The brief was to write a range of things you’re looking forward to seeing at Baselworld. And yes, I’m looking forward to the new Milgauss as much as anyone, and, like Felix, I want to see some hot hot heat in the 5-10k price point, as well as — like Sandra wished — a regular production Zenith Defy Lab (sweet lord, we really need something new to talk about from a movement POV). But, really, this year’s Basel is going to be like catching up with a mate who’s been through a catastrophic divorce that’s cleaned him out to the tune of 50 mill. Man, am I excited. And it’s all about one thing. The floor plan, baby.
Expect to see: A whole new ballgame (and floor plan)
Me and old mate Felix have been to Basel a good few times now. And if you played a twisted game of Pin the Tail on the Patek booth, then spin three times and pin one on the first floor of the Omega booth, where we like to convene before our product presentation, we’d be okay. And lastly, for laughs, spin us counterclockwise and meet me for a Louis Roederer in the Jaquet Droz bar – followed by an Aperol chaser at the Blancpain off-licence? Not worried. I’d back both of us to get it exactly right within millimetres, 10 times out of 10.
IN SHORT: WE KNOW OUR WAY AROUND HALL 1.
But not this year we don’t. With Swatch Group leaving a massive central section of Hall 1 as empty and derelict as a shopping mall in a zombie flick, there is going to be a reshuffled floor plan. And if you pinned anything on us and spun us around, we’d probably end up dazed and confused at Porsche Design wondering what the fuck happened.
Baselworld has filled the gaps with all range of space-fillers, a media centre, a catwalk show and a Champagne bar. It’s an all-round booth shuffle, with Hall 2 closed, and the upper levels of Hall 1 looking, well, ghostly.
But the reality will be very different from the map, and I’m sure I’ll still get lost. It will be different. It will be a change. And a change can apparently be like a holiday. Which really doesn’t help any of the T+T team, who are constantly railing against the idea our friends and families put forward that we are on ‘holiday’ in Switzerland swimming naked in champagne. That we are having ‘fun’. We are not. Okay. We are. Next question.