Basel Fair Will Expand, Add Show

The annual World Watch and Jewelry Show held in Basel, Switzerland, will expand and divide next year. Insufficient space has bedeviled the show during its rise to international prominence over the past 20 years, prompting the fair’s management to implement a radical reorganization. The changes commence with next year’s show, scheduled for March 14-21, 2002.

The new concept calls for The Basel Fair to concentrate solely on watches, jewelry, and gemstones. Trade-related products and services-such as watch movements and dials, machines and tools, packaging, fixtures, promotional items, and consultants-will move into a new show called “Partners.” It will be held in Zurich on 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.

Under the new plans, the watch, jewelry, and gemstone exhibitors will be spread out among the Fair’s five main buildings.

This year’s show (March 22-29), the last under the old format, offers 2,345 exhibitors and a number of special events, including the Basel Award 2001, an annual international competition for jewelry design students around the world, and the Basel Forum, offering exchanges of information on how the luxury watch and jewelry business can integrate “The e-World and the Real World.”