All watch lovers, exhibitors, retailers, distributors and journalists wait for one full year to attend the twin events of Baselword and SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Switzerland. These are simply the best and if you attend them every year you do not really need anything else to know the watch industry closely. We called the events twins because they are both held in Switzerland, almost simultaneously in the month of April and are the two best watch exhibitions in the world. However, the similarities end there. There are more differences than similarities. Let us try to understand what makes them so different.
|Size Visitors Journalists Exhibitors Location||160,000 sq. mt 89,700 2352 2197 (300 plus watch brands) Basel||24,000 sq. mt 11,500 1100 16 Geneva|
Basel is located in the northern part of Switzerland bordering Germany and France. Founded in 44 B.C. Basel has an old charm combined with Swiss efficiency. The main language spoken in this part of Switzerland is German. Geneva, on the other hand is located on the South-Western end of Switzerland and is a major international hub. You can also call it the centre of watch making as most major Swiss watch makers are located here. The main language, due to close proximity with France, is French. However, Switzerland being a small country, one can travel between these two cities by train in just about two and half hours. Baselworld’s history can be dated back to 1917 (was called MUBA then), while SIHH is celebrating its 15th year. Most major brands, barring those of Richemont, take part in Baselworld while SIHH is all about Richemont’s brands participating. After the shocks of 2002 and 2003 (due to 9/11 and Sars/ Iraq war respectively), the exhibitions fared very well in 2004. However, 2005 was simply outstanding with upbeat mood, brilliant launches and high attendance. So, what did we see new this year? Watch World presents a kaleidoscope of happenings at Baselworld and SIHH 2005.