I love the time piece on my wrist and I just can’t have too many….
If I were, to be honest, a watch is my favourite accessory. Watches rank even higher than the rock on my finger… diamonds are my best friends as long as they are embellished on the dial of my watch. While my sister and husband accuse me of boasting quite a watch collection, to me, it’s like artwork. That’s probably why I was looking forward to Basel World 2019.
For the last 3 years, I have managed to receive press passes for the biggest horology and jewellery event in the world. So if you’re a watch connoisseur, keep scrolling because today I’m going to talk about my experience and do a short-ish review of Basel World 2019. (Check out my post on my first time at Basel World here. )
About Basel World
An International Trade Show for the top-notch jewellers and watchmakers around the world, Basel World happens at Messe Platz every year. Before the show, I did read news about exhibitors reducing by half; watch giant Swatch Group (with brands like Omega, Longines, Tissot, Breguet, and more) pulled 17 brands and backed out of Basel World 2019. According to reports, the show had 22% lower attendance as compared to 2018.
What I Wore To Basel World
Being a working mother, this event was a little bit different – I had to step up my game and turn on the glam mode. On both days, I wore dresses from Phase Eight, Switzerland. I did my usual makeup routine, wore heels and kept my back straight. It was a refreshing change; sometimes a girl just needs to put herself out there.
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Basel World 2019: The Experience
As a press member I had the opportunity to attend the event for its entirety (6 days), however I managed 2 days. The only very notable difference this time was the huge press center; which had it’s own entrance, snacks and drinks as well as an area to work. Since, the huge booths from the Swatch group had disappeared – there was a lot of space for the press with working areas, social media corners as well as gourmet restaurants. On the horology department; I am always a little bit disappointed by the gender bias (while I do agree there is a larger scope for design, technology and creativity in the other department) but when it came to the jewellery section, it was a visual treat for my eyes. And to top it all, the first day of my attendance had a fashion show with the top jewellery exhibitors – now that was an experience I will remember.
If someone told you that you could cover the entire exhibition in a day; it would be a lie. The exhibit is spread across the north and south wings with several floors. I know that I have never been able to see the entire show, but this is the first time I covered a lot of ground and made new discoveries both in the watch and jewellery segment.
Best Of Basel World 2019: Editor’s Picks
With Swatch Group missing the event, the appointments were so much fewer than last time around. I spent time attending previews and showcases from Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that Zenith was my favourite – the experimental Defy Lab will not be a limited edition and has finally made it to serial production. Zenith whilst celebrating the 50th year of its seminal El Primero automatic movement this year, rolled out its vintage remakes. The pieces were pure works of art and looked surprisingly good on my wrist. What do you think?
Vittoria at the Zenith lounge was extremely patient, she answered all the questions and established a direct connect with us which made me feel at ease.
TAG Heuer reintroduced the Autavia as a full collection, starting with three-hand chronometers that reference heritage while tapping into the future with greater refinement and improved performance from Tag Heuer’s Isograph in-house oscillator.
And lastly, Hublot which wasn’t my favourite stop despite some exquisite pieces – the classic Fusion Ferrari GT chronograph, essentially Hublot’s classic chronograph reimagined by Ferrari’s design studio topped my list.
Even though I did not have the opportunity to visit more lounges; the windows had a lot many novelties. For instance, Rolex contrary to popular belief was not boring – the new Yacht-Master 42 in white gold caught a lot of attention, Patek Philippe, Bulgari, Chopard and Chanel had some interesting windows with stories from the past, present and the future.
Highlights Of The Season
All the above and of course all those notables hidden in the corners on the north wings of the 2nd floor. A brand that caught my eye this year was Obaku – which comes from Denmark and in my mind, it would appeal to the millennial consumer. They do a great job pairing it with bracelets and other accessories; which really did catch my eye.
What About Basel World 2020?
According to the grapevine, Basel World 2020 is going to be even smaller – and that the watch market might also become like fashion weeks too.
Last Word On Luxury Watches
If you can afford the premium brands – I am sure you are waiting for some of these models to hit the consumer market. If you’re going for the limited-edition pieces, I assume you’ve already reserved them and if you want to make an investment – then I am going to go a little bizarre and say – jewellery could be your best bet now. For those of you looking for pieces which can be refreshed every 6 months – try the smaller brands than going for first copies. You can remain true to the style statement you want to make or the impression you want to create.
As you can judge from the pictures, I had a great time this year and I am really looking forward to Basel World 2020.
Did you attend the event? Are you a watch enthusiast/connoisseur? Which one has been your latest find or What’s the brand that you swear by? I am genuinely curious, leave us a comment.
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