Basel, Switzerland is, by all accounts, a quiet little town, nestled not far from the German-Swiss border. The airport includes Freiburg, Germany on its welcome signage, in fact. It is a short 45 minute flight from that giant hub called Frankfurt. But the discreet town comes almost bursting apart at the seams when Baselworld, the largest exhibition of fine watches on the planet, descends each year.
There are two gigantic Halls, and three others as well, housing virtually every watch brand you can think of, and a whole host of them that you can’t. Companies such as Diesel, Roots, and Tommy Hilfiger show their wares here. The bigger game afoot is companies such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, who have invested and created their very own Swiss manufactures, where everything is done to the strict codes of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. And then again, bigger game, as venerable, centuries-old watchmakers such as Breguet, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Blancpain and Girard-Perregaux all bring to the world their latest in pushing the creative envelope for watches. Here at Baselworld they are often called horological devices, and an individual watch can take a single master watchmaker 18 months or more to build.
So many watches, so little time. But watch for tomorrow’s update; some special, unique pieces are on their way.
Photo: Courtesy of Baselworld.