Article By: Logan Hannen
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the most thrilling weeks of the horological year: Baselworld.
Every year, there are two MAJOR events that occur in the watch world. The first is SIHH, which we’ll get to at another point. The second is Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Fair. While I’m sure there is plenty of non-timepiece related jewelry at the show, it has sort of shifted its focus to highlight horology, so I won’t spend any time talking about bangles or rings here.
If you’re on the nerd spectrum like I am, then the easiest analogy to make is that Basel is, more or less, the San Diego Comic-Con of the watch world. It’s where many, if not all of the biggest releases of the year are announced, usually via an unveiling of sorts where the pieces are displayed for everyone wandering the event to see. Where at Comic-Con, you might expect different companies and personalities to have small little booths with a folding table and some backdrop, at Basel, things get taken to near excess.
Imagine each of the brands, the major ones at least, setting up mini-boutiques in a gigantic convention hall, all with the goal of spotlighting their newest releases. Not all of these releases will be production models, mind you – some of them are known as “novelties,” and they exist more as a display of the brand’s ability to innovate or, in many cases, to blatantly show off. These are often limited run pieces, and tend to function more purely as examples of horological prowess than as any real intent to create something for the mass market. Still, they’re usually pretty cool, and Christian did review some of this year’s releases here.
Basel typically hits every March, whereas SIHH occurs typically in January. The biggest difference between the two, bar none, is the fact that Basel is open to the public, whereas SIHH is predominantly an industry-insider event. Still, these two fairs are the biggest days of the year for watch geeks, so be sure to put them on your calendar for next year. And, while you’re at it, remember to keep it classy, watchfam.