New York, Geneva And Dubai Shows, Events To Attract Thousands Of Watch Lovers In Person

By Roberta Naas, Contributor
A plethora of watch lovers' delights take place this month and next in New York, Geneva and Dubai — in person. WatchTime New York

Watch lovers and serious collectors are about to enter into one of the most exciting six weeks of in-person events, auctions, horological forums and shows that are taking place in New York, Geneva and Dubai. Of course, digital versions will also be offered for those not yet willing or able to travel in person. 

WatchTime New York

The fall 2021 excitement kicks off in New York City the weekend of October 22, 2021, through October 24 when the WatchTime New York show at Gotham Hall – that was postponed in 2020 due to Covid-19 – will take place. This show is open to the public (for a fee) and will showcase watch brands and their newest products, as well as offer educational and informative panel discussions. 

A view of Gotham Hall at the WatchTime New York show in 2019, the last in-person show until this year. WatchTime New York

In fact, the sixth edition of the collector-driven show, has nearly 30 brands showcasing their newest watches, with brands such as A. Lange & Sohne, Armin Strom, Arnold  & Son,    Blancpain, Breguet, Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, Greubel Forsey and others in attendance. This year also marks the first time the brand will host an all-female panel discussion on watches and women.  

Grand Prix d’ Horlogerie de Geneve

This year the Grand Prix D'Horlogerie de Geneve will once again take place in person. GPHG

Just a about two weeks late, Geneva steals all the action with a four-day long calendar chocked with important events. It kicks off on  November 4, 2021, at Theater du Leman where the industry’s biggest awards event, Grand Prix d’Horologerie de Geneve (GPHG) goes live. The in-person event has always  been a highlight for watch lovers around the globe, but in 2020, this event also went fully digital. This year, organizers are creating an in-person event with limited seating and social distance requirements in place. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of what some in the watch industry call the Watch Academy Awards. A jury, together with an academy of industry personnel, vote on the best timepiece in each of a series of  approximately a dozen categories that include best men’s complication, best women’s complication, and so much more. In total, this year 84 watches are nominated by the GPHG Academy. Because judging tallies are calculated by an outside source, the announcement of the winner in each category comes as a surprise to all who attend the award ceremony – or watch it online. 

The GPHG award. GPHG

Only Watch and Phillips Auction

Beginning on Saturday the 6th of November, two auction events take place. The first happens only once every-other-year and is a charity auction held to aid in research against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. For this “Only Watch”  auction, watch brands create and donate a unique, one-off timepieces with all proceeds going to benefit the cause. Under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, the 9th edition of the auction witnesses 54 participating brands. The watches are superb works of arts sometimes truly original works of art and other times the pieces boast unique color combinations and materials never before executed by the brand. With the auction hosted by Christies auction house in Geneva, bidding will take place either in person at the event, or online. 

The Only Watch auction in 2019. Christie's, OnlyWatch

Also starting with the opening evening event on November 5th and on November 7th is the Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Geneva Watch Auction: XIV. (Phillips is leaving the 6th open to accommodate the afore-mentioned Only Watch auction event happening that day.)This is a highly anticipated annual auction that typically breaks records for prices and categories. This year, a few highlights include a Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 First Series watch that had been sold by Serpico y Laino and that was previously unknown. It is estimated to fetch between $2 million and $4 million. Also, up for bids are four extraordinary Philippe Dufour watches and five F.P. Journe #1 Souscription watches. Each of these men is considered a legendary watchmaker. This auction will likely witness many thrilling bids to the finish.

Dubai Watch Week

Dubai Watch Week 2019 R. Naas

After a short two-week breather, the fifth edition of the Dubai Watch Week, along with the seventh edition of its Horology Forum will also take place in person from November 24-28, 2021. With a theme “Reunited for a moment in time,” the event is a great gathering of brands, watch industry luminaries and global attendees. The Horology Forum that occurs concurrent with the Dubai Watch Week (DWW) is an informative platform that consists of a host of panel discussions of important industry topics as well as educational talks about what’s next in the watch world. 

The Horology Forum during Dubai Watch Week in 2019. R. Naas

Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was founded by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in 2015. It is considered the largest and most prominent non-commercial watch event in the Middle East. This year, approximately 45 top watch brands will exhibit, including Rolex, Tudor, Hublot, Audemars Piguet and Chopard with stand-alone interactive boutiques. This represents the largest number of participating brands to date for DWW.  

Exhibition space at Dubai Watch Week 2019. R. Naas

In addition to these events, auctions and shows, there are also a host of smaller watch-related exhibits planned around the world. So, if you are a watch lover, there is no shortage of events this fall to attend either in person or digitally.


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