Picture taken from http://eurotecmagazine.wordpress.com/.
Trade shows should be just as important as BaselWorld for watchmakers.
As much as its frowned upon to sell a 60,000 Francs watch as hand-made when its partially CNC produced, but the reality of economics cannot be ignored. Without the help of modern technology such as CNC machines and CAD/CAM systems, there will not be many pieces produced each year by hand. Its sometimes necessary to speed up production with the help of machines but to a limit of course.
Not only do trade shows gives the watchmaker an insight into the latest machining technologies, it also gives the watchmaker an idea of whats new and whats on offer. The need to network is vital in these trade shows as you get to meet suppliers whom you may need to order from in the future.
Anyway, one of this year's most important trade shows, the EPHJ-EPMT/SMT exhibition is now over, but next year, try and make a visit. It will be worth your effort and time.