Baselworld 2010 runs from March 18 to 25 and it’s open to the public. Admission is CHF 60.00 for a 1-day pass, or CHF 150.00 for an 8-day pass. The doors are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 4 p.m. on March 25.
If you’re thinking of attending, here are some quick tips:
The Fair is held at the Basel Exhibition Center, known locally as Messe Basel. Hall No. 1 is the main building where the big watch brands are located. Other buildings also house watch exhibitors – check maps available at the Fair to find out who is where.
Who won’t be there: not all brands attend Baselworld. Many large brands show at the SIHH in Geneva in January, and SIHH is open only to the trade and invited guests. These brands will be at SIHH:
A.Lange & Söhne, Alfred Dunhill, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, JeanRichard, Girard Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelery Co, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
The major airport nearest to Basel is Kloten in Zurich (ZRH). It’s about an hour by car from the Zurich airport to Basel. The smaller EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is much closer to Basel – about 10 minutes. A shuttle bus from Zurich airport is about 45 CHF.
Book your hotel as far in advance as possible. In fact, start looking right now. Rooms in and near Basel are often booked months in advance, and close-by accommodations are typically expensive, though in these difficult economic times, accommodations will be easier to find. Many attendees stay further away, for example across the border in Germany, or in Zurich, and take advantage of the excellent train service. There are regular trams from Basel’s two train stations to the Fair.
If you will be attending the Fair multiple days, look into special train pass deals associated with the Fair. Train stations have small booklets with the train schedules. Note that trains do not run all night. If you plan a night out on the town away from your hotel, be sure you know when the last train leaves.
The brands set up shop in building-size, multi-story “booths”. Unless you have an appointment to see someone inside a booth, you will not be able to enter. Watches are displayed either behind windows or in glass cases. Watches are not available for purchase or to try on, and the booths are generally not staffed to answer questions about the watches on display. Think of it as a huge window-shopping opportunity.
Businesspeople at the Fair wear business attire – suits and ties for men, however locals and visitors dress casually.
If your significant other makes the trip but is not into watches, they can become bored quickly at the Fair. Consider splitting up so they can spend the day(s) more enjoyably.
Wear comfortable shoes! The buildings that house the watch brands are enormous, and you will walk for miles.
Photography is allowed only if you have a photo permit from the Fair organizers.
For more information, visit the official Baselworld website.
Have a great time!