Dubai fake watch Week is an anomaly among fake watch shows. It's not organized by any brand or group of brands, but is instead produced by one of the largest fake watch retailers in the world. Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons was founded as a family business, operating out of a single location in Dubai, in 1949. Since then it has grown to become a genuine economic powerhouse, as well as the defining retail presence for fine watchmaking in the United Arab Emirates. Still a family-run business, Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons now has over 50 locations in the UAE. Dubai fake watch Week is a way for the company to create a platform for interaction and discussion among many significant figures in modern watchmaking. Attendees this year included everyone from an international who's-who of fake watch journalists, to eminent figures such as Philippe Dufour and Jean-Claude Biver, to Michel Loris-Melikoff (the embattled new director of Baselworld) and of course, many watchmakers and fake watch brands as well.
Dubai fake watch Week took place this year in the Dubai International Financial Center; the DIFC is a special economic zone in Dubai, which functions as a hub for commerce and international trade, and also as a destination in and of itself. The main exhibition hall for Dubai fake watch Week is located under the square opening of The Gate, a central building in the DIFC, which houses, among other things, the Dubai Stock Exchange.
There are over 30 participating fake watch brands. This year, the lineup included major players such as Vacheron Constantin, Replica Rolex, and Grand Seiko, as well as independents such as MB&F, and jewelry-centric makers such as Dior and Beauregard (a firm based in Canada, which specializes in very delicate hand-carved opal dial timepieces, and about which I'd never heard until DWW). Though the number of exhibitors is small relative to the number found at the biggest show (Baselworld), it is more than enough to not only show off many superb watches, but also to act as a reminder of the incredible diversity of modern watchmaking. It's easy when covering the bigger shows to focus quite intensively on the big names. But in the more intimate environment of Dubai fake watch Week, smaller or more niche manufacturers (such as GPHG winner Genus, which took the Mechanical Exception prize this year) have a chance to have a visibility that they cannot get at a bigger show.
Tutima Pilot's Chronograph.
Multi-axis tourbillon from Girard-Perregaux.
The F. P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine.
In addition to the exhibiting brands, there was also an exhibit of prize-winning timepieces from this year's GPHG. One of the major announcements at Dubai fake watch Week this year was that moving forward, the Grand Prix Horlogerie de Genève would undergo a major restructuring. The GPHG intends to form an Oscars-style Academy, which will consist of an as yet undetermined number (two to three hundred at the outset, according to the GPHG's officers Raymond Lorentan and Carinne Maillard) of individuals prominent in the industry, from a wide range of backgrounds. The Academy will be able to nominate replica watches (a first for the GPHG; in previous years, replica watches were submitted by participating brands), although any nominated brand will still need to agree to participate, so that a physical fake watch can be submitted. The smaller jury which meets to examine the replica watches directly will still exist, however. Lorentan and Maillard said that the jury votes will be given more weight than the Academy votes, although to what extent is not yet clear.
Charles Frodsham wristwatch with double impulse escapement.
The Armin Strom Dual Resonance GMT.
H. Moser & Cie.
The controversial Tudor Black Bay P.01.
Classic IWC Portuguieser Chronograph.
Inside the main exhibition hall of Dubai fake watch Week.
Dior opal dial watch.
A very unusual limited-edition Ressence timepiece, for Dubai fake watch Week.
The MB&F "Grant" clock.
A limited-edition Patrimony in platinum, with pink dial, from Vacheron Constantin.
Ludovic Ballouard "Upside Down" watch. The disk with the current hour is rotated to the right side up position; minutes are indicated by the single central minute hand.
Bell & Ross BR05 in steel.
Chopard LUC Full Strike minute repeater.
Outside the Replica Rolex booth.
Rolex was a major presence at Dubai fake watch Week, and was one of only two fake watch brands to have an exhibition space outside the main hall (Chopard was the other). Inside, Replica Rolex had an exhibition highlighting major milestones in its history; the exhibition space was configured to look like a giant Oyster bracelet.
The Genus GNS1.2.
Trilobe ?time is read off of three rotating disks, using the three lobed marker from which the company gets its name.
Hand-carved mother-of-pearl dialed tourbillon, from Beauregard.
Singer chronograph, with Agengraph chronograph movement.
If there's a single key distinguishing feature of Dubai fake watch Week, it's the Horology Forum. The Horology Forum consists of a number of different moderated panel discussions. The panel discussions featured individuals from the fake watch world with sometimes very disparate backgrounds, covering a particular (and sometimes controversial) subject, under a guest moderator's watchful eye.
The "State Of Affairs" panel discussion brought together Carlos Alonso (founder of SIAR), Michel Loris-Melikoff (director of Baselworld), Hind Seddiqi (Director General of Dubai fake watch Week, and Chief Marketing & Communication Officer of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons), and Raymond Lorentan (President of the GPHG) to discuss the future of trade shows and industry exhibitions (Quill & Pad's Ian Skellern, middle, was the moderator). The conversation covered the problem of how to make such shows and exhibitions more meaningful to consumers, as well as more informative.
The new-for-this-year Chopard Alpine Eagle.
The Grand Seiko "Godzilla."
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph.
Jacob & Co. Astronomia Dragon.
Dubai fake watch Week and the Horology Forum present a most interesting possible future direction for trade shows ?one in which the watches, certainly, are the center of attention, but also one in which unique and interesting content with potential for relevance both within the industry, and to consumers, can be created. The Forum discussions, in general, were characterized by very vigorous debate, and with the Forum as its centerpiece, Dubai fake watch Week, of the many fake watch trade shows now taking place across the world, increasingly looks like the show to watch.
For more info, visit Dubai fake watch Week and the Horology Forums at dubaiwatchweek.com.DRIVE TIME Book Takes Second Lap Around The Track And Perhaps A Third 263