The sixth edition of Dubai Watch Week

A Fusion of Tradition and Innovation in Exclusive Editions

Collectors and horology enthusiasts eagerly converge at the biennial Dubai Watch Week, not only for a celebration of timekeeping but also for the unveiling of exclusive, region-inspired timepieces. This year, the event’s sixth edition showcases a unique collaboration between renowned brands and the dynamic Middle East market.

Leading this charge is Mohammed Seddiqi, the Chief Commercial Officer of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the largest watch retailer in the UAE and the wider region. His visionary efforts over the last decade have cultivated a fresh market for contemporary watches, particularly those featuring Hindi numerals, creating a distinct identity for regional editions.

The UAE stands out as one of the most dynamic markets for watches, reflecting in the Swiss watch exports to the country. Figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry indicate a substantial year-on-year increase of 11.5% in Swiss exports to the UAE for January to September.

Seddiqi’s journey to kick-start a market for modern regional edition watches began over a decade ago. “My father had a white gold day-date with Hindi numerals, and in 2012, we started using the Hindi numerals with Hublot during the Vision launch in titanium and rose gold,” he recalls.

At this year’s Dubai Watch Week, the special editions curated by Seddiqi experienced remarkable pre-event sales. The popularity of these editions has not only affirmed the market demand but has also prompted Seddiqi to explore new creative avenues with watch brands.

One standout example is the collaboration with Bovet, producing a unique dial that combines Arabic and Hindi numerals. Seddiqi explains, “It was a combination of Arabic and Hindi, with the upper numerals in Arabic and the lower numerals in Hindi. This kind of dial is something close to my heart, something totally new.”

In a broader scope, this year witnessed the launch of 16 limited UAE edition watches during Dubai Watch Week, not all featuring Hindi numerals. Seddiqi shares, “We have two Hublots that do not use the numerals but have Arabic calligraphy on the dial. We commissioned a calligrapher in Dubai and collaborated with Hublot to incorporate his artwork onto the dial, complete with Super-Luminova for a glow-in-the-dark effect.

Seddiqi’s creative expansion emphasizes Dubai’s importance and its global standing. “Dubai being an important city and considered the centre of the world, we thought that we have to highlight Dubai,” he remarks with a playful laugh.

As Dubai Watch Week continues to be a beacon for horological enthusiasts, these exclusive editions serve as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between brands and the discerning Middle East market.