Dubai Watch Week 2023: Not Just A Watch Show And Rightly So…

Dubai Watch Week 2023: Not Just A Watch Show And Rightly So…

30 Nov 2023 |
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It’s been a week since Dubai Watch Week 2023 ended, but somehow I still have a smile on my face every time someone mentions it. I read somewhere that Dubai Watch Week is just not about watches but about the community. But before we get into the grandeur of the event, the DIFC gate, one which you may have seen in every picture from the week, is the most welcoming entry into the watch world. 

We have to give it to Hind Seddiqi, the woman behind Dubai Watch Week 2023 and her entire team for their undisputed hospitality. Did you ever imagine walking into your luxurious room and having a clock made out of chocolate greeting you? Well, this was just the start of the best event of 2023, if I may say so. 

Karishma Karer & Punit Mehta with Hind Seddiqui

Dubai Watch Week has grown substantially in scale for this year's edition while staying true to its identity as more than just a trade show. With an expanded layout, double the number of exhibiting brands from last year totaling 60, approximately 20 new watch releases, and more events than ever, the celebration of watch culture was indeed bigger and better than before.

Dubai Watch Week 2023

Yet what truly sets Dubai Watch Week apart, as highlighted by Director General Hind Seddiqi, is its focus on enriching watch education and inclusivity. Doesn't matter if you want to learn or just love your timepieces, everyone belongs in the Dubai Watch Week family. That's why watchheads make their pilgrimage and get to kick it with their idols. And those sweet industry insights you soak in are priceless. Far beyond product showcases or brand publicity, the week offers an opportunity to deeply explore watchmaking through learning forums, industry networking, and insightful discussions. Guided by a theme of "the curious confluence," there is a shared spirit of investigation and exchange powering everything from the panel talks to product displays. For those genuinely passionate about horology, this makes Dubai Watch Week a rewarding and uniquely engaging environment for indulging their curiosity.

 Dubai Watch Week 2023 Exhibits

The glittering halls of Dubai Watch Week were filled with renowned watchmakers and their latest creations. As attendees wandered past showcases of new releases, they may have spotted the likes of Ludovic Ballourd, Maximilian Büsser, and Rexhep Rexhepi displaying their work. From the Daytona’s to the Nautilus’s spotted on people’s wrists, the energy was eclectic. 

 Dubai Watch Week 2023 Watchmaking

The Horology Forum hosted riveting panel talks spanning diverse watch industry topics - from brand acquisitions to family legacies and nurturing retailer-customer loyalty. Attendance constantly overflowed capacity, with standing-room-only available. 

Horology Forum

In a polite yet spirited debate moderated by Barbara Palumbo, Nicholas Foulkes and George Bamford shared thoughtful perspectives on watch customization. Foulkes prioritized adhering to the original watchmaker's design aesthetics while Bamford emphasized personalization and long-term value in modifications. While articulating opposing views, both were too gentlemanly to overtly dispute the other. At its core, the debate highlighted shared principles - strong design integrity matters, but so does infusing personality. When done collaboratively, customization can yield especially meaningful timepieces.

As dusk fell, Dubai Watch Week was just hitting its stride. An air of revelry swept over the venue with brands hosting lively soirées, collectors mingling at social gatherings, and a festive spirit promising to continue in full swing throughout the week.

Dubai Watch Week 2023

However, Mother Nature made a dramatic intervention. Though Dubai averages only 25 rainy days annually, torrential rain suddenly fell in the pre-dawn hours, wreaking havoc across the city. With weather pummeling Dubai like clockwork at 4 AM, Dubai Watch Week's organizers took the prudent decision to temporarily suspend activities for several hours until conditions improved to ensure attendees' safety. Ironically, the unforeseen downpour made the 2023 edition even more thrilling and memorable than anticipated. But trust, the organizers to keep the show going. No one rains on Dubai Watch Week’s parade! 

Dubai Watch Week Showcase

Dubai Watch Week overflowed with activity beyond the mainstage happenings. The Christie's Kids Auction returned, now joined by a "Crafting Watch Accessories" workshop where young attendees created beadwork straps. Watchmaker Fiona Kruger captivated with her signature automata-making masterclass. Dance troupes dazzled, live music filled the air, and cuisine from around the world tantalized tastebuds. Impromptu debates, brand launch parties (shoutout Frederique Constant), insider interviews, celebrity sightings...there was always something occurring.

DWW 2023 highlights

Yet for all its star power and sensory splendor, Dubai Watch Week's magic stems from the connections made. By bringing horology lovers from enthusiasts to icons together, it has fostered a one-of-a-kind community. Thousands find a home here to celebrate their passion. If that doesn't encapsulate the event's singular spirit, I'm not sure what could.

Dubai Watch Week 2023

A massive banner proclaimed "NOT JUST A WATCH SHOW" upon entering Dubai Watch Week. This bold statement rang true - the event went far beyond a standard trade exhibition. For watch lovers, it delivered on being an experience no ordinary fair could match. Until, next time!