native distributor West Finish Assortment.

“The Petite assortment [available now] is a brand new design for Daniel Wellington that includes a 32 mm case and a rose gold or silver mesh strap,” Rose continues. “Following on from the success of the Black assortment that was launched in November 2016, the brand new Traditional Petite assortment additionally comes with both a black or white dial.”

Australia represents

One other vital Baselworld announcement for Rose was the presence of Christian Paul Sydney and the launch of the Break Away system.

The model, distributed regionally by West Finish Assortment, was based in 2015 and was a first-time exhibitor at this yr’s present.

Christian Paul CEO and founder Tim Caruana says Baselworld met all expectations and that the Break Away launch acquired a excessive stage of worldwide curiosity.

Break Away is an interchangeable watch strap idea with a distinction. The three-part system permits customers to assemble a timepiece from three separate elements – the face, the band and the buckle. Every of the 86 obtainable elements is handled as a person inventory holding unit (SKU), which permits customers to mix-and-match the elements to create their very own mixtures – there are stated to about 1,500 type choices.

“The suggestions at Baselworld couldn’t be any higher,” Caruana says. “The take a look at was whether or not the idea may very well be simply communicated and understood and, by all accounts, distributors aren’t solely greedy the concept however saying ‘That is what we’d like.’”

Rose provides that the brand new system is offered on an expensive POS show and will likely be obtainable in Australia by the top of June.

Nonetheless on trend-driven designs, the dialog turns to Henry London, which is distributed regionally by Ice Australasia.

“For Henry London, the Iconic and the Automated vary are key new releases and are based mostly on suggestions from retailers and customers,” Ice Australasia CEO Larry Porter explains.

“The Iconic retains the inspiration of the unique Henry design – chrome steel case and domed glass; nevertheless, it’s introduced updated and on development with the addition of a mineral glass lens, minimalist on-trend dial and color palettes,” Porter says, including that an necessary component contains interchangeable bands in leather-based and mesh.

In response to Porter, the Automated males’s vary is a wonderful evolution of the unique Henry watch and now options an automated motion with a mineral glass lens.

“Given the suggestions we’ve got acquired from our male customers, we really feel this may hit a candy spot,” he says.

Ice-Watch, additionally distributed by Ice Australasia, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this yr. Porter states that the model’s main launch is the Ice-Watch Ola junior vary, based mostly on the model’s unique slimline design with the addition of numbered dials.

“We see this as the important thing launch from Basel, because it showcases the DNA of the model – silicone and color – at a highly-accessible worth level,” he says.

Watches for kids, adrenaline seekers, fashionistas, tech-heads – there’s a brand new providing for each client sort possible.

To reiterate Smith’s remark, high quality of product releases goes a protracted method to guaranteeing success on this market and it seems the 2017 Baselworld present delivered on that with loads of choices for retailers.

Baselworld organisers have introduced that the 2018 present has been shortened.

A press release by Baselworld organiser MCH Swiss Exhibition confirms that subsequent yr’s version will likely be held throughout six days as a substitute of the normal eight.

Purchaser attendance on the 2017 occasion decreased four per cent year-on-year to 106,000, whereas exhibitor numbers lowered 13 per cent to 1,300.

Commenting on the choice to shorten the present, Baselworld managing director Sylvie Ritter says the business is present process a “difficult section” and the occasion must adapt.

“Listening to our exhibitors, we’ve got determined to cut back the length of the [2018] present and alter costs accordingly,” she explains.

The 2018 occasion will happen from March 22 to March 27.


Emily Mobbs attended Baselworld as an accredited media consultant. Baselworld 2018 is scheduled to happen from March 22 to March 27.

Try Jeweller‘s report from Baselworld 2017 right here »

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