The event organizers stated that 27,000 visitors attended the six-day long, which is a number that slightly exceeds recent attendance at SIHH. Of course, this is not a comparison of the success of either show but just a reference point with which to gauge the event’s success in terms of attendance.
French auction house Artcurial held several forums, as well as a daily series called the “Majlis Talks” with the Qatar Watch Club. Here, brand founders and heads like Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey, Gregory Dourde of HYT, Christine Hutter of Moritz Grossmann, and reps from Vacheron Constantin, Bovet, Chopard, and Roger Dubuis gave presentations and took questions. There were also some very cool watches shown off, including nearly all new pieces released this year, as well as very rare watches like a Vacheron Constantin made for the Middle East market. The talks were primarily intended as sales presentations, but they were honestly pretty frank and non-pandering.
The exhibition areas done by the retailers were nothing short of elaborate and downright beautiful. They were clashing and contrasting with each other in the best possible way. For example, the Al Majed Jewellery area (hosting brands like A. Lange & Sohne, IWC, TAG Heuer, and Patek Philippe among many others) was clearly inspired by the traditional historic Islamic architecture of the region. The hallways hosting the brands were broken up by breathtakingly detailed entrances, rooms, and sitting areas.
Directly across from Al Majed was the Ali Bin Ali exhibition area, retailers of a lot of Richemont brands such as Panerai, Cartier, and Piaget, as well as independents like Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and HYT. They had a starkly contemporary and minimalist area that was equally well thought-out and detail-oriented. Fifty One East was more demure but was consistently slammed with traffic, in part because they are the Rolex retailer.
Blue Salon (another big regional department store) created an exhibition area where brands like Breitling, De Bethune, MB&F, Zenith, and several others had their latest offerings set up.
The Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition has recently taken several steps to make the watch portion of the show, not just a space to show off the newest product, but also a place for watch-lovers in the region to congregate, get educated, share their collections and, of course, shop.