Since its launch in 2015, Dubai Watch Week has become a firm favourite in the watch world calendar. Hosted by veteran watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, it’s an intimate affair that puts a love of traditional watchmaking front and centre.
Unlike the major shows or other watch-related gatherings, Dubai Watch Week’s focus is on perpetuating the traditions and crafts of watchmaking and building the global community around it. Backed by panels, masterclasses and the presence of the biggest names in watchmaking, it casts the traditional world of horology in a contemporary light, creating memorable experiences along the way.
The invitation is to anyone and everyone who has an interest in watches, and the promise of a warm welcome and the opportunity to learn, share and get involved. Watchmaking giant Philippe Dufour may have said it best when he said: ‘Dubai Watch Week has highlighted the importance of creating a networking platform where everyone can share knowledge.’
The five-day celebration of the past, present and future of watchmaking begins on November 20 and will be held at the Dubai International Finance Centre’s iconic The Gate under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.
And the most surprising thing about it? Dubai Watch Week is free to visitors from all over the world. Register at dubaiwatchweek.com and join us.
In the meantime, here are five things to look forward to.
The Horology Forum
This may be the fourth edition of Dubai Watch Week, but it will be the fifth edition of the Horology Forum. Last year, the forum was hosted by our event partner Christie’s in London, attracting some of the greatest names in contemporary watchmaking, from Greubel Forsey’s Stephen Forsey to The Hour Glass’s Michael Tay. This year, the forum has an impressive line up of speakers including industry heavyweight and non-Executive President of LVMH’s Watch Division, Jean-Claude Biver; the actor, horologist and watch designer, Aldis Hodge; and Danny Govberg, co-founder and CEO of pre-owned watch online retailer WatchBox. To attend, simply register here and join the discussion of your choice . Each panel will end with a 15-minute Q&A, your opportunity to ask the experts.
New ideas and new watches at The Creative Hub
As well as being Dubai Watch Week’s hive mind and a home to discussions and conversations about the finer points of watchmaking creativity and innovation, the Creative Hub is also where a number of fine watchmaking brands will unveil limited-edition watches. Expand your horizons, build your network and immerse yourself in some of the most extraordinary watches coming to market this year.
Up close and personal at the Main Exhibition
Many of the world’s most innovative and technical pieces are made in very low volumes. They can take years to design and develop, and months of painstaking craft to deliver. Dubai Watch Week’s Main Exhibition will bring dozens of the world’s most complicated watches from a curated selection of brands together under one roof. Come and discover pieces from leading manufacturers such as Rolex and Chopard, and from independents including H. Moser & Cie, Bovet, Greubel Forsey, MB&F and De Bethune.
Hands-on with Dubai Watch Week’s Masterclasses
Watchmaking is a 500-year-old industry. Many of the techniques and finishes developed centuries ago are still employed in watchmaking today. A huge part of Dubai Watch Week’s mission is to perpetuate the crafts and skills of traditional watchmaking and to see them thrive in future generations. During the event, there’ll be a series of masterclasses offering the opportunity to learn how to assemble a watch movement, paint a miniature dial and learn the traditional art of chamfering.
Learn how to bid for a rare timepiece with Christie’s
If you’ve never been to a watch auction and frankly wouldn’t know where to start, head for the Christie’s Auction Room. The Dubai Watch Week partner and celebrated auction house will be hosting sessions explaining how an auction works and how to bid. Collectors, historians and industry figures will be on hand to talk you through evaluations, popular rare watch themes and how an auction works. And it’s not just for grown-ups. Returning this year will be the children’s workshop, open to younger watch enthusiasts who fancy a chance to bid for prizes in a mock auction.
It promises to be a wonderful event, our biggest and best yet, and we’d love you to join us. Tickets are free and you can register at dubaiwatchweek.com. For regular updates, follow @DubaiWatchWeek on social.