Opening of Baselworld: in memoriam of Jacques Duchêne

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March 2015

Baselworld’s traditional opening press conference was held at 11:00 on Wednesday. It began with a sad announcement by René Kamm, CEO of MCH Group and Baselworld organizer. Visibly moved, he announced the recent passing of Jacques Duchêne, president of the Baselworld Exhibitors’ Committee for twenty years. A historical figure of the Swiss watch industry - he worked for 60 years uninterrupted at Baselworld - Jacques Duchêne passionately chaired the strategic Exhibitors’ Committee, where he was instrumental in strengthening the influence of Baselworld internationally. Actively engaged in the fight against counterfeiting - which was one of his major battles - Jacques Duchêne will be remembered as a determined and courageous man who worked tirelessly to serve watchmaking.

The press conference largely revolved around a predictable topic: smartwatches and their impact on Swiss watchmaking. Everyone wanted to be reassuring, Francois Thiebaud, Tissot CEO and President even saw it as an opportunity: “This is an additional market more than anything else. And maybe it will encourage young people - who have abandoned the watch - to love wearing an object on the wrist.” Fine words, but we’ll know more about this topic within ten days. (PM)

Opening of Baselworld: in memoriam of Jacques Duchêne

Jacques Duchêne