A Brief History of Baselworld

For the past 101 years, Basel, Switzerland has been the gathering place of innovative jewelers and watchmakers. The storied history of luxury pieces permeates this event and every brand is vying for the attention of a captivated audience. But the Basel we know and look forward to today wasn’t always like this.

Back in 1917, Schweizer Mustermesse Basel took place for the very first time on April 17th. Watches represented only a small section of this event, however the presence gained traction in the years to come. By 1926, an entire hall was dedicated to watches and jewelry and in 1931 the name was changed to the Swiss Watch Fair. The following year Patek Philippe made their debut and Baselworld as we know it began. TAG Heuer followed suit in 1936, and in 1939 Rolex began showcasing their timepieces. Surprisingly, up until 1972 only Swiss watchmakers were able to exhibit in Basel. Between 1972 and 1986, only European watchmakers were permitted into the event. Opening Baselworld to all luxury brands transformed Basel, Switzerland into a true world stage for showcasing top of the line luxury watches.

Today we rely on Baselworld to set the stage for what is to come. We look forward to seeing the innovation and artistry that make luxury watches masterpieces. Baselworld 2018 offers us a chance to set our expectations higher and find the pieces that tell our stories. It is an event that we leave feeling refreshed but also buzzing with anticipating what is to come in 2019.

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