Watching the Watchmakers
I was reading David Graver’s interesting overview of what life is like covering Baselworld. And I thought I’d share a few of my own behind-the-scenes photos and notes.
As a watch nerd, one of the cooler things about Baselworld is getting an opportunity to breathe the same air as major timepiece players. Here’s Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Tag Heuer, Hublot and, most recently, Zenith. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody as passionate about watches. Biver also is a true character as a human and legend in Swiss watchmaking. He also makes a fine cheese.
And here’s Seiko president and CEO Shinji Hattori in front of the Seiko booth. The big news from Baselworld is that the Grand Seiko line was separating from Seiko to become an autonomous brand. For us Seiko fans, this was hug news. And as the great-grandson of Kintaro Hattori, who founded Seiko in 1881, Hattori is horological royalty. The TV crew interviewing him here was extremely reverential, even jittery but Hattori himself seemed like a cool and calm cat.
I sat down with Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey for a truly inspirational conversation and a rare hands-on experience with some wonderful watches. Speaking of hands, the pair pictured above belong to Forsey.
There were plenty of regular celebrities in attendance as well (although not as many as in past years). Patrick Dempsey was there to unveil a film he made for Tag Heuer. And Bulgari held a pres conference featuring brand ambassadors from international markets. When Kris Wu, the Chinese-Canadian actor/K-Pop heart throb entered the room at this Bulgari press conference, you could feel this pulse of energy. Half of the press looked like they literally had to hold onto their seats to stop themselves from hugging him.
It was crazy.