Dubai Watch Week And Christies Take The Horology Forum To London, Where It Looked Very Much At Home (Lots Of Photos + Videos)
Dubai Watch Week and Christie’s partnered to bring the first International Horology Forum to London on September 11-12, 2018 with panels and discussions held at Christie’s King Street location in the heart of the St. James area of London.
The panels, livestreamed on Facebook And IGTV (Instagram TV), brought thoughts and opinions from industry leaders to the watch world.
In case you missed the livestream, you can watch the panel videos right here.
Battle Of The Soothsayers
Moderated by: Suzanne Wong (journalist)
Panel: Aldis Hodge (actor and watchmaker), Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi (Seddiqi Holding), and Hamdan Al Hudaidi (collector)
The big surprise from this panel was learning how horologically learned Hollywood star (and self-taught watchmaker) Aldis Hodge is, instantly captivating the entire room. Watching this panel search for the future of watchmaking is worth doing alone for Hodge’s eloquence and ideas.
Cultural Clout – The iBuyer Cult
Moderated by: Barbara Palumbo
Panel: Christophe Nicaise (Seddiqi Holding), Dario Spallone (D1 Milano), Fiona Krüger (designer and independent watchmaker), and Peter Speake-Marin (independent watchmaker)
Starting out considering the role of the online buyer today, this panel soon digressed toward online retail and the perhaps not-so-positive role of the influencer in the watch world.
The British Watch Industry – Colonizing Greenwich Meridian
Moderated by: Dr. Andrew Hildreth (liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers)
Panel: Peter Speake-Marin (watchmaker), Richard Stenning (Frodsham), Roger Smith (independent watchmaker), Dr. Rebecca Struthers (independent watchmaker), and Stephen Forsey (Greubel Forsey)
This interesting discussion featuring British and ex-pat British industry players now living and working in Switzerland considered the development and state of the British watch industry.
When David Clocks Goliath
Moderated by: Jack Forster (journalist)
Panel: Edouard Meylan (H. Moser & Cie.), Grégory Dourde (HYT), and Stephen Forsey (Greubel Forsey)
This panel discusses how the creativity of the independent and boutique brands active in the world of watches has perhaps influenced – and at times even overshadowed – the bigger, more established players. It was understandably hard to draw the panelists out, however some of the more interesting discussions arose from the not-so-rhetorical question, “Are we a brand or a signature?”
Genta and Daniels’ Punctual Yet Untimely Legacy
Moderated by: John Reardon (Christie’s)
Panel: Fabrizio Buonamassa (Bulgari), Michael Tay (The Hour Glass), Roger Smith (independent watchmaker), Stacy Perman (journalist), and Christine Hutter (Moritz Grossmann)
For us this was the most interesting discussion of the two-day event as it centered around the life, times, and legacy of two of the modern watch world’s most interesting and polarizing artists: designer Gérald Genta and watchmaker George Daniels.
As Genta sold his eponymous company to The Hour Glass in 2000 – who in turn sold it to Bulgari just a short two years later – Tay and Buonamassa were the perfect participants to describe the life and work of Genta, perhaps as no others could possibly do. Roger Smith, as Daniels’ only apprentice and collaborator, knew the self-taught Englishman like no one else – and at times became somewhat emotional as he recounted anecdotes and put together thoughts on “realizing when you’ve met greatness.”
The questions by John Reardon, a Patek Philippe historian and author, were well-founded and researched, adding even more spice to an already peppery topic.
This panel is highly recommended – all the way through to the audience questions and comments at the end.
Here audience members were given an opportunity to put some of Britain’s watch industry players in the hot seat: Dr. Rebecca Struthers (independent watchmaker), Roger Smith (independent watchmaker), Richard Stenning (Frodsham), and Stephen Forsey (Greubel Forsey).
We’re not entirely sure that the discussion worked as intended since the questions seemed at times somewhat inappropriate, understandably eliciting quite corporate-like, diplomatic responses from the panel members.
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