Years ago, Baselworld was considered the Mecca for watch enthusiasts. A place full of excitement for the industry where the world's largest brands would announce their newest novelties. Before I joined the Everest team in 2016, the idea of going to Baselworld was nothing more than a pipe dream. Something most watch enthusiasts just talked about on forums and watch get togethers. That year, I started a new job as a wholesale account manager for Everest and it immediately started with a trip to Baselworld. As you can imagine, I was FREAKING out! Now that I have a few Baselworld trips under my belt, let's take a look at the 5 things I learned after my first Baselworld.
1) You can’t physically handle any of the new releases
Unless you are a member of the press, a prospective retailer, or existing retailer, a vast majority of the brands will not let you handle any of the novelty timepieces or even let you step into their booths. Anyone traveling to Baselworld with the expectation to get a “hands on” experience with the newest Rolex, Patek, Omega, etc is going to be in for a world of disappointment. Luckily, most of the brands kept the new releases on the exterior perimeter of their booths so that you could at least look at them through glass.
2) The Baselworld trance theme will be with you forever
Anyone who has been to Baselworld knows exactly what I am talking about. Outside of Hall 1.0 is a four second beat that plays on the loudspeakers for nine hours a day for seven straight days. It’s mind numbingly awesome. Remarkably, it ends up being one of your favorite memories of Baselworld that you’ll share with thousands of people.
3) Sausages, Sausages, Sausages
Did I mention sausages? One of the best sausages I’ve had came from that fair. I will forever miss that sausage stand outside of Hall 1.0 where you could stuff your face with veal and carb load on rolls of bread all while listening to the same four second beat that I mentioned earlier.
Credit @Atelier De Griff
4) It's REALLY expensive
Just about everything gets more expensive when Baselworld is in town. Have you ever paid 2-3 months of rent on five days of lodging, $100 on Mcdonalds for four people, $90 on Jack and Coke, or $45 on Pad Thai? Neither have I. My boss paid for it. A hot topic for years is how the hospitality industry in town would price gouge excessively during the week of the show. It got so bad that the management group behind Baselworld had to step in and coordinate with the local hotels on a maximum daily rate.
Where one can spend $90 on a Jack and Coke
5) You’ll make some friends at the show
The best part of the show is the connections you’ll make between fellow watch collectors. In the years leading up to my first Baselworld, I was following and interacting with hundreds of different watch accounts on Instagram. Baselworld was a place where many of us met for the first time and finally got to put a face to name. Since then, we made it a point to get together at the show and kept in contact through instagram and group chats all these years later. The “watchfam” is a tight knit community with a lot of great people in it. Many of these people will end up being lifelong friends.