Dubai Watch Week, a five-day industry event regarded as the largest of its kind in the region, kick-started its activities in Sunday.
The event will continue till October 22nd, and includes exhibitions, master classes, along with numerous conferences and panel discussions revolving around the history of time making, craftsmanship and current issues facing the industry.
The event has been organised by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, a renowned retailer of fine watches across the city, in association with Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and international auction house Christie’s, along with other partners such as The Dubai Mall and Emirates Airlines.
In an interview with Aficionado, Melika Yazdjerdi, director of Dubai Watch Week and head of Corporate Communications at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, emphasises the event’s educational and cultural approach, steering away from the obvious commercial gains that come by default.
“An event of this magnitude has to be, in essence, cultural and educational. It’s not always about commercial values. When you educate people, you’re empowering them with knowledge and giving them the opportunity to learn something new. That in itself translates into the creation of collectors, connoisseurs and buyers,” Yazdjerdi says.
Hind Seddiqi, the marketing director of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons notes that, while the commercial gains are undeniable given the group’s operations as a retailer, education has been an integral part of the company’s history.
“As a retailer, the commercial aspect of this is important. We cannot deny it, but throughout the past years we’ve been holding very private events with our collectors to educate them about the industry. Today, with Dubai Watch Week, we’re doing this on a public platform,” she adds.
Reserving ‘endangered species’
In addition to educating the public on the fine art of watchmaking, the platform is also offering a chance for artisan watchmakers that are not usually under the spotlight to reach out to the public.
“The creators you’ll meet here are very endangered species. Against all economic or financial logic, these creative people are following their dreams. They create not by following trends or markets, because they need to express themselves,” says Maximilian Büsser, Founder and CEO of MB&F and member of the Dubai Watch Week committee.
Yazdjerdi agrees, adding that the watchmakers available throughout the Dubai Watch Week are, in fact, rare to see and speak to.
“The industry we are in needs support in every aspect and this is an industry we are very passionate about at Seddiqi Group,” she notes.