“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition – Part 1

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One of the first lessons I learnt in the Middle East was to accept the fact that here destiny shapes the future. Therefore, in contrast to the Swiss and German expos, where schedules are announced months prior to the event, it did not come as a surprise to see the details of the previous Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition on the web a few weeks before the kick-off of this year’s show. I guess everybody was certain that the 10th DJWE would happen sometime at the turn of February and March – and that was sufficient.

It did open under the patronage of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani eventually on the night of 25 February covering 15,000 sqm at the Doha Exhibition Centre, showcasing true beauties and one-off interesting pieces from different houses. Talking to the representatives of brands, DJWE is more an annual fair with a powerful buyer audience than a mere exhibition.

Besides few individual jewellery companies, all the major Qatari distributors built their jewellery villages in the hall to present their brands in separate booths.

Al Fardan, established by the pearl trader Ibrahim Al Fardan at the end of the 19th century, was one of the first local jewellers, who brought international brands into his showroom. Right next to the entrance of the main hall Al Fardan lured the audience by a magnificent Harry Winston window. Inside, around the breath-taking gemstones and jewel masterworks, Harry Winston exhibited the Opus watch collection. This was the first time to see these limited pieces in a single place together, which besides the exceptional technical tricks and flawless quality are a unique creative mix of different tastes (you can read more about Opus on my Facebook page here)

Deeper in the Al Fardan “fort” brands such as Chaumet, Chopard, Fabergé, Jaquet Droz, Mellerio Dits Meller, Piaget, Schoeffel and Vacheron Constantin offered their magnificent pieces to the eager audience.

I admire good taste and a sense for balance. When flying to London I always take the chance to get lost in Savile Row shop windows to enjoy the perfectly British bespoke tailoring artware. The first time I saw an Arnold & Son watch it immediately reminded me of a gentleman in an elegant Savile Row suit. In Doha I was desperate to see the Royal and the Instrumental Collections, especially the pieces of HMS1 and the effortlessly graceful TBR.

Besides Arnold & Son, Ali Bin Ali Jewellery presented houses like, Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Mikimoto, Montblanc, Panerai and Van Cleef & Arpels under their roof.

Al Majid Jewellery, the third generation firm lead by Ahmad, Mohammed and Jamil Al Majid distributes some of the finest watch manufacturers of Europe, including A. Lange & Sohne, Bovet (thank you Christophe for the enthralling watch tour!), Greubel Forsey, Hautlence, Hublot, Jaeger LeCoultre, Parmigiani, Patek Philippe, and stimulating jewellery designers such as Bogh-Art and Moussaieff.

The articles of the series:
Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, Part 1
DJWE, Part 2 – Diamonds & Pearls
DJWE, Part 3 – Romantic comeback
DJWE, Part 4 – Beyond the auction room

Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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