Jewellers at Baselworld voice anger at years of being ignored

© Written by Rachael Taylor for The Financial Times

While ostensibly a fair for watchmakers and jewellers, Baselworld has always been more focused on the former, which have the grandest booths in the most prominent positions. Now jewellers are making their discontent clear.

“There is an over-focus on watches,” says Sameer Lilani of Indian brand Amrapali. After a near-constant presence at Baselworld since 2001, Amrapali stopped exhibiting in 2016. “We were picking up fewer new accounts,” says Mr Lilani, who has found more luck at US trade show Couture in Las Vegas.

“A lot of [our existing] buyers come to London at some point during the year anyway, where we get their complete attention and do more business. If they see me in Basel, they have a 45-minute or a one-hour slot and a certain amount of budget to spend at the show. If you’re growing, I don’t mind spending €200,000 to do a show, but in reality we were doing less business than if we weren’t there.”…

This story was originally published in the March 22, 2018, edition of The Financial Times. Read the full story here. Main image: Baselworld

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