Inaugural Salon des Grandes Complications opens in Dubai

The Atrium at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will play host to a number of watchmaking brands, collectors and enthusiasts, as the first edition of the Salon des Grandes Complication (SDGC) is now open for business. The fine watchmaking exhibition will run for three days, leading in to the annual Middle East ‘Watch of the Year’ gala on Thursday, November 27.

The Salon des Grandes Complications aims to connect watch enthusiasts and collectors to brands.

The Salon des Grandes Complications aims to connect watch enthusiasts and collectors to brands.

The event was opened on November 25 by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. The Salon is focused on high-end, complicated pieces and is hosting brands such as A. Lange & Söhne, Bulgari, Cvstos, Frédéric Jouvenot, Greubel Forsey, Grieb & Benzinger, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaermann & Stübi, Montblanc, Piaget, Roland Iten, Vacheron Constantin, Vianney Halter and Voutilainen.

Each brand has a reasonably large booth and had a fair selection of complicated timepieces to show off. The main draw of the event however, particularly for watch enthusiasts, is being able to visit and experience a wider variety of timepieces from brands that don’t have permanent boutiques in the region, and so have a small selection of watches on display at multi-brand boutiques.

The exhibition focuses on the latest, complicated timepieces.

The exhibition focuses on the latest, complicated timepieces.

Of all the participating brands only A. Lange & Söhne seemed to have a dedicated watchmaker on hand, which is something we’ve come to expect from the high-end brand – every time we’ve visited an exhibition or even a function in Lange’s own Dubai Mall boutique, there has been a watchmaker present. This speaks volumes about Lange’s approach to not only the market but to watchmaking.

“The Middle East watch industry is really blooming; imports are the highest they ever have been and the number of collectors and connoisseurs is also steadily increasing. Awareness about the true splendor of a beautifully crafted timepiece is on the up and it is an honor to be involved in perpetuating appreciation for the industry with the inaugural Salon des Grandes Complications,” said organiser Nader Freiha, Director of MPP Middle East.

The venue for the SDGC is bright and airy - perfect for a chat and to sample watches.

The venue for the SDGC is bright and airy – perfect for a chat and to sample watches.

This is an interesting statement because we’ve heard from various brands that the watch industry in the Middle East was fairly stagnant in 2014, with the same being said of the wider global market. Regardless, it is important to have regional events such as the SDGC, so that brands and customers/enthusiasts can satisfy their passion and grow their knowledge through focused events such as this.

The 2014 edition of the Salon des Grandes Complications is supported by Audi Corporate, Bang & Olufsen and Christie’s. The exhibition is open to all from 12:00pm to 9pm each day.

Update, December 1, 2014

The 2014 edition of the Middle East ‘Watch of the Year’ awards have taken place, and several winners have been announced. Read our story by clicking here.

 

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