Swiss Time: My Week at Baselworld 2015

Rolex Lounge

This week I’m going to share some stories from my trip to Basel, Switzerland. I was there to cover the annual Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Fair. Because I’m covering the event for other media, I can’t get into the details of what I saw (but I will link to those articles as they become available). I can however pass on some notes of the experience.

Here are my notes on Baselworld booths:

Every watch or jewellery manufacture exhibiting at the fair has a booth. Some of these booths are the size of a fully detached, three-story suburban home. Pictured above is the waiting area of the Rolex booth. As you can see it was tastefully appointed and very comfortable. We asked what becomes of the booths after the fair. We were told that they are put into storage for the next show.

On my last day in Basel, a lady with tattooed-on eyebrows offered my 50 Swiss francs for my press pass. She said she wanted it to buy up unused fixtures for her store. As much as I could have used the money (I had to buy new luggage as my old Trussardi bag snapped under the weight of six days worth of press materials), I didn’t want to be on the hook for any shenanigans she may have gotten into.

We had something like 60 appointments this year. There was a lot of climbing stairs and racing from booth to booth. I had convinced myself that all of this aerobic exercise combined with the weight training involved with carrying around press materials would have resulted in some sort of weight loss. It did not (see note below).

rolex chocolates

Here are my notes on eating at Baselworld:

At every appointment, our hosts would offer us some sort of refreshment. And in the press room, we were served light snacks for breakfast, lunch and tea. I knew this beforehand and because I was on a very tight travel budget for this trip, I decided to live on free food alone. On top of that, many of the manufactures gifted us with chocolates and other dainties. You aren’t supposed to bring dairy products home with you (unless they are shrinkwrapped or duty-free), so I had to consume them in Europe.

The three food groups of the Swiss diet are cheese, chocolate and champagne. They are all very delicious, but a woman cannot live on canapes alone. I saved money but this diet activated my hemogoblin (the nickname I have given my auto immune disorder). As a result by the end of the week I was bruised and swollen and not any fitter.