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Editorial - The ingredients of success

Editorial The ingredients of success

The recipe for Dubai Watch Week has been perfectly mastered.

As I write this editorial on the second day of Dubai Watch Week, it’s still too early to draw any definitive conclusions, because it won’t finish until Sunday evening. Nevertheless, it’s clear that it has all the ingredients for success. In this recipe, which few watch fair organisers are able to reproduce perfectly from one year to the next, the location is as important as the date; the people the chef chooses are crucial, as is the content he chooses to serve, and for what audience. As Hind and Mohammed Seddiqi (interview to follow) emphasised at the opening of the fair, their aim is to educate the public, and to share the passion and values of watchmaking.

Let’s begin with the main ingredient – the watch content. With some fifty industry figures, over thirty exhibiting brands, an amphitheatre animated by around fifteen watch forums, a creative hub to foster interaction, watchmaking workshops and two mono-brand exhibition spaces (Chopard for its new Alpine Eagle collection, and Rolex with a private vintage collection and the Submariner), watch lovers are genuinely spoilt for choice. The diversity of the brands presenting their new creations covers a wide range of price positions, from the accessible luxury and classic styling of Frédérique Constant to the very high-end and distinctive Jacob & Co., along with Bulgari and Ulysse Nardin, plus some newcomers such as Trilobe. Visitors can not only discover their current collections, and talk to the brand executives who made the trip, they can also see world premières (Armin Strom, de Bethune), limited series designed specifically for the United Arab Emirates (such as Breitling’s Aviator for Etihad Airways), which are being shown in public for the first time, along with limited editions produced in collaboration with Seddiqi, the organiser of Dubai Watch Week and the region’s biggest retailer. Our contributor Roberta Naas will have more on this over the course of the week, as part of our DWW dossier.


Les ingrédients du succès

© WorldTempus / Brice Lechevalier

Around the table

On the strength of their reputation, their experience and their commercial influence in the region, the Seddiqi family were also able to bring in some key partners to ensure the success of this biennial event (the next event in 2021 has been officially confirmed). They have set up a public-private partnership with Dubai Culture, Dubai Tourism, Christie’s and the Dubai International Financial Centre. Combining the interests and exploiting the synergies of these entities is another vital ingredient.

And that leads us to the date and place of Dubai Watch Week (or any other international watch event). It might seem an obvious point, but it’s not always taken into account: please, let’s avoid calendar conflicts with other watch events in other geographical zones. An easily accessible location like Dubai, in a district that’s open to the public, but which has a profile that’s appropriate for a luxury watch exhibition (definitely the case for the Dubai International Financial Centre) is another big plus. The financial centre has the added advantage of having its own ecosystem of bars and restaurants (vital for networking outside the exhibition booths), as well as some major art galleries. One of these is Christie’s, which not only attracts watch collectors, but also provides a bridge between watchmaking and contemporary art lovers.

Les ingrédients du succès

© WorldTempus / Brice Lechevalier

Apart from the end customers, whose numbers can sometimes be difficult to predict (particularly when the weather causes school closures, as was the case in Dubai last week!), having the watch community on board is also a major success factor. Collectors and journalists (beginning with WorldTempus) are part of that, as are other entities that foster dialogue throughout the year, and which are official participants in the DWW: the GPHG with its laureate timepieces, the Watch Photo Awards with a dedicated exhibition, Only Watch in the person of founder Luc Pettavino, Baselworld, whose CEO Michel Loris-Melikoff hosted a forum, and Watchbox, with whom Seddiqi now has a partnership for certified pre-owned watches. The menu was copious and delicious, and the service was impeccable. We heartily recommend it, and we will certainly be back.

Les ingrédients du succès

Seddiqi's box set of limited edition watches © WorldTempus / Brice Lechevalier

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