BaselWorld 2010: More Buying, `Vintage´-Style Watches

BaselWorld 2010 closed Mar. 25 with 100,700 trade visitor/buyers (up 7 percent) from 100 nations and an upswing in orders.

Industry officials and exhibitors see both as signs of a business revival after two years of global recession.

There were more U.S. buyers. "We welcomed more customers–especially from the USA–and received many more orders," said Karl-Friederich Scheufele, co-president of luxury watch and jewelry maker Chopard. "Business was better than last year. We achieved higher sales, especially with buyers from the USA," said Winchell Cheung, director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, who was spokesman for BaselWorld´s national pavilions.

The upturn in mood and buying was evident in both the watch and jewelry halls. However, exhibitors said buyers were "more demanding" about product prices and quality.

"There were no buying sprees, but there was alot of sensible buying," noted one top watch exec.
Some leading watch trends for 2010 from BaselWorld include:

  • More understated and classic watch designs, less `bling´. "The years of extravagance are over," said veteran watchmaker Jacques Duchene, president of BaselWorld´s exhibitor committee.
  • Vintage and retro watch designs are `in.´ Almost all watch brands debuted watches based on past, successful watches.
  • A flood of black on black watches–especially multi-function watches–in a variety of eye-catching styles.
  • Strong demand for complications watches, including those for women, with retrogrades, perpetual and annual calenders, minute repeaters and tourbillons especially popular.
  • In fashion watches, the start of a shift to smaller sizes.
  • Digital displays, combined with analog faces, making a comeback in mid- and high-priced watches.
  • Widespread use of lightweight titanium and ceramic.
  • More watch brand with new or exanded jewelry accessories.
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