The tony district of DIFC in the desert emirate will turn into a haven for watch nerds and aficionados when the region’s premier watch event, Dubai Watch Week, unravels over four days beginning November 20. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed after having looked through the schedule of events at the website, here’s a quick cheat sheet.
The Rolex exhibition
This is Rolex’s first outing at any watchmaking event in the Middle East. The exhibition will explore the universe of the Submariner model through panels and interactive displays. Guests will also discover how, over time, the Submariner became an emblematic watch on land as well as at sea. Read more here.
Meet the GPHG Watches
Meet the winners of this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) Awards at the exhibition. The annual awards, among the most prestigious in the industry, was held earlier this month and these watches are part of a travelling exhibition that makes its pit-stop in Dubai this week.
The Horology Forums
These panel discussions are well attended and feature some of the industry’s leading lights. It’s a great place to garner interesting insights into the industry. These sessions are usually booked well in advance, so register ahead for the sessions.
Get an education
Event partner Christie’s will be holding a series of educational workshops during the event. This year’s program includes a session on why Patek Philippe remains the most valuable brand in the vintage auction market.
The event is also an opportunity to learn more about watchmakers that fly under the radar, about watches that don’t stare back at you from giant billboards. For example, if you have been interested in learning more about marine chronometers, don’t miss the Creative Hub featuring Charles Frodsham on Saturday, Nov 23 at 12.30am. The British firm has been making marine chronometers without interruption for 185 years now. Learn how their past links to their new Double Impulse Chronometer.
Meet the legends
It’s not uncommon to run into legends like independent watchmaker Philippe Dufour, Francois-Paul Journe, or industry titan Jean-Claude Biver, or legendary casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann (he made an appearance in 2016 and 2017) at the event. So if you are a fan, don’t feel shy about approaching them for a chat.