Baselworld, day in the life: the fair ‘is a family gathering’

We hear from five of the show’s regulars, including a watchmaker, a buyer and a blogger

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Rolf Studer, joint chief executive officer, Swiss watchmaker Oris

Baselworld for us is a family gathering. It’s like when you have a big party at your own home: you’re a bit nervous how people receive what you offer them and you’re looking forward to seeing your friends or the people you have invited.

It’s going to be my 11th show. I’ve seen everything from spontaneous birthday parties to doctor’s visits and it’s very hard to predict what’s going to happen next.


Roanne Orlebar, fine watch buyer, Harrods

We see about 30 brands over four days. There are business conversations that do happen but we prefer to have those in advance so that the meetings we have are very much looking at the novelty in the product and the excitement the brand has to offer.

You go with some ideas as to what the brands might be launching and some brands meet those expectations, some far exceed them and some, maybe, you were hoping for a little bit more.


Marco Bicego © Marco Bicego

Marco Bicego, jewellery designer

At the beginning of the show, when I have more time for myself, I walk around and see what’s going on. I visit the Hall of Elements, where I have a lot of suppliers and look at the gemstones — some new shapes, new colours — to get inspiration.

We have 100 meetings with our customers and over 50 appointments with all the best editors.

You need to be strong because every night there is some party, some dinner, but it is part of the game.


Liza Urla, jewellery blogger for Gemologue

I’ll be going for two days. For bloggers, Baselworld is exciting but also a little bit boring because of the location.

Basel itself is not a big place, the weather is not particularly great [and] the lighting inside the trade show . . . is not fantastic, so it’s difficult for me if I want to create content.

I’m going to be publishing on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the website, with content created on the spot and after I have visited the fair.


Dominik Nyffenegger, director of marketing agency USP Partner

Overall, there will be a team of around 200 people provided by us: 140 hosts and hostesses for Baselworld itself as the official partner and around 50 to 60 people for the brands and jewellery companies. Most of them work as information providers for visitors.

We have hosts and hostesses off-site, which means they are taking care of welcome desk and reception [facilities] at the airport and train stations.

I will go into [the show] to check on our hosts, hostesses and models . . . so they really do a perfect job.

This article was amended on March 17 to correct the picture of Marco Bicego.

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