During the third weekend of November the world of watches converged in the Middle East for Dubai Watch Week—the biannual event to celebrate haute horology, that has quickly grown to serious prominence. I was there, and was pleasantly surprised by the way the event was conducted, where maisons both big and small gathered at the tony DIFC venue to exhibit their latest to woo the ever-growing Middle East market of watch connoisseurs and collectors. Many brands took the effort to customise their products for the market and used the platform to launch them, and here’s what was worthy and got my attention:
CHOPARD L.U.C Strike One
The family-run luxury watchmakers from Switzerland launched a 25-piece limited edition L.U.C Strike One in ethical 18K white gold. Showcasing the expertise in chiming watches, Chopard unveiled its new L.U.C Strike One model that chimes the passing of each hour on a Chopard-patented monobloc sapphire that delivers rich acoustics. Equipped with the L.U.C 96.32-L movement, this refined 40mm diameter timepiece is chronometer-certified and bears the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. The DWW launch edition comes with a solid gold grey-green dial that carries hand-guilloché with a honeycomb motif. With a crown-integrated pusher, slender 9.86 mm size and a crystal-clear sound, the L.U.C Strike One model endows the passing of time with elegance.
ORIS ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser
Oris launched a new version of the hugely successful ProPilot X Calibre 400 with a shimmering dial, a result of an innovative laser technique never applied in watchmaking before. The watch is produced in collaboration with the research lab affiliated to the prestigious ETH Zürich University. The technology is based on the principles of biomimicry, a phenomenon found in nature called optical interference. This means that red light waves are destroyed, while blue and green waves are reflected. This inventive treatment is a surface manipulation that splits the light into its components, creating a stunning rainbow effect that changes depending on your viewing angle. Everything on the dial has been created using laser technology. There is no colour pigment in the watch dial. For the logo, indices, minutes track and dial text, another laser process is used that creates a three-dimensional effect.
CARL F. BUCHERER Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral ‘Green Paradise’
One of the two new releases by Carl F. Bucherer for DWW2023, the Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral ‘Green Paradise’ is designed in lines with Dubai’s ultra-modern, urban lifestyle. Combining contemporary styling with traditional craftsmanship, with unmistakable boldness and nuanced subtleties also reflects the character of Dubai itself.
The Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral ‘Green Paradise’ is a one-of-a-kind interpretation of a limited-edition watch in black released earlier this year, but with the most obvious difference with is its sunray dial finished in a deep, opulent green – deliberately chosen as a hue that resonates culturally throughout the Middle East – paired with a matching green, hand-stitched Louisiana alligator leather strap.
The bezel- quite the showstopper- carries 40 baguette-cut 3.9-carat tsavorites, sapphires and rubies. These naturally-coloured gems have been arranged in a seamless rainbow formation that sweeps around the dial. On the dial are 11 additional baguette-cut tsavorites, sapphires and rubies (0.4 carat each), matching the colour of the corresponding gemstone on the bezel. Set against an 18-karat white gold case, the dial and the bezel come alive in joy and splendour.
HUBLOT Classic Fusion Black Magic
In honour of the 6th biannual Dubai Watch Week exhibition, Hublot and partner Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons announced the release of two special editions of Classic Fusion Black Magic Dubai Watch Week. These timepieces have been designed in collaboration with award-winning calligraphy artist Wissam Shawkat, paying homage to Arabian culture and heritage, aligned perfectly with Hublot's commitment to innovation through artistic expressions.
The special edition timepieces, designed in Hublot’s Classic Fusion collection, feature vibrant Arabic calligraphy in disruptive colours of bright orange, blue, green, and red - playing with a powerful reflection against the black ceramic bezel. The watches are powered by the HUB1110 self-winding movement that carries a 42-hour power reserve. The calligraphy reads “Al Zaman” and “Al Waqt” – both words meaning time in Arabic - to symbolise the passionate fusion between Hublot's passion for art and the region.
BULGARI Divas’ Dream Peacock Collection
The new Divas’ Dream Peacock Collection unveiled at the DWW2023 are Bulgari’s new interpretations embracing marquetry. Through its expertise in jewellery, artisanal crafts, and horological complications, Bulgari celebrates the innate grandeur of the peacock, an enchanting creature within the brand’s bestiary.
Divas’ Dream Peacock unveiled new masterpieces, showcasing Bulgari’s artistry of marquetry and evoking the most exquisite and precious ancient mosaics: the Divas’ Dream Peacock Feather Marquetry, the Divas’ Dream Peacock Mother-of-Pearl Marquetry, and the remarkable Divas’ Dream Peacock Precious Marquetry with Jumping Hours and Retrograde Minutes, an opulent creation featuring a rose gold dial set with diamonds and inlaid with aventurine and malachite.
In the Divas’ Dream Peacock Precious Marquetry Jumping Hours and Retrograde Minute, the peacock comes to life on the dial of an exceptional Divas’ Dream timepiece. A sapphire dome floats above the majestic form of this precious creature. With its three-dimensional marquetry, the bird spreads its tail fan wide, its antique-inspired shape reflected in the intricate detail of its plumage. Each component is delicately curved to nestle within the layered structure. Rose gold, snow-set diamonds, aventurine, and malachite further embellish this magnificent figure.
The unique watchmaking mechanism, with at its foundations the BVL 262 Manufacture movement, magnifies the craftsmanship deployed. The “jumping” hours appear in the aperture at 12 o’clock. A retrograde hand, located at the upper part of the dial, indicates the minutes.