Dubai Watch Week just closed the sun-soaked doors of its 2016 edition during which much of the watch world (either vicariously or personally) enjoyed discovering new watches, interesting opinions, the culture of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates’ fastest growing city, and the immense hospitality of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, who staged the incredible show.
We’ll come back to more on the show itself in a follow-up post; for now please enjoy these 7 outstanding new watches launched during the 2016 edition of Dubai Watch Week.
1. Romain Jerome DIFC-DNA
Romain Jerome’s DIFC-DNA pays tribute to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the main venue in which Dubai Watch Week takes place (the other venue being Dubai Mall).
The DIFC is a leading financial hub for the Middle East, but the urban district is also home to a great number of art galleries, top-tier hotels, and restaurants. The Gate Building is the epicenter of this attractive complex as well as the first structure of the DIFC.
True to Romain Jerome’s own special style, which often pays tribute to a person, place, or event using parts of its “DNA,” the brand used several original screws from the Gate Building to design and create an exclusive collection of seven timepieces called DIFC-DNA, which were commissioned by Sir Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi.
The RJ Skylab model with its airy skeletonized structure was perfect as the base to go from. Its rusted steel bezel – perhaps the first element to put Romain Jerome on the horological map – adds a great deal of masculinity to this watch. Purple accents on the dial tie Dubai Watch Week’s corporate colors into the edition.
Quick Facts Romain Jerome DIFC-DNA
Case: 44 mm, PVD-coated stainless steel
Movement: skeletonized manual winding Caliber RJ004-M
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 7 pieces
Price: AED 77,800
2. Emmanuel Bouchet Boutique Edition Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons Complication One
Also marking the start of Emmanuel Bouchet’s official collaboration with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in the UAE, this variation on Bouchet’s Complication One incorporates stark
contrasting colors with the titanium case and grey lacquer dial with green elements in the lever escapement subassembly.
The color green is strongly associated with the Middle East as it symbolizes nature, life, and health.
Quick Facts Emmanuel Bouchet Boutique Edition Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons Complication One
Movement: manually wound Caliber EB-1963; 72 hours power reserve; frequency 2.5 Hz + 0.67 Hz; 485 components; secondary escapement dial-side; two independent gear trains with two spring barrels (55 hours power reserve)
Case: 44 x 11.2 mm, titanium
Functions: hours, retrograde tens-of-minutes, minutes, seconds; day/night indicator; power reserve indicator on back
Limitation: one unique, piece available only at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons’ Dubai Mall boutique
3. H. Moser & Cie. Venturer XL Concept Dubai Edition
The Moser “concept” series sees almost all of the indications removed from the dial so that the observer can really just focus on the color of it rather than be distracted by the indications. In this case the design is Moser’s own fumé style of graduated dial using ice blue and white blending into each other. The result is fascinating.
This watch marks a first “concept” dial in the Venturer line, and here the practical non-existence of a bezel opens the dial up even further than usual, enticing the eye right down into its depths.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie Venturer XL Concept Dubai Edition
Case: 43 x 12.6 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Caliber HMC 327 with three-day power reserve and Straumann hairspring
Functions: hours, minutes; power reserve indication
Price: 18,000 Swiss francs
4. HYT Skull Axl Rose
This watch is not specifically a limited edition for Dubai, but it is a very special limited edition from HYT that was launched during Dubai Watch Week: this is the long-awaited Skull Axl Rose, which was initiated and designed by Guns ‘n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.
I love the rock-and-roll look of this timepiece, which is based on HYT’s Skull. It is housed in a 51 mm black DLC-coated titanium case with a micro-blasted finish.
The biggest part of Rose’s design revolves around the emblematic HYT skull made of 256 layers of Neuchâtel Damascus steel coated with a blue PVD treatment creating an unusually vivid hue with fine clous de Paris engraving on the silver part of the dial around the skull. Under a loupe these look like studs.
Quick Facts HYT Skull Axl Rose
Case: 51 x 17.9 mm; titanium, black DLC-coated titanium
Movement: manual-wind exclusive HYT caliber
Functions: hours, seconds; power reserve
Limitation: 25 pieces
Price: 100,000 Swiss francs / $100,000 / €100,000
5. MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual purple dial
The whole character of the perpetual calendar created by Maximilian Büsser and his friends – in particular Irish movement designer Stephen McDonnell – is condensed in that dial where the full calendar complication is visible on top of the fully integrated movement’s main plate, covered only by the minimalist subdial rings displaying the calendar indications. Legacy Machine Perpetual took the award for Best Calendar Watch at the recent Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).
Those subdial rings appear to float above the movement underneath thanks to cleverly designed, concealed supports.
What is new – and fascinating – about this new limited edition is the bright purple dial underneath, a purple that may or may not hold a hint of Dubai Watch Week’s corporate color.
Quick Facts MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual with purple dial
Case: 44 x 17.5 mm, white gold
Movement: proprietary manually wound caliber with integrated perpetual calendar featuring complication on top of base plate
Functions: hours, minutes; perpetual calendar with day, date, month, retrograde leap year, power reserve indicator
Limitation: 25 pieces
Price: 148,000 Swiss francs excluding tax
6. MCT Sequential One S110 Vantablack
What characterizes this new version of MCT’s interesting Sequential One watch is the premier use of the blackest material ever produced by humankind in a wristwatch: Vantablack.
Vantablack is composed of carbon nanotubes each measuring one-millionth of a millimeter capable of absorbing 99.965 percent of the light they receive. This material caught the eye of artist Anish Kapoor, who collaborated with MCT to utilize it in an interesting way.
“It’s the blackest material in the universe after a black hole; a physical object that is impossible to see,” the artist said by way of press release.
Quick Facts MCT Sequential One S110 Vantablack
Case: 45 x 45 x 15.5 mm, DLC-coated titanium
Movement: hand-wound Caliber MCT-S1.0
Functions: jumping hours, minutes
Limitation: 10 pieces
7. Bulgari Carillon Tourbillon in titanium
The original pink gold version of this wristwatch was very beautiful, but also quite heavy. The new titanium version introduced during Dubai Watch Week shows that Bulgari has learned a lot from making the world’s thinnest minute repeater, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève-preselected Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, whose slim 6.85 mm titanium case beautifully carries the sound of the gongs inside.
Unlike the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, which hides its mechanics, the Carillon Tourbillon puts its sonorous gears, levers, and gongs on display – and its new titanium case ensures that the sound is better than ever.
Quick Facts Bulgari Carillon Tourbillon
Case: 48 mm, Daniel Roth elliptical shape, carbon and titanium
Movement: manually wound Caliber DR3300 with one-minute tourbillon and 75 hours power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; power reserve, three-gong carillon minute repeater
Limitation: 50 pieces