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…
Cartier Dominates the 2014 International Dubai Polo Challenge
Cartier took home the trophy at its namesake Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge. The luxury watchmaker defeated Team CNN in the final match at the Desert Palm Resort and Polo Club in Dubai. The two-day event, which celebrated its ninth year, takes place annually under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE. Sadly the Princess’ UAE Polo Team lost in its match against the Desert Palm Team!
Sheikh Mohammed himself was on hand to present the trophy to the winning team. Among the more than 500 guests were English socialite Poppy Delevingne, Qatari racer Mohammad Abu Issa, TV presenter Joelle Mardinian and fashion designers Rami Al Ali and Hatem Alakeel.
Lewis Hamilton Races Into Doha With IWC
Lewis Hamilton helped IWC Schaffhausen bring the Ingenieur to Doha. The Formula 1® star joined Karoline Huber, Brand Director of IWC Middle East & India, to debut the brand’s Ingenieur-themed booth at the 11th Doha Jewelry and Watches Exhibition. The booth featured a Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Simulator, which let IWC fans experience what it’s like for Hamilton and his fellow drivers behind the wheel of a supercharged F1 racecar.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Hamilton was the first to try out the simulator, showing off his skills in a virtual lap around the Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi. Jamil Al-Majed, Vice-Chairman of Al Majed Jewelry, was also in attendance at the event.
Swiss Brands Flock to Doha Jewelry and Watches Exhibition
The world’s leading manufactures made the pilgrimage from Switzerland to the UAE for the Doha Jewelry and Watches Exhibition. Brands like Van Cleef & Arpels, Mouawad, Graff, Cartier, Fabergé and Jaeger-LeCoultre all displayed booths at the fair, which celebrated its eleventh edition.
Held under the patronage of Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, former Prime Minister of Qatar, the fair showcases the latest collections at the Qatar National Convention Center. Among the highlights was a display by Fabergé that included these additions to the brand’s Imperial Collection, with pieces in sapphire and amethyst. It was also Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first time participating in the fair.
Christie’s Predicts Growth in the Middle East
Frederic Watrelot, Fine Jewelry and Watch Specialist for Christie’s Dubai, predicts that the haute horlogerie market is set to expand in the Middle East. “I definitely see an increased interest in watches here,” Watrelot says. “A lot of this has been helped by the social media – there are some great blogs and sites that are catering to local clientele. There also the local agents such as Seddiqi, Rivoli, Al Fardan, who are really pushing the envelope to get people excited about watches.”
According to Watrelot, clients are also moving towards a more restrained style. “People are increasingly being more discreet with the watches that they wear. You see a lot less of the ‘bling bling’ watches people normally associate with Dubai,” Watrelot says. “I like to compare watches with cars. For example, you used to see a lot of golden Rolls Royce cars in the UAE, but if you look at all the VIPs in Dubai today they are more discreet with what they drive. They don’t feel the need to flash their wealth as much anymore. Things are taming down. You see the same thing happening with watches. People are increasingly being more discreet with the watches that they wear. For instance, people don’t have a problem buying a vintage Ferrari or a Porsche 1911. It’s the same thing for the Rolex, if you find a beautiful Rolex Mariner in superb condition, it’s actually more fashionable now than buying the latest one that everyone can buy in the store. I am referring to a man, of course. But for women, as long as there are diamonds on it then it sells well!”
To see more from our team in the UAE visit hautetime.ae