The Basel Mustermesse (muba), which presented the services and offerings of the Swiss industry at various locations throughout Basel, was founded In 1917. The watch and jewellery industry, which was already an important pillar of the Swiss economy at that time, was part of muba: 29 exhibitors from this sector gathered for the first edition of muba, and their numbers increased with each passing year. Beginning in 1931, they were given their own pavilion at muba as the “Swiss Watch Fair”.
The fair underwent even greater growth when exhibitors from throughout Europe were invited to participate in 1973 and thereafter. For the first time, companies from France, Italy, Germany and Great Britain were also welcome to present themselves in Basel. The internationalization was accompanied by a renaming of the show as BASEL. This finally led to independence in 1984; the trade show has taken place independently of muba ever since.
Globalization continued to progress in 1986 and thereafter, when the fair opened its gates to brands from around the globe, thus making it the world’s most important international show for watches and jewellery – a status it still enjoys today. This is also reflected in the new name, which it has had since 2003: Baselworld, The Watch and Jewellery Show. Baselworld welcomed over 100,000 visitors from more than 100 countries around the world for the first time in 2007. And the show ventured into entirely new dimensions with the opening of the new Hall 1 in 2013, when circa 150,000 visitors came to Basel to admire innovations presented by 1,500 exhibitors.
Following the successful implementation and presentation of its new concept in 2019, Baselworld set a new trend in motion. The show has been transformed from the industry’s order platform into a year-round marketing and communications platform with numerous new and primarily digital communication tools put in place. Furthermore, focus was placed on making the show more of a live experience with new restaurants and bars scatterd around the halls and a magnificent Show Plaza in Hall 1.2 that proved extremely popular as it featured top-class mode and fine jewellery in inspiring fashion shows on the catwalk displayed on wall-size screens for the pleasure of everyone. Baselworld is continuing its pursuit of evolving into an experience platform with a host of new formats that will include new experience and innovation spaces, exciting new hospitality programmes on offer and thought-provoking and motivational conference and panel discussions in The Forum.