As connoisseurs of all the ultimate luxury lifestyle pursuits, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty was first in line to join the who’s who of the world’s watch industry at Dubai Watch Week 2019. A global platform “dedicated to the preservation of watchmaking culture and heritage”, Dubai Watch Week was founded in 2015 by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and remains one of the largest non-commercial events in the international calendar. As one would expect from an extremely refined community of devoted horologists, the most expert and experienced wouldn’t miss the opportunity to participate in this type of event, especially given its intimate environment in which brands, watchmakers and media could connect and engage on the latest developments, designs and innovations.
This year’s Dubai Watch Week featured the crème de la crème of visionary watchmaking reflecting its key theme of innovation and technology. For those attending, it was an opportunity to witness the evolution of disruption within a very traditional forum; to see how radical concepts have contributed to an emergence of new, unique timepieces that have transformed our perception of marking time. Thanks to the development of technical ability, there are even less limits to our imagination and ambition now that pieces have been created to lift thousands of miles into the air or hundreds of metres underwater. Interconnectedness was also a huge part of the discussions as smart tech is increasingly more prolific within brands and the way in which they communicate with wearers. Some of the phenomenal speakers included Nicholas Foulkes, Ian Skellern, Melika Yazdjerdi, Richard Stenning and Philippe Dufour, all appearing alongside participating brands such as Dior, Rolex, Breitling and Bulgari. Once again, the event demonstrated a timeless ability to unite the global watch community in a way that will safeguard and disseminate the vital parts of the horological past, present and future.
The Horology Highlights
As you can imagine, it is rather hard to signal in on particular highlights of such a densely-packed schedule of laudable experts, but there were some key elements that no discerning watch-owner would have wanted to miss. First off, there was the Dubai Watch Week’s Horology Forum in which a series of industry experts, icons, innovators and collectors present and discuss movements in watch-making that have already impacted, and will continue to impact, generations to come. Budding watchmakers could attend a series of master classes, including one hosted by David Flecchia, Head of watchmaking training at ocean-inspired brand Ulysse Nardin in which much was learned about the use of silicium in their process.
Time up Close
As was to be expected the timepieces themselves were the star of the show. Illustrious brand Rolex was first up, having decided to make this the first year they would participate in a watchmaking event in the Middle East. They hosted a dedicated, interactive exhibition exploring the universe of the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and how this celebrated divers’ watch came to be.
The event also had ground-breaking displays of many of the top winners from this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve, the ‘Oscars of watchmaking’. There was the ornately elaborate MB&F Legacy machine FlyingT winner of best Ladies Complication, best Jewellery Watch Bvlgari’s Serpenti Misteriosi Romani and top honour winner Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.
Finally, it was also an opportunity to be among the first to see the newest watch collection from Chopard. Their innovative Alpine Eagle Collection only launched on 1st October and was inspired by the brand’s connection with nature and the beauty of the Swiss Alps.
As venue hosts, DIFC was the perfect forum for the convergence of so many international horological icons. A globally-recognised hub of excellence, its stature was the ideal mirror to one of the world’s most prestigious industries with such a reputable heritage of quality. Attendees needing a refuel could also avail themselves of the exquisite fair on offer at the exclusive pop up hosted by renowned restaurant Cipriani Dubai; a definite must-visit according to our DIFC Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty team! Apparently it is one of their favourites and luckily just a hop, skip and a jump from our DIFC office.