Between educational panels and interactive exhibits, DWW 2017 was about so much more than selling watches.
Last week, Analog/Shift founder James Lamdin returned from Dubai Watch Week, a five-day celebration of all things horology. Organized by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the Middle East’s foremost Swiss watch retailer, the third year celebrated not just by showcasing new releases from a bevy of luxury watchmakers, but also by hosting educational programs, panels hosted by The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and so much more.
That's not to say that fine watches weren't the focus. For proof that manufacturers are invested in the market, look no further than IWC Schaffhausen's Portugieser Tourbillon Middle East, a limited edition of 25 pieces launched exclusively for the event in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
IWC Schaffhausen's Portugieser Tourbillon Middle East (IWC)
This edition has a deep emerald dial and is animated by a flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock. The manually wound manufacture 98900 caliber, visible through the transparent sapphire crystal case back, supplies a power reserve of 54 hours and features IWC’s signature indexless balance.
Audemars Piguet, meanwhile, used the event as a platform to announce some stunning new pieces of their own. Among them, a new line of women's watches from their Millenary line, first launched in 1995 to celebrate the new millennium. Two of these timepieces feature the Polish bracelet, an intricate, handmade threaded design that adds to the vintage value of the pieces.
AP's Frosted Gold Millenary timepiece (Courtest of AP)
AP's Frosted Gold design has returned, more subdued than some collectors might expect, as part of a collaboration with the jewelry designer Carolina Bucci that debuted on a Royal Oak piece from last year. Manufactured using an ancient gold hammering procedure called the Florentine technique, the bezel, the inner bezel, the top of the lugs and the case’s sides at 9 and 3 o’clock have been frosted. This timepiece also marks the first time an opal dial has been used in the Millenary collection.
Despite these big announcements, 30 brands and upward of 4,000 visitors, Show Director Melika Yazdjerdi reminded The New York Times what sets DWW apart from other watch shows. "We give collectors, press and the public intimate access to brands through programs, round-table discussions and master classes — without the pressure of sales," she said. "The focus is on transferring knowledge of craftsmanship."