Baselworld may sound like a particularly uninspiring theme park, but is in fact the global shopping event for watches - at least if you're a retailer.
In Basel, Switzerland, once a year, the owners of watch and jewelery brands -- together with the press and a few big time collectors -- congregate to see what the horological world has to offer and, if tempted, to sign on the dotted line. A whopping 80% of global watch sales for the year ahead are generated at the fair.
Wear comfortable shoes
Baselworld is big -- literally as well as figuratively. And it is strictly for those in comfortable shoes: the show covers some 141,000 square meters of aircraft hanger-sized exhibition halls, each structured according to different sectors and markets, with room for some 1800 exhibitors along their 30km of corridors. There is, for the 150,000 footsore visitors, a lot of walking to be done.
And a lot of spectacle to enjoy. When it comes to their booths, many of the best known brands seek to replicate the sophistication and plushness of their flagship stores; often the same level of security too.
Visiting Baselworld does not mean you get to see every brands' wares. Although day one of the show coincides with the release of a barrage of press material unveiling the latest watches, access to the stands can be by invitation only, which can be frustrating to watch mad members of the public who -- unusually for an industry show -- can also buy a ticket.