Dubai Watch Week 2021 – Of Watches and Men (and Women!) – Dubai Watch Week – WorldTempus

Posted: November 28, 2021 at 10:14 pm

For the Dubai Watch Weeks fifth edition since 2015, organisers have gone bigger and better. Around 50 exhibitors of all sizes are enjoying higher-quality, more comfortable surroundings, more breakout sessions and interactions with collectors and clients, sold-out watchmaking workshops, and journalists from every continent. The event is taking place from 24 to 28 November in the heart of Dubais financial district, the DIFC Gate Village, with its bustling art galleries and trendy restaurants. Although the event is entirely the initiative of the Seddiqi family, their name is nowhere to be seen. In their opening address, Hind and Mohammed Seddiqi explained their motivation: Were not here to sell, were here to educate and to promote watchmaking. Our goal is to create an unparalleled educational, experiential and networking event. But they also added: Go and have fun!

Dubai Watch Week shares its exhibition spaces between marquees, along with reception areas and a range of other activities, at the heart of the Gate Village in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier

Although the participating brands and their teams are there to present their products, no sales are allowed at the booths. Most exhibitors are using the platform to launch new products (local limited series or global releases), explain their particular features to potential future clients, and talk about their strategy. A measure of the importance of Dubai Watch Week is that most of the brand CEOs are in attendance, including the heads of Czapek, Trilobe, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Chopard, Hublot and Rolex. Rolex CEO Jean-Frdric Dufour took the opportunity to greet the other executives at their own booths, noting, Its a very important event for the watchmaking community, because were opening our hearts here. From talking to the executives and artisans of the other exhibiting brands, its clear that everyone is delighted to meet an audience of genuine enthusiasts that really gives us great pleasure. Being able to talk one-on-one to a client who understands the technical know-how and expertise that go into making a watch, particularly a complicated watch, is very rewarding. The organisation is exemplary, and I would advise all Swiss watchmakers to come. Visitor numbers have been particularly high, especially in the evenings, when the wealthy residents of Dubai and watch collectors from the region, which is home to a number of collectors clubs, came to soak up the atmosphere. Networking is in full swing. Nigerian distributor Deremi Ajidahun (Zakaa) was full of praise for the dynamism of the event and the commitment of the organisers. Only Watch founder Luc Pettavino spoke at a collectors panel; and the CEO of Reuge, Amr Alotaishan, despite not having a booth, is more than just a regular visitor. He said: Although were not exhibiting this year were working with the Seddiqis, so its important for us to attend their event and observe whats going on in the watchmaking world, because Reuge is naturally part of their universe. GPHG director Carine Maillard and the chair of the GPHG Foundation, Raymond Lortan, answered journalists questions about the prize-winners exhibition:"We have been partners since the very beginning, and even before that. So DWW means a lot to the GPHG and even more this year since our Jury has decided to award its Special Jury Prize to this event, which is gaining momentum. We are delighted about that."

Audemars Piguet chose Dubai Watch Week to inaugurate its Beyond the Limits exhibition Audemars Piguet

Having travelled to Dubai with Rolex senior executives, CEO Jean-Frdric Dufour is seen here in the company of Dubai Watch Week organisers, Hind and Hamied Seddiqi WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier

Browsing the booths revealed two trends among brands: those that are presenting limited series in partnership with Seddiqi or aimed at the local market, such as for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates, and those that take advantage of Dubai Watch Week as they would any other major international watch-themed event to introduce their new products. Certain of these releases are joint endeavours. Bvlgari and MB&F, for example, took the wraps off the Legacy Machine Flying T Allegra; the two partners had been working together on this new watch for the past four years. The launch was celebrated two nights running with a cocktail reception at the Cipriani pop-up, at the foot of the famous U-shaped tower. Despite the fact that virtually all the watches in the two 20-piece limited series have been pre-sold, MB&F founder Max Busser and Bvlgari creative director Fabrizio Buonamassa were generous with their interviews and presentations. This is the first collaboration between a very large, very strong brand and a small independent name like MB&F. We hit it off straight away. Fabrizio changed everything about our watch except the movement! In a different vein, Armin Strom took the wraps off the Zeitgeist, a single-piece edition to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Resonance line. Co-founder Claude Geisler had this to say: We really appreciate once again having the opportunity to talk with the international press, but also with the other brands, thanks to the amicable and relaxed atmosphere that prevails here.

Fabrizio Buonamassa (Bulgari creative Director) and Maximilien Bsser (MB&F Founder and Creative Director) presenting their joint creation WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier

MB&F x Bulgari LM FlyingT Allegra WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier

Theres never any downtime at Dubai Watch Week. Brands are constantly on the go, and none more than the established independent niche brands. Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie., is grateful towards Dubai Watch Week for having done so much to educate the end customer, ever since our first participation in 2015. Back then we were selling two watches a year in the region. No-one had heard of us. Now visitors are asking about availability for this or that product and buying in very significant numbers. Over at Urwerk, co-founder Felix Baumgartner notes that the market is surging. We could sell our entire production two or three times over! The positive aspect is that the most serious customers dont discuss prices so they can be sure to secure their watch, which suits retailers. For the founder of Akrivia, Rexhep Rexhepi, the market has grown. Were seeing customers coming out of nowhere who, all of a sudden, are taking an interest in our watches. And not just the super rich. Those with a normal level of wealth are forgoing a bigger car so they can buy themselves a watch. They appreciate the intrinsic value of a watch and what it stands for. The generosity of the Seddiqi family is also seen in the fact that brands they dont (yet?) carry are welcome to take part. Reservoir is one. Its CEO, Franois Moreau, says right from day one, we were highly satisfied with our participation. Weve met with local collectors as well as distributors from other countries in the region and journalists. The event is also extremely well organised. Its very Swiss in its approach. Even the big brands on a roll, like Hublot whose booth features a comfortable lounge area, consider Dubai Watch Week to be a must-attend, as CEO Ricardo Guadalupe confirms: Dubai Watch Week is hugely important for us. Not only is this a key market for Hublot our boutique in the Dubai Mall is also our number-one store in the world we particularly appreciate that we can meet with end customers during this pandemic, and have face-to-face talks with our local retailer, Seddiqi.

De Bethune came to Dubai Watch Week with its new DB25 QP with green dial that replaces all earlier references of the perpetual calendar WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier

*Seddiqi & Sons is the largest retailer in the United Arab Emirates and the creator, in 2015, of Dubai Watch Week which since 2017 has been held every two years.

Here is the original post:

Dubai Watch Week 2021 - Of Watches and Men (and Women!) - Dubai Watch Week - WorldTempus

Related Post