It's all in the wrist, looking at the most striking timepieces that caught our attention at the recently concluded Dubai Watch Week 2023.
After the glorious Watches and Wonder held in Geneva earlier this year, the Dubai Watch Week took place from November 16-20 and is becoming a major rival to the Swiss watch fairs. This edition of the fair has seen an overwhelmingly large volume of brand-new novelties being unravelled and the watch world’s boldest and brightest in the Middle East. Dubai Watch Week was founded in 2016 by the UAE jeweller Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and is a celebration of all things horological.
Saluting the conflux of luxury, craftsmanship, technology and tradition, the five-day Dubai Watch Week 2023 was bigger than ever and boasted more than 15 watches designed especially for the UAE market. The stunning display of luxury timepieces was on show from more than 55 brands participating in Dubai Watch Week 2023 including names like Carl F Bucherer, Rolex, Chopard, Hublot, Chopard, TAG Heuer, Bulgari and more.
For the 6th edition, the show brought to the forefront new debuts like gemstone wondered Chopard pieces to a sci-fi MB&F stunner. It also included workshops lectures and panel discussions with the likes of renowned art collector Abdul Rahman Alzayani, Chanel President of Watches and Jewellery Frederic Grangie, Louis Vuitton Watch Director Jean Arnault, Co-President at Chopard Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, and loads more A-list personalities from the world of haute horlogerie. Here are the most exciting watches worthy of your attention.
Girard-Perregaux Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition
The latest addition to the Bridges collection by Girard-Perregaux is the Girard-Perregaux Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition unveiled at Dubai Watch Week 2023. The watch boasts stunning highlights in Aston Martin green, set against a 45mm black DLC-treated titanium case. The dial is protected by a curved ‘box’ sapphire crystal glass, while the caseback features a white etched Aston Martin logo on a sapphire crystal. The dial's periphery is adorned with a minute track in green, and suspended and faceted hour indexes. The standout features of this timepiece are the two new Neo Bridges in green, which beautifully contrast with the black and silver of the brand's automatic GP0840000-2164 calibre on the open-worked dial. The gear train sits beneath one green Neo Bridge at six o'clock, while a larger green bridge holds the timekeeping hands.
Czapek Antarctique Royal Onyx
At Dubai Watch Week 2023, the highly coveted integrated, steel sports watch from Czapek got a dark edge in the form of onyx, with striking accents in a vivid blue. These vivid blue indexes are baguette-cut sapphires. Being a special 18-piece limited-edition for the Emirati state, the timepiece was created in collaboration with Mansour Jewellers. The idea behind this dial was to celebrate the beauty of gemstones. Set within the steel case of this gorgeous, edgy sport watch is Czapek’s automatic calibre SXH5, which offers a power reserve of 56 hours.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Summit
Chopard had two major releases at the Dubai Watch Week 2023, the Alpine Eagle and L.U.C Strike One. The Alpine Eagle collection welcomes a new series of 41 mm-diameter models adorned with dials in luminous shades and bezels set with a gemstone gradient. While Chopard’s luxury sports watch has been around for a few years, four new references in various forms of gold (yellow, rose, and white) with colourful, gem-set bezels are a feast for the eyes and wrist.
Chopard L.U.C Strike One
The L.U.C Strike One is a limited edition collection with just 25 pieces crafted in 18-carat white gold. Its solid gold grey-green dial is hand-guilloché with a honeycomb motif. With its crown-integrated pusher, its slender 9.86 mm size and its crystal-clear sound, the L.U.C Strike One model endows the passing of time with an elegantly resonant dimension.
Ulysse Nardin Freak [ONE OPS]
Ulysse Nardin's Freak [ONE OPS] watch is a mechanical marvel that is perfect for the extroverted nature of Dubai. Although the watch's design features twirling movements instead of traditional hands, it is surprising to learn that the model is 22 years old this year. For Dubai Watch Week 2023, it is presented in an understated Khaki loo, features a radially patterned dial and is paired with a matching rubber strap and a fascinating bezel.
Bulgari Divas’ Dream Peacock
Unveiled at the Dubai Watch Week 2023 was an expansion of Bulgari's Divas' Dream Peacock line, with five new versions that showcase artisanal marquetry. This new category, known as 'Animali Fantastici', focuses on the iridescent feathered bird and uses an Italian Renaissance technique that Bulgari mastered in the 1970s. The Divas' Dream Peacock Feather Marquetry watch features a dial adorned with fan-shaped motifs of 12 peacock feathers. In the Divas' Dream Peacock Mother-of-Pearl Marquetry watch, the dial displays a rose gold-outlined peacock inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The bird appears perched with fan-shaped feathers cascading across the dial, set against diamond hour markers. The Divas' Dream Peacock Dischi dial is defined by two concentric discs indicating hours and minutes. The rose gold dial is inlaid with snow-set diamonds, Roman malachite, and aventurine glass, giving the Divas' Dream Peacock Precious Marquetry with Jumping Hours and Retrograde Minutes iteration a unique look. The 'jumping hours' aperture is located at 12 o’clock. Finally, the Divas' Dream Peacock Diamonds in 18-karat rose gold is decorated with a hand-painted peacock-shaped motif composed of 14 different colours.
Chanel J12 Diamond Tourbillon
Luxury brand Chanel made its debut at Dubai Watch Week 2023 with the presentation of the stunning J12 Diamond Tourbillon. The House's experts showcased the black ceramic, white gold and diamond (34 baguette-cut stones) construction of the flying-tourbillon model, which stands out as the star of Chanel’s range and one of the biggest highlights of the event.
Hublot Classic Fusion Black Magic
Hublot, in line with their 'Art of Fusion' philosophy, has launched two limited-edition Classic Fusion watches in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons at Dubai Watch Week 2023. These new Classic Fusion Black Magic timepieces are designed in collaboration with award-winning calligraphist, Wissam Shawkat, and pay homage to the rich Arabian heritage. The design is deeply inspired by the Arabic language and both timepieces feature exquisite calligraphy executed in vibrant hues of orange, blue, green, and red, which stands out against the matte black dials serving as a blank canvas. These watches are part of a limited edition collaboration between the Seddiqi family and Hublot, making the most of the stealth-elegant all-black Classic Fusion. The renowned artist, Wissam Shawkat, has designed the sweeping interlaced calligraphy with clear inspiration drawn from Arabic words and phrases. The mid-sized men's version in 42mm is complemented by a ladies' 38mm encircled by 36 black brilliant-cut diamonds
MB&F HM11 Architect
Dubai is all about flamboyant architecture and avant-garde technology, so the MB&F HM11 matched the ideology and plays a fitting lead in this story at Dubai Watch Week 2023. Eclectic in design, the inspiration for this twistable wonder comes from the experimental post-modern architecture of the 1960s and lets you choose between 3 pod-like rooms for your viewing pleasure. The predictable hours and minutes, a power reserve, and fitting for Dubai’s fluctuating climate, a thermometer. Rotating the entire watch while you choose will also wind the 364-part movement.
Ming 29.01 Dubai Edition
Ming specializes in creating contemporary watches in limited production. Recently, they broke the record for the world's lightest watch with their latest release. This watch is as light as two sheets of paper! However, the new Ming 29.01 Dubai Edition unveiled at Dubai Watch week 2023, is even more special. It is a world timer watch that comes in a 40mm titanium case. The watch features an Arabic-script sapphire dial with HyCeram ceramic Super-LumiNova fill. This gives the watch an amazing glow in the dark. Moreover, the watch is powered by a Schwarz-Etienne for Ming Calibre ASE 222 movement with a micro-rotor.
Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret
Another debut at Dubai Watch Week 2023 came from Van Cleef & Arpels who brought extraordinary pieces to the Middle East for the first time. Unveiled at Watches and Wonders earlier this year, one of the highlights at the exhibit was the Ludo collection created especially for the event with a new design in intricately detailed yellow gold. The French jewellery house pays homage to the the incomparable elegance of the City of Lights in its brand new couture-inspired collection Ludo Secret, named after one of the Maison’s founders, Louis Arpels.
Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral Green Paradise and the Manero Minute Repeater Titanium
It comes as no surprise that Carl F. Bucherer has chosen the Manero family to represent the brand at Dubai Watch Week 2023. And to mark the occasion, the Lucerne-based watchmaker has created two unique pieces named the Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral ‘Green Paradise’ and the Manero Minute Repeater in Titanium. The latter comes in a titanium case—a first for this line. The Manero Minute Repeater is a work of watchmaking excellence as it combines the durability of titanium along with the finesse of 18-karat white gold, thanks to the dial crafted in this precious metal. It is also finished in a grained pattern, with rose-gold hands and index markers, which give it a stylish yet understated appeal, without looking over the top.
The Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral ‘Green Paradise reflects the modern, cosmopolitan character of Dubai while exhibiting Carl F. Bucherer’s traditional watchmaking expertise. It features a deep green sunray dial and matching green Louisiana alligator leather strap, providing a dramatic backdrop for the rainbow of coloured gemstones encircling the bezel. Forty 3.9-carat tsavorites, rubies and sapphires adorn the bezel, with 11 additional baguette-cut gems set into the dial. The precious stone rainbow effect makes a vibrant artistic statement, complementing the dark green dial and strap.
Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Rose Gold And Platinum Aventurine
Arnold & Son's Time Pyramid is a signature luxury watch that has been given a special upgrade for Dubai Watch Week 2023. This version of the Time Pyramid features a unique vertically aligned movement that resembles a pyramid, with the backdrop made of aventurine glass, a first for the collection. The A&S1615 manual-winding calibre is visible against this distinctive background, and it boasts a massive 90-hour power reserve thanks to the twin barrels that give the movement its pyramid structure. Two power reserve indicators are included on the watch, located at three and nine, due to the two barrels. The watch's off-centred timekeeping dial is also skeletonised, with an opal ring for the Roman numeral hour markers, maintaining the transparency of the piece. The 42.5mm case is available in red gold or platinum, and the caseback is also made of aventurine glass. The red gold version is limited to 88 pieces, while the platinum version is even more exclusive, with only 38 available.