Second edition of Salon des Grandes Complications opens

Earlier today, H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mr. Adrian Bless, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in the UAE opened the 2015 edition of the Salon des Grandes Complication (SDGC). The fine watchmaking exhibition is open to all from November 16 to 19, and is located at the entrance of DIFC building 5.

The exhibition was formally opened after a press conference.

The annual event, which first ran in 2014, offers a focused platform for luxury brands – predominately watch brands – to better connect with regional audiences. For 2015, several well known brands are participating including A. Lange & Söhne, Arnold & Son, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Girard-Perregaux, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kerbedanz, Panerai, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Vianney Halter, Vertu and Voutilainen.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH has officially endorsed the event and will be participating, bringing its ‘Think Time Think Swiss Excellence’ exhibition to the Salon.

Nader Freiha of MPP and Abdulhamied Seddiqi of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

Nader Freiha of MPP and Abdulhamied Seddiqi of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

The exhibition is dedicated to high-end, complicated timepieces and visitors can expect to see watches such as A. Lange & Söhne’s Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, Cartier’s ID Two concept watch, Chopard’s L.U.C 1963 Tourbillon, Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur Spider Pocket Watch Time Instrument, Vacheron Constantin’s Harmony collection, and many others. However, the real highlight of the Salon was being able to see and experience a wide array of timepieces from Kerbedanz, Vianney Halter, and Voutilainen – brands that do not have dedicated boutiques in Dubai or the wider Middle East region.

Compared with last year’s event which took place on the upper level of DIFC building 5 (read our story here), the 2015 Salon is located on the ground floor, close to the main entrance of the building. Visually, the current edition of SDGC seems smaller than the 2014 event however, it is far more visible in its current location, and so should enjoy greater walk-in footfall from those living and working in and around DIFC. Most of the brands have similarly sized booths with the exception of Cartier, which has the most floor space by far.

Cartier’s booth had dozens of watches for enthusiasts to experience.

In 2014, the SDGC was the only horology focused exhibition to take place in Dubai, whereas in 2015, the SDGC was the second horology exhibition, taking place just a few weeks after Dubai Watch Week. While we firmly believe there’s no such thing as too many horology exhibitions, we hope that next year the two events will be spaced further apart.

We reckon the first exhibition of the year (whichever it is) should take place a month or two before summer kicks in, though we do understand that this then puts that exhibition in close proximity to the biggest watch exhibition of them all, BaselWorld. That said, perhaps this would provide an ideal opportunity for Middle East residents who don’t make it to BaselWorld to see the latest and greatest timepieces, assuming of course a chunk of the prototypes and new collections that are shown at BaselWorld make it to Dubai.

As expected, A. Lange & Söhne had a watchmaker on its stand. Mr. Robert Hoffmann has worked at various brands and currently works on some of Lange's more complicated pieces, such as the Datograph and Zeitwerk.

As expected, A. Lange & Söhne had a watchmaker on its stand. Mr. Robert Hoffmann has worked at various brands and currently works on some of Lange’s more complicated pieces, such as the Datograph and Zeitwerk.

Salon des Grandes Complications is sponsored by Audi Corporate, which showed its new A7, and Vertu, who displayed its newest and most advanced performance smartphone, the Signature Touch. SDGC is also sponsored by AXA Art Insurance and Swiss International Air Lines.

MPP Middle East will also be extending the reach of Salon des Grandes Complication in the near future, with an event planned for Kuwait in April 2016, and another in Saudi Arabia in 2017.

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