Inherited Time - Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons Featured

The UAE's most prominent retailer of luxury watches tells of a generation of timepiece success

by 27 September 2010

Ahmed Seddiqi opened his first store in the Souk Bur Dubai in 1950. His passion for the intricacies of Swiss watch making had already seen him acquire a stable of the best brands, and he was to continue to lead his family’s business into a formidable phase of success over the coming years. Now, the company is celebrating their 60th anniversary, boasting 50 of the finest names in Swiss horlogerie sold at 52 locations around the country. Synonymous with quality and luxury, a strong service ethic and commitment to their passion, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons continue to enjoy their position as the country’s leading retailer of luxury timepieces. Luxos spoke to Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, Vice Chairman, to discover more about their heritage.

Could you explain your commitment to Swiss watch making? Why is this important to you?
Swiss watch making is an art. Over 90% of our brands are from the top 10 Swiss watch companies, simply because they produce the finest watches. All of the Seddiqi’s have a passion for watches; we appreciate the fine work that goes into the most unique and complicated timepieces in the world. We pay attention to everything from design and movement to choices of material, while selecting the pieces that will be sold in our stores. We have also succeeded in embedding this passion in our staff through education and training.

Your bespoke watch-making service is something a Luxos consumer can take advantage of. Can you explain why you set this up, and how it works?
We have the privilege of offering our clientele “Dubai Edition” watches. These unique pieces are created exclusively for Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in collaboration with our brands.

You pride yourselves on your after-sales service. What can your customers expect after they purchase a watch or piece of jewellery from your store?
Our customers know that the relationship they have with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons doesn’t end with simply buying the product. We established the Swiss Service Centre in 1964, to support after-sales requirements such as watch servicing, battery change, polishing and mechanical problems. Along with the finest equipment, our service centre is supervised by Rolex Geneva and staffed with technicians certified and trained by our brands. Clients can also opt to service their watches in Dubai to save the time and hassle of sending pieces back to the brand.

You are celebrating your 60th anniversary this year. Can you tell us about why this is important and what you will do to commemorate it?
We are one of the oldest family-owned and run businesses in the UAE. To celebrate this anniversary, we are launching a new website which will feature never-before-seen pictures of the beginnings of the business. We are also launching our first corporate ad campaign, which tells the story of our company and the family members who have contributed towards its success. Our brands are honoring us by producing special 60th anniversary limited edition watches for Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

Of all the stores you have around the country, is there a particular venue that has a special significance for you?
All our stores are important to us, but the one in Souq Murshid has a special meaning to me as I opened that location in 1970. It was the one I handled completely on my own when I joined the family business and that was where I started to contribute heavily towards our success. Souk Murshid remains open to this day.

What are your plans for the future?
We are always working to ensure that we are present in the UAE’s key locations. We will always bring the best brands and products to our clients, and keep offering them the best.
UAE Fall 2010