Stephen Webster at BaselWorld in Switzerland - Neiman Marcus
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Stephen Webster at BaselWorld in Switzerland

Kristen Spaulding

March 26, 2014

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The world’s largest watch and jewelry show, Baselworld starts tomorrow in Basel, Switzerland. It’s where buyers get exclusive access to the latest collections from most renowned brands. Jewelry designer Stephen Webster has been exhibiting at Baselworld for seventeen years. Who is better to show us the ropes?

Stephen Webster Profile Image courtesy of Rankin

NM: Packing essentials for Basel…
SW: The rule of thumb is as much as your luggage allowance permits. A full winter and summer wardrobe is essential with the exception of swimming trunks.

NM: First-time visitors must visit…
SW: First-time visitors must visit the “cuckoo clock man” tucked way back in the watch hall. He is easy to find, as every fifteen minutes his 75 cuckoo clocks go off. It always makes my day!

Stephen Webster debuts his "Albion Rose" collection at Basel World.
Stephen Webster debuts his “Albion Rose” collection at BaselWorld.

NM: During the day, I…
SW: Talk the hind legs off a donkey.

NM: And in the evening…
SW: We have a few of our own cocktails. This year mixologist Nick Strangeway will make us “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea Breezes.”

NM: My favorite local cocktail…
SW: The one on the outbound British Airways flight home or the ones in our booth. All are welcome, and the price is right.

Schneewittchen at the Basel Theater. Photo by, Monika Rittershaus
Schneewittchen at the Basel Theater. Photo by, Monika Rittershaus
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Basel.
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Basel.

NM: Not-to-be missed cultural spots…
SW: My dear friend Richard Wherlock is the choreographer for the Basel Ballet. My wife, who loves ballet, goes every year. There is also the Kunstmuseum, which has world-class art exhibits. There are actually plenty of galleries all over town for those with time on their hands.

NM: The go-to spot for dinner…
SW: Any restaurant that is not named after a man (always a good clue). There is always Acqua, the food there is more healthy than most. Then another sort of Asian-Swiss fusion place is Noohn, which despite the name is more of an evening place.

Acqua restaurant in Basel.
Acqua restaurant in Basel.
Sushi dish at Noohn.
Sushi dish at Noohn.

NM: The best place to stay…
SW: With my landlady Fanny but she only has one room. If you own the largest Rolex dealership in your state then the Three Kings offers a better class of everything. There are many hotels, but like they told Joseph, “there’s no room at the inn” —Zurich is only an hour away.

NM: Best advice for first-time visitors to Baselworld…
SW: When it comes to spending money, double the initial figure you thought of. Also, buy a weekly tram pass. The Swiss police patrol the system in the same numbers as the Korean demilitarized zone. My wife once did a stretch for fare evasion.

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