Delivering a snapshot from our worldwide markets, our local Dubai-based editor, Rebecca Anne Proctor, recaps the UAE’s hottest watch news.
Dubai Watch Week: Independent Watchmakers Find Sanctuary In Dubai
If Switzerland is the cradle of the watchmaking industry, Dubai is its “sanctuary,” according to Maximilian Büsser. The owner and creative director of MB&F, who moved permanently to the emirate in 2014, says watchmakers are “an endangered species,” that need to come together to protect the art form. Back in Dubai in September, he was joined by an exceptional lineup of fellow watchmakers, brought together by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the preeminent watch retailer in the U.A.E, as well as the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The goal of the exhibition? To give collectors and enthusiasts an opportunity to meet face-to-face with industry leaders, and witness a formidable demonstration of talent and craftsmanship. The Chief Marketing Officer of Seddiqi Holding, Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, says the experience is one that, until now, has been mostly reserved for private clients. But Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons made the watch industry that much more accessible through several public displays, including the 2015 pre-selected finalists of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. “The most spectacular element,” of the exhibition, according to Aurel Bacs, the president of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, “is that private individuals who are hardly let into the watch fairs were able to look at the watches, touch the watches, talk to the watchmakers, and even take [a watch] apart and put it back together with them.” Not all watchmakers were as familiar with Dubai as Büsser. The event gave independent watchmakers such as Philippe Dufour the chance to discover the emirate for the first time.
Under The Hammer: Rare Hublot Watches Raise Funds For Dubai Cares
On Oct. 21, Christie’s auctioned off two limited- edition Hublot timepieces to raise funds for Dubai Cares. Made out of titanium and 18-karat pink gold, the Vision I and Vision II are considered “grail” pieces in the U.A.E., ever since they appeared in the early ‘00s. Developed and named as a tribute to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, they have captured the hearts of local watch enthusiasts. “People in the Middle East are very proud of their countries,” said Hublot U.A.E. Regional Director Marco Tedeschi. “There is a really huge demand for such limited editions. People are still trying to buy if for five times its retail price, which means it really is something special.” Sensing an opportunity to support a great cause, Seddiqi & Sons presented the two limited-edition pieces, raising a total of $135,000, all of which was donated to Dubai Cares.
Making An Entrance: Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons Unveils The Audemars Piguet Lady Millenary
On Sept. 26, a glamorous crowd gathered in Dubai for the presentation of Audemars Piguet’s 2015 Millenary Collection. In partnership with the Middle East’s largest Swiss watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the event marked the first time that the watch brand presented its new Women’s Collection in the Middle East. The launch of the new Audemars Piguet Millenary collection in 2015 celebrates the 20th year of this unique, oval, women’s watch design. Embodying the bold spirit of independence and female empowerment of the brand, the latest novelty reveals the complexity of the Audemars Piguet woman. The collection comes in three styles—each featuring a unique case, dial and strap.
Etched In Steel: Jaeger-LeCoultre Hosts Engraving Exhibition in Dubai Mall
On Oct. 9, Jaeger-LeCoultre hosted an exceptional engraving exhibition inside the Dubai Mall, featuring handcrafted timepieces from the new Geophysic, Atmos and Master Ultra Thin Reverso Collections. Offering educational insight into the realm of haute horology, the presentation immersed visitors within the intricacies of precision watchmaking. Watch aficionados participated in private engraving classes with an artisan from the Manufacture, flown in from Switzerland by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
At The Races: Longines Sponsors The Qatar Grand Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe 2015
The best international jockeys in the world raced their thoroughbreds to the limit in the 2,400-meter Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 4. For the fifth year in a row, Longines served as the official timekeeper of the event and measured the swift performances. Golden Horn and Lanfranco Dettori were the first to the finish line at the prestigious Longchamp racecourse. In honor of the return of the flat racing season, Longines presented the official watch of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a steel chronograph from the Conquest Classic Moonphase collection. The elegant timepiece features a diameter of 42 millimeters, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement and a silvered dial.
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