Dubai Watch Week 2023: Highlights from the Horology Gala

From hands-on watchmaking sessions to thought-provoking roundtable discussions, DWW 2023 had something for everyone. GMT India was there to experience it all.
Dubai Watch Week 2023: Highlights from the Horology Gala
November 22, 2023
Dubai Watch Week 2023: Highlights from the Horology Gala

The sixth edition of the Dubai Watch Week (DWW) was held at The Gate, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), from November 16 to 20 this year. A significant watch event on the horological calendar, DWW 2023 celebrated the precision, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance of luxury watches. The event, hosted under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was an immersive journey into the world of watches — a testament to the UAE’s commitment to becoming a global centre for culture, heritage, and art. With over 60 participating brands, including more than 10 newcomers, this unmissable experience showcased unique masterpieces. 

GMT India attended the Dubai Watch Week and checked out the exceptional timepieces on display. Here are the highlights.

Visitors witnessed exclusive launches from industry heavyweights, such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Bvlgari. Independent watchmakers held the crowd in thrall as well. Playful creations were spotlighted at brand booths. For instance, MB&F's architectural marvel, HM11, stole the show as a whimsical house-inspired timepiece. Konstantin Chaykin's vibrant Wristmons added a burst of creativity, while H. Moser & Cie.'s Streamliner Small Seconds captivated the audience with an Aqua Blue fumé enamel dial. Girard-Perregaux's Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition attained a milestone in brand collaboration. On the other hand, Van Cleef & Arpels transported guests to the enchanting world of Paris with its heritage and contemporary creations. Audemars Piguet's Seek Beyond exhibition was a grand exploration of the manufacturer's endless journey to new horizons. Carl F. Bucherer's Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral 'Green Paradise' and the Manero Minute Repeater in Titanium added an extra touch of sophistication to the gala. 

Van Cleef & Arpels Poetry of Time®

An original concept of the Dubai Watch Week, the Horology Forum provided an intellectual space for free-flowing discussions amongst master craftsmen, industry leaders, visionaries, and seasoned collectors. One such captivating session, The Hands of Time: A Dufour Story, featured a riveting interview with master watchmaker Philippe Dufour and his daughter, Daniela Dufour, exploring the complexities of legacy and innovation in horology.

Elevating the experience, 11 masterclasses offered a hands-on exploration of horological artistry. From Bovet’s Miss Audrey’s Sweet Art Dial-Making to the Sheikhen workshop’s transformation of vintage Norwegian silver spoons into wearable art, there was something for everyone. 

TUDOR Display at Dubai Watch Week 2023

Making its debut at the Dubai Watch Week, the Collectors Lounge brought together representatives of the watch community under one roof. This inclusive space encouraged open discussions amongst collectors, guided by Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi. Notable sessions included The Story of Watchmakers Unleashed and Vintage Horology: The Next Chapter.

Promoting dialogues that were designed to foster creativity, champion innovation, and celebrate the industry, the Creative Hub covered a wide range of topics. Sessions like The Trials And Tribulations Of Watch Innovation With Stephen McDonnell provided insight into the complex process of creating new innovations in watchmaking.

Watch Displays at Dubai Watch Week 2023

Christie’s returned, bringing an exciting series of lectures, exhibitions, and activities. Seasoned experts provided accurate valuations, drawing from market knowledge and industry insights. The talks that were delivered included The Importance of Quality in a Collectible Vintage Watch, The Past, Present and Future of UAE’s Real Estate Market and The Power of Provenance. A tour of over 160 exquisite timepieces in the OAK Collection showcase was organised.

Watch Femme, a community dedicated to promoting and amplifying women’s voices within the watch world, hosted a Watch Speed Dating event for participants to experience different watches interactively. Lastly, musical performances by artistes Jaymie Deville, Sam Tring, Fadi Rifaai, and Leoné Murphy enthralled the attendees as well.

Hind Seddiqi, Director General of DWW posed for a Wrist Check with GMT India's Editor-in-chief Vritti Jadwani Jain and Managing Editor Vidya Prabhu

With hands-on watchmaking sessions, engaging workshops for children, and thought-provoking roundtable discussions, covering various aspects of the watch industry, including the pivotal role of women in watchmaking, DWW 2023 indeed offered nothing short of horological brilliance. "Dubai Watch Week, a movement in horology, will continue to pioneer rising players across key fields and support initiatives that further elevate our industry, and cement Dubai as a global centre for culture in line with the nation’s vision,” as the Director General of Dubai Watch Week, Hind Seddiqi rightly said.

Image Credits: Vipin Kumar