The second edition of Dubai Watch Week (DWW) opened this evening at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), at the heart of the emirate’s banking and finance district.

VIP customers, members of the international media and other guests were welcomed at a private cocktail reception where exhibiting brands showcased the highlights of their most recent collections as well as some special-edition timepieces launched specifically for DWW.

Whereas DWW 2015, the inaugural edition of this event, was focused on independent watchmaking brands in order to emphasise the personal and intimate nature of fine watchmaking, this year’s event has expanded to include high-profile established companies such as Bulgari, IWC and Vacheron Constantin.

For Middle Eastern audiences, DWW, organised by leading Dubai retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, is the most prominent regional event on the horological calendar and enables them to fully submerge themselves in the culture and creations of high-end watchmaking.

The event is held across two venues — DIFC, where presentations, interviews, masterclasses and panel discussions are held, and Dubai Mall, where a sprawling exhibition of significant timepieces both modern and historical is integrated with the pedestrian flow of the mall.

At this evening’s opening ceremony, guests mingled in a casual atmosphere of music and refreshments, against the backdrop of a balmy Dubai night. Watchmaking luminaries such as Philippe Dufour, Antoine Preziuso and Stephen Forsey were present, as were industry leaders such as Baume & Mercier CEO Alain Zimmermann and H. Moser & Cie CEO Edouard Meylan, underscoring the importance that watch companies place on building relationships in the region.

Said Stephen Forsey, master watchmaker and co-founder of the La Chaux-de-Fonds haute-horlogerie brand Greubel Forsey, “It might at first have seemed difficult to top the success of last year’s Dubai Watch Week, but [organisers] Seddiqi and their excellent team have really stepped things up this year. We look forward to a week of making new friends, introducing them to our watches, and strengthening our existing ties with Dubai’s knowledgeable watch aficionados.”

Dubai Watch Week will take place from 15 to 19 November 2016 at the Dubai International Finance Centre and The Dubai Mall. For more information, visit www.dubaiwatchweek.com.