Wait, Basel in November?! What’s going on here? An understandable reaction but, still, Baselworld 2018 is in the headlines, five whole months before it opens its doors. But we’ll get to that in a second, right after we finish mixing this delicious summery cocktail (a lukewarm beer IRL), and saunter off to (yet another) glamorous party (more deadlines IRL). Let’s wind this Friday down!
Well, last night I got a seemingly innocuous email from the Baselworld mailing list I’m subscribed to. I was tempted to archive it for future *cough* reading *cough*, but my curiosity was piqued, as it seemed pretty early. And I am glad I hit open, because there were some key words in the opening lines that really jumped out at me: ‘Baselworld repositions its concept’. Huh? Now, for as long as I (or most) can remember, Baselworld has been the immovable rock of the watch industry. A shambling, spectacular, monolithic event, sprawled over two weeks. Well, that’s all set to change next year, as the fair is shorter, running for six instead of eight days, and far smaller, with an expected 600 – 800 exhibiting companies. Down around 50 per cent from the 1500 brands exhibiting in 2015.
We’ve heard rumblings of change for a few years now, but this is big news for the watch industry’s premier trade show, and speaks volumes about the consolidating, fragmented nature of the market. For a more in-depth analysis I suggest you head over to Quill & Pad and read this piece, but one thing’s for sure: Basel 18 is going to be in-ter-es-ting.
What really mattered?
Well, I’d strongly argue that the Basel stuff above really matters, but the other big news from Switzerland is that the GPHG awarded, after much deliberation, 15 awards for the best watches of the year. I’m pretty sure Bulgari picking up the gong for the best men’s watch is solely down to how good it looks on my wrist.
The week in numbers:
10,000: Or so views of the GP Laureato wrist roll on our Insta. That watch shines in the light.
6: Ingenious Big Bangs made with women in mind. Sandra drops the knowledge.
385,000: The amount of clams you’ll need to shell out to get your hands on this piece of highly complicated nautical perfection from UN.
38.5: The size, in millimetres, of the nigh-perfect Longines Flagship Anniversary edition.