Basel Fair will expand in 2002, and add a new show in Zurich

The annual World Watch and Jewelry Show held in Basel, Switzerland (this year Mar. 22 -29) will expand and divide next year, launching a new era for the globe’s largest and most famous such trade fair.

Lack of sufficient space for key exhibitors to expand and for other watch and jewelry brands to get in has bedeviled the show during its rise to international prominence during the past 20 years. Now, the Fair management has radically reorganized the show, starting with Basel 2002 (Mar. 14-21, 2001) to solve its problems.

The new concept calls for The Basel Fair to concentrate solely on watches, jewelry, and gemstones. Trade-related products and services-such as straps, cases and dials, movements, machines and tools, packaging, fixtures, promotional items, trade groups, consultants and laboratories-will be moved into a new show called ‘Partners.’ It will be held in Zurich, starting March 18-21, 2002, overlapping the last four days of the Basel show. Daily shuttle service-three trains, a bus every 20 minutes, and a VIP car-will be provided.

The change lets the Basel show, which now has 87,000 square meters for some 2,300 exhibitors, expand to almost 110,000 meters. It also will answer two long-standing needs: more space for existing exhibitors and for those on the waiting lists, and more available hotel space in Basel during a show.

Under the new plans, the watch, jewelry, and gemstone exhibitors will be spread out among the Fair’s five main buildings. The ‘Hall of Dreams’ (Hall 1.1), is for luxury watch brands and groups. It will feature three-story exhibition stands 100 square meters or larger. The ‘Hall of Desires,’ (also in Hall 1.1), is for internationally known brands, with two-story stands starting at 50 square meters. Hall 5.0-5.1, the ‘Hall of Emotions,’ will contain mid- and lower-priced watches and private labels, with one-story stands in Hall 5.1 and one, two, and three-story stands starting at 25 square meters in Hall 5.0.

Jewelry is featured in Hall 2. The ‘Hall of Vision,’ in newly redesigned Hall 2.2, is for high-quality internationally marketed prestige jewelry, with individual stands starting at 40 square meters. Hall 2.0-2.1 has the ‘Hall of Feelings,’ with mid- to low-priced jewelry from companies with ‘an international brand policy,’ and the ‘Hall of Fantasies,’ with designer jewelry in pavilions and stands starting at 15 square meters.

Stones and pearls will be featured in Hall 3, the ‘Hall of the Elements,’ while in Hall 3.1-3.3 will be ‘The Hall of the Universe,’ with pavilions of various countries.