German outlook confident during inhorgenta
MUNICH, Germany, February 26, 2011 – Jewellers attending inhorgenta were confident that jewellery demand would remain resilient in Germany in 2011 despite high and volatile precious metals prices.
“The market is strong and growing,” Karl-Eugen Friedrich, President of the BVJ which represents the German jewellery and watches industry, told Jewellery Outlook.
He reported, however, that sales over Christmas had been difficult in Germany because of the freezing weather.
The rebound in the retail jewellery and watch sector, which began last autumn, looks set to continue, according to an opinion poll among 100 leading jewellery and watch retailers taken by Messe Munchen GmbH, the organiser of inhorgenta.
Forty four percent of retail jewellers in the poll rated their current situation as “good to excellent”, compared with 36 percent in the previous poll taken in the autumn of 2010.
Several senior German jewellers at inhorgenta, which runs from February 25 to 28, echoed comments by Friedrich and said they were confident sales would hold up well this year despite economic uncertainties and the soaring, volatile prices of precious metal raw materials.
HIGH PROFILE OF PLATINUM AT INHORGENTA
Platinum made a big impact at inhorgenta, with a prominent Platinum Forum centrally located in the prestigious B1 hall showcasing the latest platinum jewels and watches from companies such as Schmuck Werk, Henrich & Denzel, and Helene M. Apitzsch.
Colourful gemstones and platinum caught the eye at Georg Spreng´s stand in B1.
Georg Spreng told Jewellery Outlook that citrines, amethysts and smoky quartz were very popular, and that he had been using less weight in some of his platinum designs to help compensate for the high price of the precious metal.
Spreng said he designed his jewellery so that it could be worn by men as well as women.
“Men should be more courageous about what they wear,” he said.
One of his boldest pieces was a body jewel made from a long length of hammered platinum.
Markus Schmidt at Schmuck Werk showed off a chain of rings in gold or platinum that a customer could wear to commemorate a special anniversary. The rings can be worn either as one stacked ring or as a bracelet.
Schmidt said red gold was becoming more popular.
“If a client has a Rolex watch in red gold, she would be likely to ask for red gold jewellery to match,” he said.
Henrich & Denzel presented their new “Venilia” ladies’ watch at inhorgenta. The platinum version with diamonds has one dial for elegant, formal evening wear that flips over and reveals an alternative dial for everyday wear.
The Venilia watch also comes in gold and steel. Some versions have one dial.
Jewellers at inhorgenta said trends were shifting towards unpretentious, yet unusual pieces of jewellery.
Clean, vivacious designs are in. The focus is on the interplay of shapes, attractive colours, and elegant cuts.
A sort of retro look, combined with decreased watch case diameters, has returned.
Clean, coherent shapes with exciting accents.
The colour blue is doing very well in watches and jewels.
“The trend colour blue will play a very important role next season,” said Marlene Schnabel of Fossil.
“Whether a combination of white leather strap and blue watch face (DKNY Watches) or completely enveloped in blue as done by Michael Kors.”
Frank Friedl, a sales manager with Germany´s Leonardo, said, “At this year´s inhorgenta we will focus in particular on ‘Blue’ and ‘Shades of Aqua’, embodying the current fashion trends.”
Nicole Ripp of Idar-Oberstein-based Groh & Ripp said colourful sapphire sets as necklaces or bracelets are in high demand, and that the company had received increased requests for rubies and emeralds.
Gabriele Gollwitzer of Kulsen und Hennig said, “Metallic colours like copper and silver are in trend. Rose cuts are popular for pavé settings.”
inhorgenta staged an awards ceremony on February 25 to recognise the innovation of jewellery industry participants and the splendour of their designs.
One standout award was that received by Maya for Contemporary Design.
Her works are influenced by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi, an aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience.
Finished in silver, her work “Outlines” reduces the shape of vases and dishes to nothing more than a simple notion.