If you are new to the world of watches you may not yet be aware that every year the great and the good of the watchmaking fraternity together with the world’s press, a generous sprinkling of brand celebrities, and naturally the ubiquitous watch bloggers, all descend upon Basel in Switzerland for a hectic week of watch wearing, photographing, expensive dining and occasionally some reviewing.
You may already have seen some of the watches that will be on display, as we have been featuring them over the last few weeks. As we approach what is traditionally known as the pre-Baselworld weekend, Watchuseek Senior Editor Bhanu Chopra (a.k.a. Naughty Bhanu) will be busy packing his leather watch roll, deliberating upon which watches from his collection will make the cut.
If you are ever lucky enough to make it to Baselworld, and for some it’s a bucket list trip, here Bhanu reveals the 7 time honored essentials he brings with him to leave a lasting, and sometimes indelible impression.
The Watch Roll
No self-respecting watch blogger can roll up to Baselworld wearing a Casio digital, unless of course you are representing Casio, so for Baselworld, Bhanu brings out the big guns. It could be a Speake-Marin, a Sinn, a Stowa or perhaps a Mühle Glashütte. “I tend to favor passionate independent brands where you actually speak directly to the watchmaker. Rolex is great, but is Jean-Frederic Dufour, the Rolex CEO, going to gaze at you in pride as you try on your new Submariner for the first time? I don’t think so.”
At Baselworld you see more than your fair share of fashion fails. Middle aged men in skinny jeans and pointy shoes rarely looks good. That’s why Bhanu advises against trying to go smart casual because unless you know what you’re doing, smart casual has a nasty way of changing fast, and you can easily look like a fashion victim two years out of date. So Bhanu favors dark, classic stomach hiding suits. Like Mark Zuckerberg, Bhanu wears the same thing every day, in his case a suit, so he can spend more time focusing on the important stuff, like where to find a cold beer.
If you own a smartwatch and you measure your steps, expect to do easily more than 10 to 12,000 steps a day at Baselworld, and sometimes more than 20,000. That’s why it’s essential to wear good quality, well-made shoes. There are 5 vast multi-level halls brimming with brands, and each of them are an invigorating walk away, especially when you’re running late. Then there’s all the traipsing around looking for a restaurant that doesn’t require a bank loan in order to eat there. The only thing that can save your feet are good shoes. Invest wisely.
The Breath Mints
Amidst the myriad overworked PR people you encounter, you never know when you’re going to meet a watch head honcho, so it’s essential not to smell like you’ve been hitting the brewskis for lunch. Bhanu always carries a tin of breath mints in his suit pocket for just such occasions. Incidentally, there’s enough hot air produced at Baselworld each day to power a city the size of Hamburg.
Bhanu loves it when someone notices his cufflinks, so he likes to try something watch or lifestyle appropriate every year. They’re not always in the best of taste, but they’re a definite improvement on the Homer Simpson socks he used to favor.
Bhanu advises any seasoned watch blogging professional to bring several ties, for the simple reason they are going to get stuff spilled on them. It’s good advice; hot coffee and an over-crowded Media Center are the perfect storm for spillage on to ties, and it’s not a good look in the harsh halcyon lights in front of Jaeger-LeCoultre executives.
The Bag of Tricks
And finally, well, he’s not called Naughty Bhanu for nothing. Despite looking like every other respectably be-suited businessman, Bhanu loves to stir things up with his bag of tricks. “The old tricks are the best.” says Bhanu, and when you look at his trick inventory it’s clear that many of them came over with the Mayflower. Naughty Bhanu loves to cause maximum embarrassment by placing a whoopee cushion on the seat of flustered PR ladies while simultaneously stepping on a stink bomb. ”Must be something you ate” says Bhanu holding his nose as the lady goes into desperate denial mode.
“Another old favorite is the spider on the shoulder, or ‘crawling’ across the presentation table. That makes ‘em drop the watch real fast.” says Bhanu. The time Naughty Bhanu bit on a blood capsule and pretended to collapse in the middle of one unenlightening watch presentation is the stuff of legend. Swiss paramedics still talk about it. What will he get up to this year?