“Dubai has long been a centre for trade, due in part to its strategic location between Europe and Asia, but also due to the enterprising nature of its people,” says Abdulhamied Ahmed Seddiqi, Vice Chairman at Seddiqi & Sons.
“Following on from the fantastically successful event last year, we aim to continue our programme of sharing the understanding of horology from a cultural and historical point of view. We want to share everything that the watchmaking world has to offer, and also demonstrate how Dubai now has an incredibly important part to play in that world.”
We must all make the most of time, our most precious commodity.
Mastering time is a question of understanding what are the truly important things in our own life. This is the thinking behind the Make Time Your Own campaign by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the Dubai-based luxury watch retailer. Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has built up a formidable network of elegant stores, becoming the largest retailer of Swiss timepieces in the Middle East and therefore playing a key role in the region’s transformation into a renowned global centre for business and luxury retail.
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is using this pivotal position in the world of fine timepieces to emphasise why we must all make the most of time, our most precious commodity, at work and at play. No one can stop the passage of time, but we can change the
ANNUAL EVENT DELIVERS THE VERY BEST OF WATCHMAKING
It was also to be a chance for those same experts to learn from Dubai, to see first-hand the depth of the watches market. The UAE is in the top 10 countries for Swiss watch exports, worth almost $80 million in late 2016—an increase of $16 million since the same month in 2015—and it has some of the most mature watch collectors in the Gulf, drawn to grand complications, tourbillons, limited editions and pièces uniques.
2015’s inaugural event was attended by an estimated 2,300 visitors, who were treated to a journey into the world of watchmaking that included exhibitions, forums, watchmaking masterclasses and an auction. This year, the event returns with the confidence that DWW is already established as one of the highlights of the global watch calendar. For 2016, as well as the display of all GPHG winners, highlights include the Mastery of Time exhibition, curated in partnership with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), a retrospective of the most historically important clocks and watches.
Among several other exhibitions, workshops, masterclasses, forums and VIP events taking place at the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Dubai Mall, is the presentation of 24 Hours In The Life Of A Swiss Cuckoo Clock—24 modern takes on the iconic cuckoo clock, created by students and staff at HEAD-Genève art school. Speakers at this year’s DWW include the Phillips auction expert Aurel Bacs, Ressence founder Benoît Mintiens and Vacheron Constantin artistic director Christian Selmoni.
HOW CAN WE MAKE THE MOST OF OUR TIME?
way we use it. And a high-quality watch is important in this respect, because when we consider those passing hours on a piece of beautiful, precision-engineered machinery, we understand the importance of curating time—moving with it, or making it stand still for us—in the way we use it.
The #MakeTimeYourOwn message, shared globally via social media platforms, is that we must make time for the people that mean the most to us, as well as for ourselves. Think about calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time, reading a story to your child or grandchild, or simply turning off your phone for half an hour to read a book uninterrupted.
Being “pressed for time” is inevitable in today’s world, as professional and personal obligations leave most of us wishing for more hours in the day. Taking control of our time can make life’s pressures seem more manageable, simply by making sure we regularly slow down and appreciate the beauty of life, making time the ultimate luxury. Rather than worry about life passing us by, let’s acknowledge that there’s always a wonderful moment to be lived—and that moment is right now.
Time is our greatest luxury, and as one of the Middle East’s biggest retailers of Swiss watches, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has built a world-class retail offering based on this tenet. Delivering impeccable service to luxury watch brands and customers alike, Dubai Watch Week exhorts current and potential collectors to Make Time Your Own, appreciating the passage of life through the function of an exquisite, precision-engineered timepiece.
Once again the event takes place under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. While the event takes place in the context of an increasing number of global brands opening regional offices in Dubai, and the emirate being listed as one of the top five global shopping destinations, the emphasis is on DWW being a non-commercial fair.
One of the principal aims is to generate interest in horology among a younger generation, and training courses are being offered to allow people to immerse themselves in the world of watchmaking to see if they get a taste for it as a potential career.
The second edition of Dubai Watch Week represents a huge milestone in the drive to put the region at the centre of the global luxury stage. That drive has been spearheaded by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the Middle East’s largest retailer of luxury timepieces and jewellery. The family-owned and run company, established in 1950, represents more than 60 luxury brands across 65 retail locations in the United Arab Emirates.
The event was conceived in 2013, when Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons organised the first tour to the region of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie De Genève (GPHG), the highly acclaimed annual awards event that’s the pinnacle of the watchmaking industry’s year.
That tour received very positive feedback, which laid the foundation for the first edition of Dubai Watch Week in 2015. The idea was to allow the UAE’s growing community of watch collectors and enthusiasts to deepen their understanding of horology, as well as to learn from and network with industry experts by creating a global platform for the international watch media.