Every year around this time, hundreds of thousands of watch lovers, watch brands, retailers and global press descend on the small town of Basel, Switzerland. While the cheese, chocolate and quaint architecture are nice attractions, the main focus is the Baselworld International Watch and Jewelry exhibition.
This premier show is universally recognized as the key place to see the newest and greatest watch and jewelry unveilings. This is where history is made, and where wrist trends for the coming years start their journey.
As a veteran journalist in the watch industry, I have been attending Baselworld for more than 30 years. I have watched the show grow and morph to become a strong representation of the best and brightest stars in the watchmaking and jewelry industry. This year, our Haute Time and Haute Living team will be a tour de force, witnessing the unveiling of thousands of watches from several hundred brands.
Baselworld is open to the public and watch lovers who have never attended should seriously consider going – it is a site unlike anything else. Imagine a world’s fair of watches, with exhibitors building three-story-tall “booths”, bringing in cars and planes, setting up elaborate floral displays or artistic or cultural displays and more. As journalists, we move from appointment to appointment, from building to building in a seamlessly never-ending string of meetings that move like a well-oiled wheel.
In fact, Baselworld is one of the foremost platforms for bringing watch passions and people together. More than 1,000 exhibitors and 150,000 visitors come to this weeklong marathon. There are so many visitors that the city of Basel can’t accommodate all, with many staying in Zurich, or nearby Germany. The Fair even brings in river cruise boats that dock on the river to provide housing during the show.
The opening ceremonies for the show are on Wednesday, March 16 and the fair officially opens on Thursday march 17. We will be working hard, but we will also be sharing the word. We will be bringing news, product information, brand affiliations and conducting key interviews with celebrities and watch executives –interviews we will bring to you over the coming month.