For many of us, Zoom fatigue is real. For watch lovers, however, it’s a different story. The plethora of online gatherings geared to watch collectors and enthusiasts around the world has been a silver lining to the pandemic because it’s allowed people to virtually attend global events they might never have been able to go to in-person.
Beginning this weekend with MicroLux, an event series founded in Los Angeles in April 2019, watch lovers will now have the opportunity to sit in on new product presentations, meet the personalities behind their favorite boutique brands, and get educated on topics from chronographs to sustainability, all from the comfort of their home.
Below, we preview the season’s three biggest events:
MicroLux — Oct. 16-18
“Don’t mistake this for a Zoom or GoToMeeting,” says MicroLux founder Rich Park. “Virtual MicroLux will be a high-end professional production based in Hollywood. Watch enthusiasts from all over the world will have the opportunity to view and learn more about beautiful luxury timepieces all from the safety of their home or office.”
The three-day live event, which is sponsored by eBay and will be broadcast on aBlogtoWatch’s YouTube channel, will feature video presentations from big brands—including Breitling, Bell & Ross, Grand Seiko, Omega and Zenith— as well as boutique makers such as Linde Werdelin and Norqain.
“We’re taking the things that people loved from our successful in-person MicroLux events to create a dynamic virtual event,” Park says. “The best part is that after the episode airs, it will be uploaded to aBlogtoWatch’s YouTube channel and Whatsonthewrist YouTube channel and will be available for people to consume forever.”
“At the conclusion of each day, viewers will have the opportunity to visit various breakout ‘chat rooms,’ where they can interact with watch brand owners and ambassadors,” Park adds. “VML broadcasts live, and we are the only virtual watch show to be genuinely live without a tape delay. Anything can happen during a live broadcast!”
WatchTime Live — Oct. 22-24
WatchTime pioneered the direct-to-consumer watch event model when it debuted in New York in 2015. From Oct. 22-24, the event is going online for the first time with 25 brands, including major players such as A. Lange & Söhne, Bremont, IWC, MB&F, Oris, Seiko and Vacheron Constantin.
“WatchTime Live is editorially driven,” says WatchTime editor-in-chief Roger Ruegger, “which means we will create the framework to not just read about new watches, but learn as much about the launches as possible, in most cases directly from brand representatives you usually don’t get to see (and interact with) from your living room.”
While the format doesn’t allow for the social and networking opportunities for which WatchTime is known, publisher Sara Orlando says it will be possible for guests to direct questions to brand representatives live on video. “We will pre-approve all questions,” she says, “but they will be able to go live and talk to watchmakers and watch executives.”
Horology Forum at Dubai Watch Week — Oct. 24, 26, 28 and Nov. 9
For its sixth annual edition, Dubai Watch Week transforms its well-regarded Horology Forum into a digital experience, taking place on its YouTube channel. Four panel discussions, covering controversial topics such as gray market practices and the watch industry’s role in environmental pollution, will take place on Oct. 24, 26, 28 and Nov. 9, all starting at 9 pm Dubai time (1 pm ET).
“Instead of moderators, panels will be led by individuals from the Dubai Watch Week Committee to play ‘devil’s advocate,’” according to the event website. “As each panel airs, the audience will be able to pose their questions instantaneously by engaging in a live Q&A session through the comments on YouTube, with the opportunity to submit follow-up questions on social media in the days that follow.”