Swiss watch trade show conducts youth survey

EPHJ 2015 – Ambiance secteur EPHJ

The 15th edition of Switzerland’s leading trade show will present the results of a major survey of Swiss youth to discover their perception of watchmaking and watches.

The EPHJ-EPMT-SMT trade show, which is dedicated to serving Swiss watch, jewellery, micro and medical manufacturing, is held in Geneva on 14-17 June.

The show’s exclusively commissioned survey of young Swiss people aged 16-25 explores watch preferences, attachment to smart devices and the perception of the Swiss made label.

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André Colard, the trade show’s co-founder, said: “The results are surprising, given what you hear and read in the media. Young people in Switzerland are far more attached to the values associated with the Swiss made brand and traditional watches than we are led to believe. Swiss watchmaking has a real appeal too.”

The survey results will be revealed at 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 14 June, when the EPHJ-EPMT-SMT trade show opens its doors. The results will then be discussed at a round table, with Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry; Xavier Comtesse, the founder of Watch Thinking; Joachim Ziegler, chief executive officer of retailer Les Ambassadeurs, and watch journalist Valère Gogniat.

Exhibitors within the watchmaking section are the kind of specialist manufacturing companies that are the backbone of Switzerland’s watchmaking infrastructure.

Organisers state that in 2016, with a stronger Swiss Franc and tax uncertainties, it is more important than ever to highlight the county’s ‘unparalleled expertise’ in high precision manufacturing.

Barthélémy Martin, project director, said: “Despite tougher economic conditions, exhibitors are still committed to attending. We have already matched the 2015 figures. By the time the trade show opens its doors, we will have achieved modest growth. This demonstrates how important it is to stay visible when times are tough. What better way to promote your company than by exhibiting at our Show, with 20,000 professional visitors?”

In 2015 the show exceeded 20,000 visitors for the first time, these came from more than 60 countries, but the show is a predominantly Swiss affair, accounting for 80% of visitors. The show is seen as a hotbed for manufacturing innovation with many exhibitors holding back exclusive processes at the event itself.

“This is our Show’s main asset,” explains Olivier Saenger, the trade show’s co-founder. “Over 95% of our exhibitors say that they have signed new contracts or opened up access to new markets during the trade show. That is what really counts for them. It proves that supply and demand in these three cross-fertilising, skilled manufacturing sectors lies at the heart of this platform for business and discussion.”

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