It’s finally here: Baselworld 2012. Yesterday Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, officially opened the world trade show for watches and jewelry. 1,815 exhibitors, over 100,000 visitors and more than 3,000 media representatives are expected to be at Baselworld 2012.
Baselworld is known as THE international industry event of the year. This is where the hearts of watch and jewelry lovers beat quite a bit faster. Everything in the industry with a reputation and a name is represented here. As a visitor one doesn’t quite know where to start. This is where the world’s most famous and popular brands come together, such as Breitling, Bulgari, Chanel, Chopard, Gucci, Hublot, Omega, Patek Philippe, Rolex, TAG Heuer, Tiffany & Co., Tissot, Swarovski and many more. Everything sparkles, glistens and shines everywhere you go. Already the names of the various convention halls sound promising—”Hall of Dreams”, “Hall of Desires”, “Hall of Visions”, “Hall of Innovations”…
Many exhibitors announce new products or developments at Baselworld. Well in advance of the trade show, many manufacturers made use of various print and online media to generate curiosity. Omega, for example, presented a sneak peek video on YouTube and made several announcements on its Twitter channel. That way the company was able to offer a preview of its new watch models and pique the public’s interest without revealing too much of the actual look. Swarovski allowed us a glimpse on Twitter of the sparkling wall of its booth, its “Lake of Shimmer”.
A Hint of Hollywood
Many exhibitors have focused their marketing specifically on Baselworld. For several months, preparations have been geared everywhere towards dazzling customers from all over the world with a most grandiose entrance designed to surprise and to wow. In this way Tag Heuer aired what had been, until now, a very well kept secret: The new TAG Heuer brand representative and muse for the new LINK LADY line of watches from this luxury watch manufacturer is the American actress Cameron Diaz. This charming Hollywood celebrity provided this new collection with a glamorous entrance on the opening day, a collection dedicated to “the beautiful, rebellious women around the world”.
One further prominent guest surprised not only the media, but apparently also Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver: Arnold Schwarzenegger also made an appearance at Baselworld after visiting an auto show. The former governor of California and Hollywood icon loves watches. Biver had the opportunity to show him the ultimate Hublot show-piece—valued at 5 million US dollars. But even the former „Terminator“ decided not to splurge on that one.
Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch Group, provided another surprise moment when he put a bright green watch from the new Swatch collection on the wrist of Johann Schneider-Ammann, who was on his official tour of the trade show exhibits. “Occupy your wrist” could be read on the watch band in orange letters. This reference to the Occupy movement had been part of the Swatch Group’s mission, Hayek suggested with a wink.
STUDEX introduces its Kids Line at Baselworld, a line of piercing earrings made especially for kids. Already on the first day the products, which allow for amazingly gentle ear piercings, caused quite a stir and generated great interest among jewelers. These kid studs offer shorter posts as well as smaller heads and earring backs. According to Juergen Weiss, managing director of STUDEX Europa, earrings for kids are definitely trending internationally.
Until March 15, Baselworld will be open daily from 9 am until 6 pm (from 9 am until 4 pm on the last day of the convention). A day pass costs 60 Swiss Franks, a pass for the duration of the trade show costs 150 Swiss Franks. Something practical: The Baselworld App is a free trade show guide for your iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry or other smartphone.
Header image and image #2: © Baselworld; image Cameron Diaz: © TAG Heuer