3 Of The Best From Day 2 At Dubai Watch Week 2017: 3 New Watches, 3 Quotes, And 3 Horological Happenings
by Sandra Lane
After yesterday’s soft opening, Dubai Watch Week 2017’s full program got underway today, centered on a series of panel discussions with subjects ranging from horological design and technology to what makes an iconic watch. There were watchmaking classes led by A.H.C.I. watchmakers Antoine and Florian Preziuso, independent watchmaker David Candaux, and IWC’s legendary master watchmaker Kurt Klaus (sharp as a tack and as passionate as ever at the age of 83), engraving classes taught by Bovet’s master of the art, Tiago Aires Sergio, and a series of new watch launches.
The event’s new location, an expansive compound spread beneath the dramatic arch of DIFC’s The Gate building, came into its own on a beautiful sunny Friday (of course it was sunny: it’s Dubai). Visitors strolled between the various exhibition tents ranging from the independent makers to the bigger brands and from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie to Christie’s.
As Friday is a weekend day in the Gulf, these visitors included a good number of families. This was nice to see – it’s never young to start, we say!
There was much to enjoy but, as those who have attended DWW previously will know, the best part wasn’t written on the formal schedule: it was the many moments throughout the day when little knots of people gathered here and there to chat about watches – and not just any people, but the who’s who of watchmaking from all over the world with “ordinary” watch fans welcomed to join in.
For that alone, Dubai Watch Week is unlike any other horological event in the world.
3 x watches
Having released photos of the super-minimalistic H.Moser & Cie, Endeavour Tourbillon Concept a few days ago, H. Moser brought the real thing to Dubai Watch Week. Today’s look-and-touch did not disappoint, with the flying tourbillon perhaps better described as a “floating” tourbillon amid the unadorned blue of the dial.
For the latest incarnation of its Chronomètre FB, Ferdinand Berthoud has turned this award-winning watch into a thing of remarkable lightness (titanium case) and transparency (three chamfered sapphire crystal bridges, rather than a viewing window in the case side, as in previous models).
The movement’s aesthetic bonus point comes from the tourbillon bride in the form of a richly blued arrow. And the owner is given a choice of anthracite or silvered dial, each with blued hands.
Vacheron Constantin’s new Overseas Dual Time – with a new caliber, 5100 DT – comes as an early prelude to SIHH 2018. What we like best about this piece is the straightforward and intuitive dual time display. There’s an extra, red-tipped central hand to show home time (operated using the crown) and a neat AM-PM indicator at 9 o’clock. Housed in a 41 mm case, the watch will be offered in steel with a blue dial and pink gold with a white dial
3 x quotes
Laurence Nicolas, president of Dior Timepieces & Jewellery: “I would get rid of the glass,” referring to what change she would like to make in watch design.
Edouard Meylan, CEO H. Moser & Cie: “We work on making our watches look as simple as possible, even though we know that something complex-looking can fetch a higher price.”
Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of Urwerk: “Growing up with digital technology has given the younger generation of watchmakers a lot of possibilities. But everything still has to start in the head with an idea. The technology is just a tool.”
3 x happenings
Ian Skellern, co-founder and technical editor of Quill & Pad, moderated a lively panel discussion on technology and innovation and their relationships with traditional horology. The panelists were Stephen Forsey (Greubel Forsey), Alexis Georgacopoulos (ECAL – University of Art & Design, Lausanne), and Felix Baumgartner (Urwerk).
Just one week after the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards ceremony in Geneva, all 15 of the winning watches went on display at Dubai Watch Week, set in an evocative and theatrically lit “forest at midnight” installation that was specially created for Dubai.
The evening was balmy and the party was hot: mambo, Moscow Mules, and wreaths of expensive cigar smoke set the scene as Hublot and Arturo Fuente brought down the curtain on a busy and entertaining second day.
For more information, please visit www.dubaiwatchweek.com.
Also published on Medium.