Dubai Watch Week 2016 grows significantly in stature

Following its first successful run in 2015, Dubai Watch Week (DWW) 2016 is officially underway, and runs from November 16 to 19 at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). DWW is the Middle East’s most prominent horological event, and for 2016 event organiser Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons – the Middle East’s largest watch retailer – has upped the scope of the event significantly.

The region's preeminent horological event is underway.

The region’s preeminent horological event is underway.

This year the list of participating brands has grown considerably, and includes independents such as Bovet, F.P. Journe, HYT, Moritz Grossmann, MB&F and others. The independents are joined by established staples including Baume & Mercier, Bvlgari, Corum, IWC, Panerai, and Vacheron Constantin.

This is one area where the 2016 event differs from its predecessor – the 2015 extravaganza focused almost exclusively on independent brands in terms of products that were showcased. As a result of the larger brand participation, products are now displayed across two galleries within DIFC.

You could spend all your time looking at watches or attending panels. DWW has been significantly scaled up for 2016.

You could spend all your time looking at watches or attending panels. DWW has been significantly scaled up for 2016.

Over the last couple of days a handful of brands unveiled new timepieces, some designed specifically for Dubai. These weren’t soft launches either, working samples or in some cases retail product were on hand for visitors to experience. The fact that more brands are participating this year, as well as launching product adds significant weight to Dubai Watch Week in terms of its position, and status as a global horological event.

Besides being able to experience timepieces, another significant draw of Dubai Watch Week is that it brings together an incredible list of industry insiders. This year more than 40 international industry veterans are attending including Maximilian Büsser, Philippe Dufour, Stephen Forsey, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, Stephen McDonnell, Aurel Bacs and others. Middle East industry veterans included members of the Seddiqi family, and collectors such as Claude Sfeir and Abbas Behbehani.

One of the best things about DWW is that you will bump into industry insiders everywhere. In the foreground, MB&F's Maximilian Büsser talks to H. Moser & Cie's Edouard Meylan.

One of the best things about DWW is that you will bump into industry insiders everywhere. In the foreground, MB&F’s Maximilian Büsser talks to H. Moser & Cie’s Edouard Meylan.

The 2016 edition of DWW follows a similar format to its predecessors, and gives visitors (registration is free but mandatory) the opportunity to attend watchmaking master-classes, attend panel discussions, and deep-dive into brands and their products via focused ‘creative hubs’. Visitors also have the opportunity to get up close with the winning watches of the 2016 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie De Genève (GPHG) (our story here).

In addition to the vast number of programs scheduled to take place in DIFC, Dubai Watch Week has also taken up more real estate in the nearby Dubai Mall. Two different exhibitions are open to the public – The Mastery of Time and 24 Hours in the life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock. The former focuses on the history of timekeeping and highlights dozens of rare and exquisite pieces (including pieces from the Seddiqi private collection), while the latter presents some truly interesting, and odd timekeeping devices for your home.

The DWW horological panels have been fantastic. We tried to be first in line for each one.

The DWW horological panels have been fantastic. We tried to be first in line for each one.

Keep up with Dubai Watch Week on Instagram and other social media channels via #DubaiWatchWeek.

To learn more about Dubai Watch Week, click here.

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