Here it is – This year’s fair is a personal milestone for me. I’ve been visiting the fair annually and this year marks my tenth. That’s like ancient in blogger years which should be reason enough for me to reflect and that’s something I will get to eventually but right now as I type this, I’m moments away from the ribbon cutting for this year’s edition.
This year also marks the 42nd edition of the fair which is certainly something. A lot has changed for the fair in the past decade. The biggest milestone being of course, it’s ambitious redesign where it shed its traditional conservative skin.
The redesign was led by Herzog and de Meuron, the Swiss architects behind the London’s Tate Modern and Beiging’s Bird Nest stadium – Both credentials delivering a hint of the ambitions. The final building was just as iconic as it was futuristic – it was wrapped in a metal sheet with patterned cuts featured throughout.
Things have changed in the industry as well. The Japanese (Seiko/Citizen) moved up on their hierarchy of needs and positioned themselves upmarket. The Swiss crown remains challenged as always. The Swatch group squeezed their fists by attempting to close access to its movements. The ripples of its effects were felt everywhere.The smartphone industry exploded and the disposable income pie of the average consumer was further divided. The recession made the industry stumble a little. Companies disappeared overnight and other brands visited the fair peddling their licenses to watch brands.
Personally, I don’t know how long I will continue to write about the fair but hopefully, here’s to another ten years.