Baselworld 2022 and Watches & Wonders
Earlier this week Baselworld announced its return with dates directly competing against rival show Watches & Wonders, which is occurring at almost the exact same time. The 2022 Baselworld dates are set for March 31 to April 4 and the next live "Watches & Wonders" show in Geneva takes place March 30 to April 5.
For those of you who haven't visited Switzerland very frequently, these two cities aren't exactly close. Basel, Switzerland is about a 2.5 hour drive (by car) north of Geneva. The fastest and most direct train takes just under 3 hours. If you think you might just like to wander around both shows, you may need to reconsider which one is more important to you, or plan on a commute.
Video Courtesy of Baselworld - MCH Group
Baselworld "pop-up" in Geneva
An additional show to warm up the watch community is being held in Geneva by the Baselworld team. The dates are August 30 2021- September 3 2021, and they are calling it a "pop-up" show. We are not sure what brands will be attending/showing but it is good to see that something is happening soon.
The team from Baselworld seems to have been listening to the watch brands and are willing to adjust. “We recognize that costs were too high. Not just for clients and stakeholders but for us as well,” Baselworld show managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff said during a press conference. “So we changed the whole concept. Previously, a brand would pay in excess of $1-million to build, transport and store a booth. So we had to reconsider the whole concept.”
Baselworld is now calling itself a "365 day a year experience" which includes a hybrid of virtual and in-person events, support, networking, seminars, etc. Fees haven't yet been made public, but it seems they will charge a "membership fee" in order to participate in the online virtual platforms. Whether this will be a yearly/monthly fee or if it is event-based is still unknown.
Of course the pullout of Rolex, Swatch Group and LVMH from Baselworld might have already made the once leading expo less desirable with those top brand families exiting. Customarily those brands represented a large percentage of the core draw of the show. For us, not peering into the Rolex display cases on the first floor will be a huge void.
From Luxury Watch Brands to Smaller Brands
But this could open the door to discovery of fresh and new watch brands. When reading the fine print on the new Baselworld Press Release we can read this in regards to the luxury brands : "Whereas Baselworld used to be the most important annual meeting place for the luxury brands in the watch industry, the new Baselworld will be a platform on which smaller watch manufacturers can present their products..."
Photo of a past Windup Watch Fair by Fashion Network
Worn & Wound: Wind-Up 2021
Closer to home, Worn & Wound has announced it will host a pop-up for its Windup Watch Shop with G-Shock, Oris, Seiko and Zodiac as partners. Worn & Wound has been steadily increasing in its popularity and we are excited to see our friends in New York City at the event, which runs from July 23rd through August 1st at 347 Broome Street.
We’ve always embraced the Worn & Wound events as they are free to the public and the organizers have cultivated a warm and welcoming atmosphere for attendees. While not on the same scale as the big industry shows in Switzerland, the more intimate gatherings in New York and San Francisco have helped both Everest and MONTA grow as brands.
While these industry events are good for promoting businesses, we’ve always enjoyed being reunited with old friends with lots of new watches to talk about. We’re simply happy to be able to see people again and, of course, touch and feel some new models from our favorite brands. At the Worn & Wound pop-up, all four partners have offerings we’ve had a strong desire to check out. Congratulations to Oris for adding its in-house movement to three colors of its 41mm Aquis Date lineup.
All in all, the reemergence of Baselworld is a good sign for the industry, While the organizers need to do more to cater to exhibitors, perhaps they can reinvent the gathering to take on a new feel that is more welcoming for non VIPs.
Are you looking forward to your local meetups springing back to life? Let us know about your local watch meetup and we’ll help spread the word on this blog.
Get ready to attend your next watch event with a fresh Everest Strap. Check out our entire line here.