Germany won the world soccer championship for the second time in 1974. The decisive final match against the Netherlands was played in Munich’s Olympic Stadium, whose visionary tent-roof architecture inspired the world. Otl Aicher’s refreshing design concept for the 1972 Olympics had already contributed toward defining Germany as a country where modern design was the order of the day. And 1974 was also the year when Inhorgenta opened its doors for the first time, then still in Munich’s old exhibition center near Theresienwiese. The trade fair for the jewelry and watch industry quickly gained an international reputation. After relocating to the Neue Messe on the site of the former Riem airport in 1998, Inhorgenta even dared to vie with the overpowering prestige of Baselworld, which brought together the major luxury brands in the watch and jewelry sector.
Inhorgenta was particularly interesting for aficionados of jewelry design thanks to the individual artists’ workshops and creative manufactories that gathered in Hall C2. In this light-flooded venue, they offered a contemporary alternative to luxury à la Cartier, Bulgari or Chopard. The new designers combined authenticity with high-quality design and impeccable craftsmanship. They were led by the Niessing manufactory, which was likewise dedicated to a modern design idiom coupled with substantial quality and which exhibited in Hall C2 for several years. But Hall C2 lost traction after ´ Niessing moved to the B1 luxury hall, followed by a number of leading jewelry designers. Furthermore, a cultural change occurred that was inconducive to modern jewelry design.
For Inhorgenta’s fiftieth anniversary, jewelry designers will now find a new home in Hall B2, which they’ll share with wedding-ring manufacturers as part of a general restructuring of the fair. Although the optimistic spirit that buoyed jewelry design in the 1980s and ’90s has faded, individual workshops where contemporary jewelry is designed with love and skill still exist – and some of them are now moving to Hall B2. Incidentally: almighty Baselworld breathed its last in 2019.
The following are further jewelry designers who – like many others – are not exhibiting at Inhorgenta this year: