Base; ’95: Creativity & Caution

The new name of the giant trade fair in Basel, Switzerland - The World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show - didn't drastically alter its makeup. But it did better reflect the nature of the timepiece and jewelry business as a global concern that for years has reached well beyond the Swiss Alps and Europe. This year, global concern meant more than a world of interested buyers and appreciative observers. The harsh realities of economic change, including lingering recessions in Europe and currency fluctuations, distracted buyers and exhibitors more used to concentrating on the nuances of handcrafted tourbillons and the design of fine jewelry. The value of the Swiss franc had increased about 23% against the U.S. dollar since the 1994 fair. While about half a dozen major watch companies already had raised prices before this year's event, the rest were expected to follow suit soon Jewelry manu

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