WatchTime Hits the Windy City

Chicago_skyline_150A gaggle of WatchTime staffers touched down in Chicago yesterday to prepare for the much-anticipated kickoff of the 2012 “Inside Basel-Geneva” series of watch collector events, which takes place tonight at the prestigious Union League Club.

We checked out the event space — it is the first time the Chicago IBG event has been held at the Club — and were suitably impressed by the elegant surroundings and classical decor, including the breathtaking art collection that adorns the walls. We expect that both the sponsoring watch brands and the more than 200 guests will find it a perfect atmosphere for an evening of fine timepieces.We also had a chance to check out some sights in the Windy City in between the preparations.

Today, the brand representatives arrive early to set up their tables in anticipation of the guests’ arrival in late afternoon. Editor-in-chief Joe Thompson and I will both be on hand to mingle with guests, and our IBG partner, noted watch collector Jeff Kingston, will be giving the evening’s presentation of new watches during dinner. For more info on the 2012 IBG shows, click here. Keep watching for a full report on the Chicago Inside-Basel Geneva event, and check out our first day’s worth of Chi-Town pre-event photos below.


A great shot of the skyline snapped by Jason Francisco during our walking tour of downtown Chicago


We had a fantastic lunch at the Berghoff, a historic German restaurant near the Union League Club.

We made sure to have the Chicago deep dish pizza experience at Giordano’s, where the pizza was almost too big to finish.

We also visited Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean,” in Millenium Park.


This ballroom at the Union League Club will host the pre-dinner cocktail, in which guests can try on watches and talk to watch brand representatives.


A glimpse of the banquet room where IBG guests will have dinner and watch Jeff Kingston’s presentation.

About Mark Bernardo

Mark Bernardo is the digital media editor of WatchTime magazine, responsible for developing and overseeing the editorial content on as well as for WatchTime's tablet editions for the iPad, Nook, and Kindle. As WatchTime's managing editor, from 2006 through 2011, he has written about numerous watch companies from major brands like Omega, TAG Heuer and Piaget, to exclusive artisan lines such as Jean Dunand, De Bethune and DeWitt. Prior to joining WatchTime, he was the editor of Smoke, a lifestyle magazine for cigar enthusiasts, whose beats included cigars, watches, cars, wines and spirits, celebrities, men's fashion, and other subjects, and has written about luxury items for a variety of men's-interest publications, including Robb Report, Robb Report Motorcycling, Stratos, Worth, and Bloomberg Markets.


  1. Mary Ann Sarlo on Facebook says:

    Love watches have about 35 give or take a few

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