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Baselworld 2017 2/2 - Not just for the big boys

Baselworld 2017 2/2 Not just for the big boys

The main hall opens onto the industry heavyweights, but creativity can be found on every floor.

Among the thousands of professionals who will make the pilgrimage to Basel from all over the planet, some retailers have more clout than others. While they spend most of their time in Hall 1 with the big watch companies, they remain alert to what’s happening with the small independent designers and more modest brands whose booths can be found on the upper floors and in the other exhibition areas. Matthew Green represents DFS, a major network of Asian retailers, known for its T Galleria shopping centres, temples of luxury with a high concentration of monobrand boutiques. He says, “Baselworld is an extremely important event for our team. We discuss our strategic plans and orders with the executives of the brands we represent, we discover their new releases, and we look at products from other watch and jewellery brands that could potentially interest us. Baselworld is the only event where brands invest so much in their booths, to make sure they reflect their DNA, and to provide the best possible immersion in their universe.”

Les Ateliers Baselworld
To cover the trends  and the world premieres unveiled at Baselworld, which has become the de facto showcase for the coming year’s releases, WorldTempus is sending a double-handful of staff and contributors. Like last year, their articles and analyses will be collated in a special Baselworld 2017 section, which is already available. Our editorial team have already begun sharing exclusive information passed on by a number of watchmakers. Every day throughout the fair, WorldTempus will send its subscribers a summary of the latest news from Baselworld (subscribe to the free newsletter by clicking on the link at the bottom of the homepage). By the time the fair opens, WorldTempus and GMT magazine will also have launched a combined app to send daily watch news updates straight to your phone. Perhaps this year’s strongest trends will come from the upper floor of Hall 1, where the “small independents” have been brought together for the first time. In previous years they have been based in a marquee by the famous Bar Rouge, but this time they’ve been given an upgraded exhibition space in a new area called Les Ateliers. It’s hoped that the increased investment will be rewarded by more visitors. Most of the niche brands have chosen to base themselves here, finding strength in numbers. GMT magazine’s Baselworld issue devotes a special 12-page pullout to these smaller watchmakers. You can read it on opening day at gmtmag.com.

Time Square
As always, there will be a group of die-hards camped out on various floors of the Ramada Hotel. The hard core are to be found in “Time Square” (after dark, they are also known as the “Fantastic Four”). On the other side of the Rhine, epicurean feasts will take place each evening in the three restaurants of the Les Trois Rois hotel, which includes the three-starred Cheval Blanc (19 Gault Millau points). Networking will continue at the highest level in the hotel’s luxurious lounges, and discussions will no doubt overflow into the bar and adjoining terrace, with or without musical accompaniment. Don’t miss out: log on to WorldTempus on 22 March.

 

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