Dubai Watch Week is ending on a fashionable high note as Buro 24/7's Miroslava Duma jets into the region to discuss the idea of watches as a fashion statement, along with Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, the Chief Markeitng Officer at Sediqqi Holding and watch designer, Roberto Mararo. Also joining in the discussion was Moderator Nazanin Lankarani, an independent art writer, who sparked the conversation of ubiquitous mobile technology, and how no one needs a watch to tell time anymore. Yet millions of people wear watches every day to express their individual taste and sense of style. In particular the Chanel boyfriend watch and the highly-anticipated Apple watch were both put under the microscope.
"Apple Watch is more of a gadget that's attached to their phone," said Hind. "It's not to tell the time." Mira agreed saying: "Even the greatest Apple could stop not people using beautiful timepieces. As well Chanel is a marketing and PR genius so if they did a watch (like the Chanel boyfriend), it means something."
Timepieces that are centuries old, versus currently technology was a current theme that ran through the discussion. Mira in particular, voiced the idea of old versus new and how today it's ideal to idealise icons, at the same time merging with the future. "I'm very sensitive about someone else's energy and history, but I can't help but look into the antique market. Heritage is very important. But my husband always says: 'why buy a watch that's 100 years old when you can buy a new one'? Speaking about the digital world, social media and the Internet are changing our world. I wake up and what do I do first? Do I brush my teeth or check my phone? We're living a digital life!"
The watch industry is also seeing a shift in how people interact and absorb information about watches. So much so that Buro 24/7 Singapore have a dedicated section to arm candy. "Many people are moving their assets to Singapore, so Buro 24/7 made a separate section on their website. Normally it's part of the lifestyle division."
Hind carried on the conversation saying, "Watches are a status symbol. Most people in this region buy a watch as a status symbol. If I had $100,000 I'd spend it on a watch — not clothes or a bag."
As for watchmaker Roberto, he says, "Seeing is believing, and doing is achieving. I like to put my feet in my customers shoes to see what they want. We don't do fashion, we do handcrafted. Time is valued, so more attention needs to go into the timepiece that people wear."
Dubai Watch Week ends today, but it's clearly had a profound effect on the topic of time.