With two triumphant editions already under its belt, Dubai Watch Week is back for 2017, with the dial across the board very much turned up to eleven. Running from 16th-20th November, its phenomenal success in such a short time has seen it outgrow its original location in Gate Village, at the heart of the Dubai International Financial Center. For those Rolex fans out there this is an event you might want to put on your list. This year the event moves to purpose-built showcase areas in the main courtyard and adjacent grounds in front of the spectacular Arc de Triomphe-style Gate Building.
By contrast with many watch exhibitions around the world, the DWW is a completely non-commercial celebration of the skill, innovation, and artisanship of watchmaking. Comprising a week of seminars, workshops and brand displays by some of the biggest names in the industry, it’s a chance for the great and the good to come together purely for the love of the game, the exchange of ideas and sharing of information.
Dubai Watch Week 2017 is held under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. (Credit: DubaiGov.Org)
This year’s theme of ‘Classic and Contemporary’ is designed to highlight the connection between the past and the present, exploring the evolution of horology and honoring its rich heritage.
Organized by luxury retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, in association with Fondation de Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and with the patronage of Her Highness Sheika Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the DWW has set itself the mission of uniting the global watch community and passing on its collective knowledge to the new generation of watchmakers.
What to Expect in 2017
Visitors to Dubai Watch Week 2017 can look forward to an event even bigger and better than last year. A treasure trove for enthusiasts and connoisseurs, among the attractions you’ll find:
The invitation-only master classes give guests the opportunity to get a hands-on feel for the art of assembling fine timepieces. Held every day for the duration of the DWW, sessions are hosted by experts from Romaine Jerome and Audemars Piguet among others.
The Horology Forum
Leading industry professionals, along with watch authors, historians and collectors come together to discuss a number of topics throughout the week, ranging from e-commerce to marketing to highlighting some all-time classic icons from yesteryear.
The Creative Hub
2016 saw several top names use the event as an opportunity to stretch their creative wings, with the likes of IWC and Vacheron Constantin presenting a host of limited edition models. This year, expect a new raft of never-before-seen beauties, along with a series of talks designed to further show off the inventiveness and ingenuity of the leading manufacturers.
We are excited to see the results of the GPHG. (Credit: DubaiWatchWeek.com)
The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève
Referred to in some circles as the Oscars of watchmaking, the GPHG is an independent international award for excellence in horology. Held annually in November, the subsequent travelling exhibition of the competition’s prize-winning models is one of the highlights of Dubai Watch Week. With awards presented in categories such as best complication, best innovation, and best overall watchmaker, this is where you will find the absolute cream of the industry on display.
People who love watches can connect over multiple industries. (Credit: DubaiWatchWeek.com)
The Auction Room
With the vintage market only increasing in popularity, watch auctions are becoming more and more mainstream. In association with Christies, the DWW looks to dispel some of the mythology surrounding the goings-on inside the world’s top sale houses.
Split into three different sections, visitors can have their watches expertly appraised, learn the intricacies of bidding, as well as attending talks covering every aspect of the auction process. There’s even a family day event that gives kids the chance to bid—which sounds like a recipe for a very expensive disaster!
Virtual Reality is coming into play even in the horological industry. (Credit: DubaiWatchWeek.com)
The Mastery of Time Virtual Experience
Through the latest in virtual reality technology, you can relive the most important points in watchmaking history. Learn how nineteenth century sailors plotted a course with only a timepiece for reference or how aircraft pilots navigated using just their trusted chronometers. Explore the virtual milestones of horology’s past and discover the stories behind groundbreaking innovations.
The Dubai Watch week is fast becoming a favorite event in the industry calendar, with its focus on bringing those with a love for all things watchmaking together to socialize and network. With education and cooperation at its core, it provides the resources and opportunities for the global watch community to learn from the masters of horology.
With 2017 set to be the biggest and most popular DWW yet, it’s an event that will only continue to go from strength to strength.
What are your thoughts on Dubai Watch Week 2017? Leave your comments below.