Inside Dubai Watch Week 2021
The desert dust has settled on the fifth edition of Dubai Watch Week, where, over the course of a single week, watch lovers and professionals from around the globe were able to come together around their favorite subject. So without further ado, let’s see why Dubai Watch Week has become such a big deal for the industry.
At the event, headliners like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Chopard, and Hublot, alongside 40 other watch brands, displayed their horological know-how at The Gate in Dubai’s International Finance Centre. Attendees included everyone from world’s famous watch collectors to eminent figures, such as Philippe Dufour and Jean-Frédéric Dufour, to the Watchbox team, and of course, many watchmakers.
One thing that is important to understand about the success of the fair is that the focus is 100% centered on transferring knowledge of craftsmanship, not sales, making it, by far, the most audacious and inspiring industry event on the calendar.
The CEO of Louis Moinet Jean-Marie Schaller noted that, for his brand, Dubai Watch Week “carries a crucial importance at international and local levels.” And indeed, the new spectacular creation presented by the brand during the show, the Astronef, received a very warm welcome from the public, already appearing to have commercial success.
The watch unveils a complex dial, a super-light case and reveals a powerful mechanism: two tourbillons rotating in opposite directions at high speed and built on two different levels. The 18K rose gold frame adorns the sapphire container allowing us to contemplate the technologically complicated mechanism.
For Ulysse Nardin, Dubai Watch Week has been a great platform to meet and appreciate a broad cross-section of local and global watch lovers, customers, and collectors.
Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin (and Girard-Perregaux), suggested taking a new fresh look at the brand’s dive watch. “Ulysse Nardin is a disruptive watch manufacture inspired by the sea,” Pruniaux told Watchonista, and that is exactly what the Diver X Skeleton Black is all about.
Not only does Ulysse Nardin infuse this new model with the sporty design and technical prowess of its Diver X Skeleton line, but the brand also used a carbon-fiber material called “Carbonium” for the first time so as to support its sustainable business approach.
This year, the iconic watch brand hosted a large-scale exhibition entitled: “Beyond the Limits: A Journey through Time, Design, and Materials,” and it brought visitors at the heart of the Manufacture’s endless quest for innovation.
Chief Brand Officer Olivia Crouan commented on Audemars Piguet’s participation in the event, saying, “We left SIHH for one good reason: it didn’t fit within our strategy. For us, it was a professional fair with retailers coming over with some clients. But as we are now connected directly with our clients, those fairs don’t have any more meaning for us. We participate at DWW because it’s a suitable platform for our communication elements to convey. The idea is to go where our clients are.”
Video: “Beyond The Limits: A Journey through Time, Design, and Materials”
Rolf Studer, Co-CEO of Oris, shared with me his first impressions of the show: “Dubai Watch Week is about inclusive luxury at its best. There is no ego, no distribution, no sales, but a relaxed atmosphere that is conducive to pleasant conversation and exchange of ideas.”
The launch party welcomed the most influential media and watch connoisseurs from all over the world. Of the new piece, Calce said, “With this new creation, we have refined a number of elements to make a contemporary-looking timepiece. We have made the stepped bridges and small seconds stand out more. The hour indexes around the flange are now three-dimensional and more prominent. And we played with polished, satin, and matte finishes on the movement and the case, which has been resized.”