Since Haute Time has gone global, we’re bringing you a snapshot from our worldwide markets.
Here, our local Dubai-based editor Rebecca Anne Proctor recaps the United Arab Emirates’ hottest watch news.
‘Dubai Watch Week’ To Premiere In October 2015
Under the support of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the patronage of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, in association with Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), has announced the first annual ‘Dubai Watch Week’ (DDW). The first and largest dedicated horology event in the Gulf, DWW is set to be a journey of discovery into the world of fine watchmaking, and will take place in Dubai from 18 until 22 October 2015. The five-day event will celebrate the history, dedication, innovation, achievements and master craftsmanship in the world of horology through a cultural and educational platform including the GPHG Exhibition, workshops and forums in addition to private and public events.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Participates In Masters Of Food Event
On 9 June, Jaeger-LeCoultre hosted a dynamic culinary event under the title of ‘Masters of Food’ at the Park Hyatt Dubai. The sophisticated culinary and beverage experience revolves around shared common values of excellence and refinement, taking into close consideration the advancement of techniques, be it fine watchmaking or culinary. Upon arrival to the hotel guests were escorted to the lavish Presidential Suite boasting exceptional views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai skyline. In attendance were Park Hyatt Dubai and Jaeger- LeCoultre directors as well as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s CEO, Daniel Riedo.
IWC And Al Majed Jewellery Bring Portofino To DOHA
From 8 to 15 June, watch lovers in Doha headed to the Villagio Mall in Doha to see an exhibition of IWC’s elegant Portofino Midsize collection. Hosted by Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen and its partner in Qatar, Al Majed Jewellery, this special traveling exhibition also made stops in Kuwait, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Manama.
Piaget Unveils Possession Collection In Dubai
On 21 May, Piaget hosted a VIP reception in Dubai to celebrate the launch of its iconic collection, Piaget Possession. Taking place at the VIP Lounge at The Dubai Mall, the event witnessed the attendance of significant socialites, bloggers and trendsetters from the country. Guests at the launch were invited to a comprehensive experience through the world of Piaget through the brand’s heritage, a film into the beauty and know-how of the Possession Collection, and insight into the particularities of each new timepiece.
Seddiqi Holding Unveils Swiss Watches Services
On 28 May, Seddiqi Holding unveiled Swiss Watch Services, the Middle East’s largest and most comprehensive customer care center for timepieces to date. With expertise in servicing over 60 watch brands and 200,000 spare parts in stock, the Swiss Watch Services’ staff of 59 professionals, are trained at the highest level of horology care and complications, reducing the need for collectors to send their prized timepieces abroad for service.
Hublot’s presence in the UAE has been expanding over the past few years thanks to the hard work of Regional Director Marco Tedeschi. The young executive has expertly utilized social media to connect to young watch enthusiasts and grow the brand’s clout in the area. Tedeschi’s approach has transformed Hublot into a big player in the Middle East. We sat down with the Regional Director at Baselworld to talk about the brand’s successful watch launches.
What’s your position in the UAE and what do you do for Hublot? I’m a regional director for Hublot in the Middle East and Africa. I’m also looking after Indian Ocean countries. My goal is to apply the strategy of the brand in the Middle East.
You’ve launched limited edition pieces in Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait. Tell us about the process. Those limited editions are very important to our partners and us because people in the Middle East are very proud of their countries. There is a really huge demand for such limited editions. We started three or four years back with our retailer in Dubai, Mr. Ahmed Seddiqi himself, and we created a watch we called ‘The Vision,’ featuring Arabic numerals.
And how many pieces were made?
It was a limited edition of 100 pieces. People are still trying to buy if for five times its retail price, which means it really is something special. More recently, we did the Classic Fusion Dubai edition, and that one was 50 pieces for men and 25 pieces for women. The only way we promoted that watch was via social media and it was sold out in two days.
You also proved the Middle East could serve as a launching pad for other watches such as the Classic Fusion Forbidden X, a watch made with Arturo Fuente cigars….
I’m very proud of this one. I worked on the design of the watch, and it was an honor to have the international launch in Dubai. We flew Mr. Carlos Fuente Jr. into Dubai and we created a little Havana at the best hotel in Dubai, The Palm. It was amazing because my clients in Dubai were telling me: “We feel most comfortable smoking cigars in Cuba.” That was the concept behind the launch, and we sold 20 watches during an event with only 60 to 80 people. Now that’s a success.
What are your favorite pieces launched by Hublot this year? It’s always difficult to pick only one. I love the new Big Bang UNICO Italia Independent because it introduces a new material, a new style, and comes with cool sunglasses. The blue Texalium is something stunning and different from what is currently on the market. I also love the Big Bang Unico “10 years” Haute Joaillerie, and sold two immediately out of the ten pieces released, so that’s quite good for me.
Did the Big Bang Ferrari Carbon get the same reaction?
Ferrari is an amazing brand, and one of their biggest markets is the Middle East. All of my friends in the Middle East drive a Ferrari, and of course, they like to match their watch with their car.
Now that you know what the 2015 collection looks like, what will you be turning your attention to? My biggest challenge will be to deliver the latest novelties as quick as possible. It’s always a big challenge.