The 2001 Swiss Watch Fairs: Portents of Colorful Change and Innovation

For a few spring days each year, Switzerland is the center of the watch world, the Delphi of watch trends, because it is at the Basel and Geneva shows that the world's watchmakers unveil their newest innovations. The following reports look at notable trends, innovations, and other highlights of this year's watch crops at Basel 2001, the world's largest watch trade fair, and at the smaller luxury watch shows in Geneva. The Basel 2001 watch fair was dominated by three trends that garnered much press coverage: more watches for women, more color, and more use of diamonds or a "diamond look." (See "The Timepieces of Basel 2001: Colorful, Sparkling Women's Wear," JCK, June 2001, p. 198.) However, this year's fair also was notable for innovative watch designs, its spotlight on tourbillon watches, horological inventions, and the number of watchmakers introducing their own jewelry collections.

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