WatchPro can confirm that the Fair & Square pub in Basel, affectionately known as ‘The Pickwick’ or ‘The British Embassy’ to those that work in the UK watch industry, has ceased trading.
The Basel tourist office exclusively confirmed to WatchPro that 2014’s Baselworld was indeed the final time that visitors will be able to drink the evenings away after long days at the exhibition.
The establishment had achieved almost cult status among the British retailers, brands and distributors that would make their way to the Basel fair every year, as it became the hangout spot for the who’s who of the British watch trade.
It was often suggested, only half jokingly, that 50% of the business that was done in Basel was done in the exhibition, and the other half was done over a drink in the Pickwick.
Ron Jones, watch buyer at Signet, was distraught at the news. "Disaster! What a sad, sad event," Jones reflected. He even joked that "We probably own the freehold after the Brit money crossing the bar there for the last 30 years!"
The search is now on for a replacement venue for this year’s Baselworld exhibition, which starts on March 19th. Any suggestions via Twitter or to Daniel.Malins@itppromedia.com will be gladly received.