Watches have been an iconic industry for decades with a rich history that began in the alleyways of Switzerland. The art of making watches has evolved over the years, however, horology has remained a point of fascination and has been a much sought after skill for many. While the industry has become more commercialized and has been heavily influenced by the integration of technology, it is a still a delight to see artisans at work crafting the next master piece, each more distinct than it’s predecessor.
Today, being a fashion statement that is endorsed by celebrities world over and a piece that has become an inextricable part of individual’s identity, the watch industry is creating timepieces that are culturally, philanthropically and even automobile influenced. Several watch shows globally, are becoming platforms to launch these creations and Dubai being no stranger to hosting world class events saw the inaugural of the 2nd Salon Des Grandes Complications at the Dubai International Financial Center. The event brought together watch makers and enthusiasts as the exclusive horological exhibition offered a unique platform for eminent watchmakers and regional watch lovers to connect, and an opportunity for collectors to purchase sought-after timepieces that may not be seen elsewhere.
In the press conference and ribbon cutting earlier that day, the sheer caliber of the companies present featured some of the most prominent independent watchmakers and larger manufactures, which included A. Lange & Söhne, Arnold & Son, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Girard-Perregaux, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kerbedanz, Panerai, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Vianney Halter and Voutilainen, to mention a few.
The host for the morning expressed their interest with taking SDGC to untapped markets along with their delight at how the brand has grown welcoming new members and exhibitors in their current events. Several of the industry’s heavy weights were captured in the image above by the media, magazine editors, news channel representatives and other prominent publications. Rendezvous With V was on ground as well and had the chance to tour the show along with the guest of honor – H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mr. Adrian Bless, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in the United Arab Emirates and dignitaries.
The participating companies presented key timepieces, showcased their craftsmanship and mechanical expertise through a variety of live demonstrations by watchmakers, engravers and other specialists that intrigued many of the delegates. Several of the event’s highlights and prestigious featured timepieces included:
– A. Lange & Söhne’s Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, the highly technical German manufactory’s first model to feature a striking mechanism that sounds the hours, ten-minute intervals and minutes.
– Arnold & Sons’ Constant Force Tourbillon, which pays tribute to the brand’s historic marine chronometers and features a patented constant force mechanism.
– Bulgari Tourbillon Papillon, a unique Haute Horlogerie watch featuring a central tourbillon with jumping hours and a patented ‘papillon-style’ minute display system.
– Chopard’s L.U.C. 1963 Tourbillon masterpiece, a concentrated blend of the very best of Chopard’s Haute Horlogerie – the Girard-Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges and DLC titanium case which is a contemporary reinterpretation of movement architecture that honours the past and looks to the future
– Jaeger-LeCoultre’s sought-after Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2, a watch that, for the first time, combined a cylindrical balance spring and spherical tourbillon.
– Kerbendaz highlights its limited-edition 3 Horses Sapphire Tourbillon, a beautifully crafted piece with a mechanical hand-wound sapphire tourbillon movement
– Panerai’s Radiomir 1940 Tourbillon GMT Oro Rosso, a 48mm timepiece with remarkable aesthetic impact and impressive technical features
– Roger Dubuis’s Excalibur Spider Double Tourbillon, a timepiece of dramatic force thanks to the Maison’s boldly modern skeleton movement.
– Vacheron Constantin’s Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph Calibre 3200, a remarkable watch designed to accommodate medium complication and grande complication movements.
– Vianney Halter’s award-winning Deep Space Tourbillon, featuring a large central triple axis tourbillon with a highly complex sapphire dome
– Voutilainen’s GMT-6 watch, featuring an elegant and robust proprietary movement, housed in a sturdy and stylish case reflective of longevity and precision.
Presented in 2013 after five years of development by Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking division, the brand also showcased the ID Two concept watch, which is a unique piece rarely seen in public. Their research laboratory incorporated elements that had never been seen before, including radically new components, cutting-edge materials, novel manufacturing techniques and totally innovative design choices, all aimed at improving the efficiency of a watch movement.
Industry platforms like these constant help brands broaden their creative offering, innovation and forges life long bonds between prominent members of the industry and their clientele, realizing this, the SDGC soon hopes to extend its regional reach with events planned for Kuwait in April 2016 and Saudi Arabia in 2017 as well.
As always we love leaving you with opportunities to get involved and today I’d like to reach out to watch enthusiasts globally. Submit a picture of yourself wearing a favourite watch or even a prized collector’s piece and tell us about its unique features along with if you could change one thing about it, be it design or functionality, what would you tweak and why? The top 12 submissions will be featured in an e-calendar for 2016. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Until we rendezvous again,