Welcome to JCK’s biggest edition of the year: our spectacular, 330-page, pre-show issue! As in years past, we hope you enjoy every page, from the gorgeous glossy ads to the info-packed (and beautiful) editorial pages.
The lead-up to this year’s JCK Las Vegas show season has been exciting and action-packed. Last month’s highlight was the Baselword fair in Basel, Switzerland. As usual, it was a nonstop week of meetings, beer fests, great dinners, and fun events. (I swear, honey, I was working!).
Highlights included arriving in Basel, putting my bag down, and heading right out the door for the first evening’s dinner of cheese fondue and schnitzel (when in Rome!), with a great group, including JCK’s Jennifer Heebner, GIA’s Craig Danforth and Stephen Morisseau, Jewelers of America’s Matt Tratner, Benali Consulting’s Fran Pennella, National Jeweler’s Michelle Graff, and JCK’s Yancy Weinrich and Katie Dominesey. In an unintentional ode to Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom From Want,” the group selfie from that night captures the spirit of Swiss food and American friendship.
Our Basel group doing our Norman Rockwell best (with schnitzel and fondue instead of turkey and trimmings)
On Friday, the day began with the reveal of Aaron Shum’s $2 million Guinness World Records–breaking diamond guitar. (Check out Social Diary for a glimpse of the gem-encrusted Gibson.) Congrats to Aaron and his team, especially my new friend from Hong Kong, the guitar’s designer, Mark Lui. And by the way, I want one of those official Guinness World Records blazers worn by their representative, Rich Stenning.
Saturday evening was another terrific group dinner (14 people shoehorned around a table for 10) that included dear industry friends like Eddie and Jonathan LeVian, JCK’s Bill Furman, and WWD’s Jen Petersen. Our evening was arranged by the one and only Alissa Goren, who heads the Basel Diamond Show for Rapaport. Thanks, Alissa!
Once again, our friend and independent watch editor Anders Modig invited us to the coolest party of the week, the Independents Night party at SUD Basel, a converted brewery complete with a glass-cage flying saucer overlooking the dance floor. Editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and I joined Bill Furman, JCK’s Lars Parker-Myers, and JCK show consultant Pam Bristow as we danced until 2 a.m. (I swear, honey, I was working!)
There was actual daytime work as well, and it was wonderful seeing our many friends, as well as making more, on the show floor and at the nightly beer fest immediately after the show’s close.
Next up are the Smart Jewelry Show in Chicago and the American Gem Society Conclave in New Orleans. See you all there!