Basel 99

Ends Century with a Surge The International Watch, Clock, and Jewelry Show of Basel, Switzerland, ended the century with one of its most successful fairs ever. During its April 29-May 6 run, it hosted some 80,400 visitors, a 5% gain over 1998’s attendance. And there were significantly more Americans, according to post-show reports. As officials of the Swiss government and Messe Basel (parent firm of the fair) cut the ribbon opening “Basel 99,” a curtain rose over the entry to its huge new Building 1, which was built in only 10 months. Inside was a mini-metropolis of luxurious watch boutiques. Some 200 of the fair’s 578 watch and clock exhibitors spent $135 million to create spectacular new stands, many two or three levels high, within the new hall. The show’s vendors (2,315 from 40 countries, including 1,303 in jewelry and 434 in related watch and jewelry branches) enjoye
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