Naturally, BaselWorld is primarily directed toward displaying high-end watches by the watch makers of the world with notable names like Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Omega, Hublot and many more. In fact there are literally to many to name. There are hundreds, maybe thousands – I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is once you walk through the main doors of Hall 1 of BaselWorld, you will be in awe. It is a city within the downtown city of Basel. Think of it in terms of size as someone decided to enclose the downtown in your city wherever you live – four walls and a roof, so you can walk around the city. It is that immense. Everest attended for the entire week, and I’m not certain we did not cover every square foot. However, what I am sure of is after the 5th day, my dogs were howling at the full moon over Basel. Let me take you through my trip of one of any watch enthusiasts bucket list items.
The world’s most recognized name in watches – Rolex – had a display the size of a Macy’s store. Not for buying, oh no, just for displaying and catering to its dealers from around the world. Rolex just launched its new Gold Yacht-Master with the rubber strap proudly in the window of the Rolex world display. A crowd gathered to see the new watch as if it were the baby of the second coming. I took a picture of my partner Michael next to the new Yacht -Master, and I have honestly never seen such a wide smile – like that of a child tasting chocolate for the first time. Granted, he is deeply stricken with the Rolex fever as the rest of us. But man, did he look like the proud father of the Yacht-Master baby himself. Everyone has waited quite a long time to see Rolex come out with the new Oysterflex rubber strap. Almost every other major tool watch brand has been utilizing Rubber as a watch bracelet material for years. One thing is for certain though, it is a beautiful new version of the Yacht-Master that was well worth the wait.
I knew immediately when we arrived in Zurich, Switzerland it was going to be a great trip. I was reassured of that thought once we hit the first cigar store that sold Cuban cigars located conveniently next to a Rolex dealer. You could just smell the successful lifestyle the Swiss have long been accustomed to. We traveled by car to Basel and made it a journey to visit the towns along the way starting with Lucerne, a truly charming must see city rich in history. Beautiful people, beautiful scenery combined with fantastic shops of the finest croissants, chocolates and espresso life has to offer. Lets not forget all the fresh free crisp Swiss air the lungs can suck in. From there we traveled along a massive groupd of lakes, called the Interlaken. One of our fruitful stops was the Swiss capital, Bern. Downtown Bern is a mega bustling metropolis of business people. Make a note that Nespresso has stores located throughout Switzerland and has one in the heart of downtown Bern. If you are need of a pick me up on your trip through Switzer they are delighted to serve you with a smile and a free espresso. For those who don’t already know – it is a Swiss company. We found that out as we passed the huge Nespresso plant nestled in the hills along the highway as we continued onward to Basel. Next stop was Solothurn. One of the most interesting places I’ve had the pleasure to visit. Its beginings date back to around 15-25 AD as a Roman settlement. If you get the chance to attend BaselWorld the Canton of Solothurn is an absolute must visit. Look it up and read about the fascinating history of this lovely village, you will not be disappointed.
Now, onward to Basel – we decided to be there the first day and onward. BaselWorld 2015 was the spectacle of a lifetime to a watch enthusiast and first time visitor. Don’t try to park close to the convention center, the Baselonians figured out long ago how to accommodate a hundred thousand visitors A DAY and the parking conundrum. Follow all the signs to the Park Messe, and there’s plenty pointing you to the Ausfart for Basel Parking. Then, take one of the many chartered buses making the daily routes to and from the convention center. Its easy once you figure out where the specified parking lots are. From there, its a “quick ten a minutes” to the watch world shin dig. Once the bus stops and you enter the center, you will undoubtedly realize you have just been transformed into a surreal environment of opulence that is unchartable. This is like trying to describe how the Grand Canyon looks to someone who hasn’t been there – which is why this is honestly bucket list worthy even if you don’t own the world’s biggest name in watches. BaselWorld started on Thursday March 19th and ran for a week. We indulged in some of the best food one can enjoy; I have the 2 extra belt loops to prove it. Roma restaurant in downtown Basel has to be one of the best and most note worthy for Italian food. For a great cigar and a drink with the view from one of the best hotels in the world, you’ll need to head over to “Les Trois Rois,” which means “The Three Kings.” A true 5 star hotel followed by $$$$$ and well worth it. The best part is you can head to the bar and proceed to the patio and enjoy a $20 cigar and a $12 dollar beer, and you will think you stole it for that price just for the view. Take some time and sit back, sip the foamy Stella and puff away for a while and just do nothing. Don’t do a damn thing. For God’s sake don’t check your I-phone. Leave it in your pocket. Take it all in, its really quite a sight on the banks of the Rhine. Remember how you got this far in life. Because if you’re sitting here in this place, you did something right my friend, and it probably wasn’t easy, and you didn’t earn it overnight. What’s it all for? It was all for this moment – right here, right now. BaselWorld…what a trip. There are few places in the world that offer this much watch eye candy and views. You can’t take it with you, so you might as well start planning to attend the 2016 BaselWorld. Look for the Everest guys on the balcony of the “Les Trois Rois.” The next beer is on me.