PHOTO: STAATSARCHIV BASEL STADT/PRIVATARCHIV MCH GROUP
The annual trade show known as Baselworld started with 29 watch and jewelry exhibitors at the first Swiss Sample Fair in 1917, in Basel, Switzerland. While that group was but a fraction of the 800 exhibitors at the show, it grew with clockwork regularity. Weaning away slowly from the Sample Fair, the expo became an entirely independent event in 1984 under the name Basel 84, changing finally to Baselworld in 2003. Today the prestigious trade fair draws 106,000 attendees from more than 100 countries to see $500,000 watches and $30 million exhibits.