The Basel Show 2018

Is Baselworld not so Wordly anymore? Why would such a classic luxury expose’ as the Basel Show 2018 start to dwindle or reduce when so much of the mega millions pouring into Switzerland have benefited them immensely over the last few years of the Basel Show?

Basel Show 2018

Leading up to The Basel Show 2018

In the early years of 2010 to 2013 many Swiss Businesses benefited in sales of luxury watches:

Basel Show 2018 Chart from the Statistical Portal Statista.com

As JCKonline wrote on March 19, 3 Things to Know about Ahead of Baselworld 2018, “ According to published reports, the Basel Show 2018 has lost nearly half of its exhibitors (from 1,300 in 2017, down to around 650 this year) and has reduced its exhibition space by about one-third. Accordingly, organizers have cut the number of days from eight to six.” And on March 26 in the JCKonline discussion of the show in The Trends and Talking Pieces of Baselworld 2018 stated that there was “skepticism by some attendees, who reported thinner crowds and a general sense of uncertainty about the future of the fair, which lost about half its exhibitors from last year.”

Why The Reduction?

Though some reasons may seem obvious for example the slowing of luxury sales at the Basel Show 2018, compared to earlier years, let’s dig deeper and ask why?

1. Luxury buyers flooded the market at the Basel Show from 2010 to around 2013 and many of the young buyers spending freely came from China. Since then, the Chinese government has been cracking down on Financial institutions and other not so legal enterprises. This has many of the Young Chinese Luxury Buyers investing in other Luxury as mentioned in Rueters article Bentleys and Bordeaux: “Chinese newcomers drive Vancouver’s luxury market”.

2. Russian high level millionaires, mainly based their expendable incomes on Oil profits. Not so many were present at Basel Show 2018 though, because within the last few years, they have slowed from buying so much high end luxury from overseas, due to the reduction in Oil prices and in their incomes. Oil is one of the most important factors in the Russian economy. Laws on ownership of Luxury Items in Russia can add taxes and restrictions but many are buying within Russia instead of buying overseas which saves them money on several levels.

The Swiss Watch Industry

Deloitte in their Swiss Watch Industry Study 2016  talks about the Swiss Watch industry and it’s decline in some areas but rise in others such as in online sales:

“Swiss watch exports continue to fall. The Swiss watch industry has been facing difficult conditions since 2015. Exports of watches fell in the first half of 2016 to their lowest level since 2011 (see Figure 1) creating concerns that a return to growth would take longer than expected.  After years of tremendous growth between 2010 and 2013 followed by a relative plateau in 2014, Swiss watch exports started to falter in the second half of 2015 primarily due to a sharp fall in sales to Asia. In the first half of 2016, watch exports to Asia were worth CHF 4.7 billion, compared to CHF 5.4 billion in the first half of 2015. Overall, the first half of 2016 showed a decline of 11.3% in volume and 10.6% in value over the same period in 2015. Swiss watch exports have now been declining for 14 consecutive months (as at August 2016), the first time this has occurred since the 2009 global recession. However, the recent decrease is less dramatic than the one recorded in 2009 when volume decreased.”

Basel Show 2018Chart Courtesy of Deloitte’s Study

The Future of the Baselworld Show

The next question is will business return to the show? And also from Deloitte, courtesy of Russia Beyond’s May 2017 article Russians Beginning to Spend More on Luxury Items (and seconded by the Euro Monitor report of A Better Russian Economy) that:

“Domestic demand for luxury commodities is increasing in Russia, reads a report by the international auditing specialist Deloitte. The results of a survey conducted among well-heeled Russians indicate that 62 percent have started spending more on luxury items. A similar trend has been reported in both China and the UAE, described by experts as developing luxury markets. In Europe, the U.S., and Japan – which are all considered to be developed markets for luxury items – 49 percent have reportedly started shelling out more for deluxe items. And went on to describe how buying at home in Russia is growing which would mean more exports and not so many at the Basel Show 2018 buying.”

Basel Show 2018

Above is a stunning Rolex Oyster 40mm Everose Gold and Diamonds featured at the Basel Show 2018 (YouTube) and a Rainbow Gemstone Dial Ring similar to a project we do for a client and can be seen in our article “Introduction to the Gemstone Watch Industry”. We still have our clients in Europe, Russia, USA and even China and in all parts of the world. We supply wholesale precious and semi precious gems to the Watch and Jewelry Industry, including the Swiss Watch Industry, and do our best to keep our clients and customers happy.

Where as the Basel show 2018 is shrinking, the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry show and Hongkong Gems and Jewelry show is constant at its own pace. The shift of mass production and also precious jewelry manufacturing has shifted to places like Thailand and China for its cost and technology advancements. Navneet Gems and Minerals has been a part of these two Gem shows in Bangkok and Hongkong for the past 15 years.

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