The Show Must Go On

WatchTime - - Publisher’s Letter - My very best, Sara Or­lando Pub­lisher

Here we are once again pre­par­ing for Basel­world. March has a way of sneak­ing up on my cal­en­dar and I never seem to feel ready for the show. There is a lot of prepa­ra­tion re­quired for ev­ery­one at­tend­ing and while my prep might be small pota­toes com­pared to say, a watch­maker, I do like to be or­ga­nized be­fore jet­ting off. There are ap­point­ments to be made, lo­gis­tics to be worked out and com­fort­able shoes to be pur­chased. Ev­ery­thing al­ways works out in time ex­cept I have yet to find those com­fort­able shoes. Watch world prob­lems, I sup­pose.

Sore feet aside, I love the ex­cite­ment and buzz of Basel­world and look for­ward to it ev­ery year. Since I have the plea­sure of keep­ing some of the best com­pany in the busi­ness, I asked our team for their fa­vorite Basel mem­o­ries.

Roger Rueg­ger, Watchtime’s Edi­tor-inchief. “Should be my 17th Basel­world. And so far I have lost three mo­bile phones be­cause of it, the last one in 2016. On a more pos­i­tive note: as you may know, Basel­world used to be one of my clients, which meant, for ex­am­ple, that we were able to ac­cess Hall 1 in 2010 a cou­ple of weeks be­fore the show opened. This ‘back­stage tour’ plus all the info we got from the fair was in my opin­ion even more im­pres­sive than the show it­self be­cause you im­me­di­ately re­al­ized what it ac­tu­ally takes to make this one week of Basel­world hap­pen.”

Mark Bernardo,’s Dig­i­tal Me­dia Edi­tor, 11th Basel­world. “As high­lights go, it's hard to beat in­ter­view­ing and talk­ing watches with Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger in 2015, when I was among the very few jour­nal­ists to get a sneak pre­view of his (yet to be re­leased) Sch­warzeneg­ger watch brand. Hope­fully those watches ac­tu­ally get re­leased one day.”

Joe Thomp­son, Watchtime’s Edi­tor-at­large and watch in­dus­try vet­eran, 37th Basel­world. “In the early 1980s, with the Swiss watch in­dus­try in se­vere cri­sis, there were no press din­ners, as there are now. Each night a small crew of English-speak­ing jour­nal­ists would get to­gether at a Basel pub. One evening, the wait­ress bring­ing the rounds of beers seemed par­tic­u­larly un­friendly to me. Each time she gave me a beer, I would thank her in my newly ac­quired Ger­man and she would glare at me. A buddy from Canada later in­formed me that ‘guten tag’ does not mean ‘thank you.’ It turns out that ev­ery time the lady gave me a beer, I smiled and said to her, ‘Good af­ter­noon!’”

Minda Larsen, Watchtime’s Events Man­ager, 2nd Basel­world. “At the star-stud­ded Mo­vado party last year, a New York Times edi­tor sin­gled out and gushed over Joe Thomp­son. It was so neat to see two es­teemed jour­nal­ists rec­og­niz­ing each other’s great work. Even more ex­cit­ing, how­ever, was see­ing Watchtime Pub­lisher Sara Or­lando freak out over Mo­vado Am­bas­sador Kerry Washington at the same event! ”

Sara Or­lando, Watchtime’s Pub­lisher, 9th Basel­world. “I re­call be­ing so awestruck from my first sight­ing of Ni­co­las Hayek Sr. dur­ing my first Basel show. He was sim­ply strolling along Swatch Group’s mas­sive booth tak­ing it all in but the thing that struck me were his body­guards! I had never seen body­guards at a ‘trade show.’” This year’s show comes dur­ing a chal­leng­ing pe­riod in the watch in­dus­try with many un­cer­tain­ties glob­ally. One thing is cer­tain, the show must go on and it will. Let hope spring eter­nal.

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