For the third year running, Dubai Watch Week brings a welcome ray of sunshine to the watch industry in this month of November. The Seddiqi group’s vision remains unchanged: to make this non-commercial event a knowledge-sharing platform for the watch community.
The event has grown considerably in just two years, and this autumn sees it take things up a level, with a specially built facility on the attractive terraces of the DIFC (and nothing is done by halves in Dubai…). Some new brands are joining the party, bringing an additional layer of gravitas: A. Lange & Sohne, Dior, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Richard Mille, Vacheron Constantin and Voutilainen, to mention just a few. And, as for every year since 2015, there’s also a well-thought out and comprehensive programme of forums, workshops and events.
For 2017, the theme of the 16-20 November forum will be “Classic and Contemporary”. We’re looking forward to hearing more about what millennials are doing for the industry, in a panel discussion featuring Alexis Georgacopoulos, Director of Art & Design at ECAL and Kurt Klaus of IWC, and listening to Fabrizio Buonamassa, director of Bulgari’s watch design centre, talk about discoveries and inventions: Paul O’Neil (WorldTempus) will also be debating counterfeit culture with Mohammed Seddiqi.
The revival of classical craftsmanship and contemporary techniques will be the focus of the main DWW 2017 exhibition. © Dubai Watch Week
There will be open and wide-ranging discussions on the evergreen themes of customisation, technology, e-commerce and counterfeiting by brand leaders, collectors and media. Laurence Nicolas, who chairs Dior’s watch department (and who rarely speaks in public) will tackle the issue of design, while Julien Tornare, Zenith CEO, will explain the importance of marketing in plotting a brand’s rebirth. The outspoken journalist Suzanne Wong and Audemars Piguet CEO François Henry Bennahmias will debate the question: “Are grand complications a men-only club?”
With that said, I am among a large population of mechanical watch lovers who do care about accuracy. That there is still development in the traditional watch industry to make systems that actually pioneer new achievements in accuracy will be something that pretty much any watch collector can stand behind. I know that not everyone will be a fan of the aesthetic design of the Defy Lab, or the Defy El Primero 21 for that matter, but I think they will want the technology for sure. Zenith and LVMH now take a leading role in the pursuit of accuracy, how will the others respond? Attached to the case of the Defy Lab is a rubber strap with an alligator exterior lining and a titanium buckle. Price for the 10 piece unique Zenith Defy Lab reference 27.9000.342/78.R582 is 29,900 CHF each.
This year the DWW will also provide an opportunity to extend the annual celebration of the GPHG, with timepieces arriving straight from Geneva after the ceremony. Delegates will also have chance to share the excitement of the sale room in an auction workshop led by Christie’s, dive into a mechanical movement with legendary watchmakers, and to learn the art of engraving, enamelling and miniature painting with master craftsmen. Members of the public will have completely free access to the “Classic & Contemporary”, GPHG and “Telling the Time” exhibitions in the DIFC and Dubai Mall throughout the week.
All you need is your plane ticket, and your local guide is sure to show you where to find the best street food.