The UK watch industry has reacted with anger and despair at news that ‘The Pickwick’ pub in Basel has closed for business.
As the news, reported exclusively by WatchPro on Wednesday, sank in, watch buyers, brand managers, distributors and jewellers all took to Twitter and the web to express their shock and regret.
The watch buying team at Fraser Hart were almost speechless upon hearing the news. "We are so upset we cannot talk about it!" said Myalee Sofield, head of buying & merchandising for the multiple retailer.
"A lot of pre- and post-business was done in that salubrious place. Relationships (business ones of course, although others may have other stories) were formed and many friendships and career opportunities were struck," she continued, as a business case for late-night drinking was shoe-horned into her reaction.
Twitter users took the obituary particularly badly, with a whole host of comments venting genuine disappointment and melancholy. "Disaster has struck!" said Andrew Warner from Identity The Jewellers in Derby. Bremont’s Sarah Weare was equally distraught, simply stating that "It’s a travesty."
Some have already tried to find positive solutions to the problem though. Harry Apostolakis of Zenith said, "I’m speechless. Big loss. Shall we suggest they move the bar inside the fair?" While watch journalist James Gurney mused, "I wonder if any British brewery could be persuaded to drive supplies and a tent down to Basel?"
Perhaps the most constructive suggestion yet came from Noel Wall of Irish watch distributor Timemark. "All is not lost, as we gladly extend a welcome to all our UK friends to the ‘Irish Embassy,’ AKA the Piano Bar, just across the road. Good sturdy tables are ideal for dancing on," noted Wall.
WatchPro’s Daniel Malins summed up the severity of the situation. "Words fail me! The closure of the Pickwick is a tsunami for British watch professionals," he understated.