The show must go on. With or without the global pandemic, it seems pretty likely that Baselworld was doomed to eventually fall victim to its own existential crisis, but the question on the minds of anyone who wasn’t paying close enough attention was “what would replace the trade show?” The rest of us knew that the future without a physical trade shows was already here, with the sharing of news and the connectivity of community already taking place on Instagram and other robust digital and social media platforms. With or without the show, there are still amazing new watches to be seen and industry insight to be shared — even Watches & Wonders — another physical trade show with dates planned in 2020 — will be hosting a 100% digital show later this week. It’s why we’ve chosen this week to launch ABTW at HOME — a new twice-weekly live show on Instagram — where we’re able to discuss the most current stories and product launches in the industry in the moments as they as they unfold, while gleaning unique insight from thought leaders and community members in our space. At the end of the day, the trade show was a crutch, and many digitally savvy brands have long since outgrown its necessity — and no one understands this better than our first ABTW at HOME guest.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22nd at 8:00am PST // 11:00am EST: GEORGES KERN
First up, on Wednesday we’ll be speaking with Breitling CEO Georges Kern, who wasn’t the first CEO to opt out of Baselworld after Breitling’s final showing in 2018, but he was among the first to do so with a robust digital strategy and an innovative product showcase concept already in place. This season, though, he’s fresh on the heels of a very busy week, launching not one, not two, but three new collection revisions. We’ll be checking in with the Grenchen-based manufacture’s hardest-working hype man to get more inside info on what it takes to refresh a brand’s icon, wrist impressions of the new Superocean ’57 capsule, and chat about the specific demands of women watch collectors by way of the new 35mm Navitimer collection.
FRIDAY, APRIL 24th at 12:00pm PST // 3:00pm EST: RUDY ALBERS
Next up, we’ll be speaking with Rudy Albers, the North American president of Wempe — a legendary family-owned watch & jewelry retailer now in its fourth generation of family ownership. We’ll get to know Rudy’s background as a trained watchmaker while learning about how Wempe and other luxury retailers are adapting in this rapidly changing environment. (Fun fact: Did you know that the Wempe family owns its own observatory in Glashütte that serves as a production facility, as well as an incubator for young watchmakers?) We’ll also see if he has any tips on how collectors can score a hard-to-come-by watch, like the stainless steel Rolex Daytona or Patek Philippe Nautilus.
We’ll be hosting a new ABTW at HOME session on Instagram Live every Wednesday and Friday through the remainder of April and into May. All you’ll need is an Instagram account, and to make sure you’re following aBlogtoWatch. Then, fire up the app at the scheduled time and look in our IG Story bubble, or wait for the push notification to appear on your mobile device to join the session. Naturally, we’d like to invite the collective ABTW #watchfam to join the conversation by leaving your own questions for either of these guests in the comment section below. We’ll be checking the comments prior to each session and asking our guests questions on your behalf. Looking forward to having you in the session!