Baselworld Press Conference

December 04, 2018

“The central meeting place”

How do established watch journalists tick when it comes to the evolution of Baselworld? We asked three of them – from Switzerland, Holland and England.

Paul O'NeillPaul O’Neil, Switzerland. Editor-in-Chief, WorldTempus: “It is good to see that Baselworld is putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to improve the show. The show’s communication already signals Baselworld’s increased openness towards brands, visitors and journalists. This is evidence of concrete progress. I look forward to seeing the improved working conditions for the press in Hall 1 and I hope there will also be longer opening hours. Especially for online media like WorldTempus and for blogs and social media, it is increasingly important to file stories as soon as possible. I am also glad to hear that the Wi-Fi issue is being addressed. Increasingly many brands provide a download link to files that can be up to two gigabytes in size. The strength of the Wi-Fi signal becomes extremely important in such instances. Baselworld is still relevant, but it must take into account the fact that both retail and PR are becoming more fragmented. That said, Baselworld definitely has a place in this environment. Whether you are an old, established, heritage brand or a newer independent brand, Baselworld is a meeting place for networking and matchmaking between customers and brands. And that, at the end of the day, is why people go there.”

Timothy BarberTimothy Barber, England. Watch Editor, Daily Telegraph: “Baselworld will be a very different affair without Swatch Group, but I always look forward to seeing my colleagues from around the world. I’m especially happy that Baselworld finally decided to improve working conditions for the press: I’m curious to see how the new arrangements in Hall 1 will work. Many people are wondering about the future role of Baselworld, but it is clear for me. It is about setting agendas: Baselworld will remain the biggest indicator of trends and it will continue to merge ideas, shifts in direction and priorities within the industry. For the future, I believe that Baselworld needs to further embrace high-quality independent watch brands because those brands are very likely to have the talking point in watches nowadays. One side of Baselworld is about volume, but another side is about the diametrical opposite. The independent brands on the latter side need to be encouraged to flourish at Baselworld, which should offer affordable conditions for smaller businesses.”

Robert-Jan BroerRobert-Jan Broer, The Netherlands. Founder of Fratello Watches and #speedytuesday: “For us, Baselworld is one of the main places to get the annual update and meet people from the headquarters of the various brands. Baselworld is where we go to see and feel the relevant new products. What I really like about Baselworld compared to other events is the freedom: you’re free to decide where to go and when in Basel, so you can focus on what you want to focus on. Alongside the exhibition, in these changing times Baselworld should also take the opportunity to become more of a central meeting place. Different media could host events where brands could meet readers and likeminded people: fun, transparent, fully 360° networking platforms for brands, retailers, journalists, consumers and collectors. For me, Baselworld is still the horological highlight of the year and I hope it will become even more interesting for the industry and consumers alike so they will be motivated to keep making the annual pilgrimage to Basel.”