Fashion Magazine

We’ll Meet You at Baselworld 2018!

By Attireclub @attireclub

Baselworld is one of the world's biggest watches and luxury fairs. The event takes place each year in Switzerland's third-largest city, Basel. During the six days of this year's event, which will take place between the 22 nd and 17 th of March 2018, some of the biggest brands of the world will showcase the best of their products and launch new ones.

We’ll Meet You at Baselworld 2018!

Each year, Baselworld attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world and an impressive press audience as well. InCompany by Attire Club has also been invited to be an official press partner for the 2018 edition.

The event took place for the first time in April 1917, when it was called the first Schweizer Mustermesse Basel (MUBA), Mustermesse translating simply from German as "sample fair". A total of 831 companies from different parts of the Swiss economy such as the banking, insurance and transport industries exhibited in the city's casino. The 6000-square-meter/ 64583 square-foot exhibition space also included a special sector for watches and jewelry, as the fair was not dedicated just to watches. Brands such as Longines, Ulysse Nardin and Tissot were among the first brands to exhibit. Some brands have exhibited almost every year in Basel, becoming true household names. For example, Patek Philippe has been present at the Basel fair since 1932.

It was in 1931 when the fair became a show featuring many watches and jewelry, as this sector had grown immensely over the years. This segment was so big, that it was held in the pavilion that is today's Hall 1.

We’ll Meet You at Baselworld 2018!

As of 1967, the show saw the introduction of electronic watches, as brands such as Casio and Seiko mass-produced quartz wristwatches.

In 1972, the show was called "Europe's Meeting Place" as companies from France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom were invited to take part. It was only in 1973 that the first pan-European Watch and Jewelry Show (Europäische Uhren- und Schmuckmesse / EUSM) took place. And, speaking of 1972, this was the year Audemars Piguet launched the iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, a model that is still en vogue. In 1973, Ebauches Electronic SA presented an eight-digit LCD wristwatch that showcased the time and date.

In1983, the year the Swatch watch was introduced, was the first year Basel was held independently of the other sectors.

Three years later, in 1986, the fair opened up to exhibitors from the whole world, not just Europe, making it immediately one of the world's most important fairs of the type.

The decade that followed, the 1990s, was a true boom for the event, which blossomed into prosperity. Thus, the Basel fair attracted more and more brands and exhibitors and was the place where many new models were unveiled. For example, in 1990, Junghans exhibited the first radio-controlled wristwatch in history, called the MEGA 1. As of the late 1980s, the watch industry saw a boom in new mechanical models. This shift is known in the industry as the "mechanical renaissance". The beginning of the 1990s was time when the show had grown so much that the organizers considered moving to another city, but later decided to drop the idea. The show was so big that, for example, in 1999, TAG Heuer unveiled its three-story Basel booth, which remained in use until 2012.

The 2000s welcomed a new era of watchmaking: one where classic brands coexisted with brands that had at their core the idea of trend and innovation.

We’ll Meet You at Baselworld 2018!

In 2003, the show was renamed as BASELWORLD, The Watch and Jewellery Show. Now, brands were allocating more and more money to their stands and Baselworld expanded to new dimensions with an exhibition surface of 160000 square meters / 1722225 square feet. The 2003 show attracted over 89000 visitors. Brands invested not only in their products, but also in the experiences they offered to their customers.

As the new millennium began, marketing remained one of the most important aspects of the show, with brands going full throttle on their presentations. Moreover, the first years of the 21 st century saw a growth in side events.

In 2007, Baselworld broke its own record in terms of visitors, as it was the first time the fair drew over 100000 people. The 101700 people who attended the show came to Basel from 101 countries.

The growth of the event was also reflected in the space occupied by the brands. In 2004, Rolex had showcased its products in 180 square meters / 1937 square feet across two stories, which was almost 40 times larger than the first booth they had, back in 1939.

The end of the 2000s and the beginning of the 2010 were marked by a watch world where large conglomerates and corporations are just as important as small, independent artisans who create timepieces that are able to compete in the same space. In 2010, the organizers put together a temporary edifice next to the parking structure, called the Baselworld Palace, where artistic individuals showcased their creations.

After the year 2010, one could see more and more technology brought into Basel. For example, 2012 saw the launch of HYT 's H1, a hydromechanical watch which makes use of a mechanical movement to move liquid in order to display the time.

Between 2011 and 2013, Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron, the company responsible for Beijing's Olympic "Bird's Nest", constructed an exhibitions surface of 140600 square meters / 1513405 square feet. This endeavor cost no less than 430 million Swiss francs or 458 million US dollars.

Today, Baselworld is thus a point of reference for watchmakers and watch lover from all over the world. Baselworld has always changed and developed and has thus always been a reflection of nothing else but time.

Fraquoh and Franchomme

P.S. We want to hear from you! Have you been to Baselworld? Which is your favorite watch brand? Why? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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