Dubai Watch Week 2023: Top brands showcase innovative timepieces

With releases from Breitling, Hublot and Ulysse Nardin
Dubai Watch Week 2023: Top brands showcase innovative timepieces
Dubai Watch Week is one of the biggest gatherings of watchmakers and enthusiasts in the Middle East

Dubai Watch Week 2023 (DWW) concluded successfully after a five-day affair that saw luxury watchmakers from around the world showcase their latest collection of stunning timepieces. The region’s leading horological event was held at The Gate, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

For its sixth edition, the DWW celebrated “creative confluences at which the currents of luxury, entertainment, craftsmanship, technology, people and ideas collide.” Here are some of the the major brands that participated and their releases. 

Breitling launches UAE-exclusive special-edition watches

Dubai Watch Week 2023

A prominent piece in Breitling’s catalog, the Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 is a versatile sports watch. Notably, it has a dual time zone functionality. Breitling Middle East has unveiled two editions of this watch, exclusive to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market. This is in collaboration with retail partner and DWW organizer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

Aptly named Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 ADMT and DMT, these chronographs celebrate two of the country’s emirates: Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In particular, ADMT stands for Abu Dhabi Mean Time, while DMT means Dubai Mean Time.

The watches feature ice blue and bright blue dials, respectively. Both showcase 18k red gold-plated large Indian numerals and hour/minute hands that are easy to read, thanks to its Super-LumiNova® coating. Furthermore, they have a 24-hour scale that enables users to track a second time zone, with a signature crown allowing for easy adjustments. Powered by the Breitling Caliber 32, these timepieces offer 200-meter water resistance and a 42-hour power reserve. 

“The two new timepieces feature a unique aesthetic and provide practical and purposeful functionality. We look forward to our continued partnership with Breitling and are certain the timepieces will appeal to audiences in the UAE,” remarked Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi. He is the chief commercial officer of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

Hublot pays homage to Arabic culture

Dubai Watch Week 2023

Hublot, together with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, celebrates the Dubai Watch Week 2023 with the Classic Fusion Black Magic series. The Swiss watch manufacturer tapped ward-winning calligrapher Wissam Shawkat to bring the Arabic heritage to the forefront. 

The 42-millimeter timepieces feature Shawkat’s calligraphy reading “Al Zaman” and “Al Waqt.” Both mean “time.” The letters are in bright colors of orange, blue, green and red — a contrast to the sleek back background. Further accentuating this bold contrast is the alligator strap, adorned with a black steel deployant buckle. At the core is a HUB1110 self-winding movement powering the dial.

Meanwhile, the Classic Fusion Black Magic Diamonds Dubai Watch Week offers a higher notch of opulence. This 38-millimeter edition boasts 36 black brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel. These further elevate the calligraphy on the timepiece. 

“We are pleased to reveal a special collaboration [that] resonates with Hublot’s interpretation of Arabic heritage and culture, adding a great touch to the Art of Fusion,” Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe commented on the release.

Ulysse Nardin unveils daring Freak ONE OPS

Dubai Watch Week 2023

For Dubai Watch Week 2023, Ulysse Nardin has once again proven its boldness in watchmaking. It introduced the Freak ONE OPS, which is a distinctive take on the iconic Freak ONE — a no-hand, no-dial, no-crown watch — it unveiled over two decades ago. 

Infused with a camouflage aesthetic, the new edition boasts a 44-millimeter black DLC titanium case. This is paired with a unique khaki green palette, which is seen in the sunray-patterned barrel cover and integrated rubber strap. It also has a bezel made from Carbonium®, a material produced with aircraft-grade carbon fibers. Apart from the bezel’s superior strength and lightness, it boasts a marbled finish unique to each watch.

The watch’s dial-free design reveals the UN-240 Manufacture movement. It has a flying carousel to tell the minutes. Additionally, it comes with an oversized oscillator and a balance spring, both in blue silicon. The automatic movement ensures a substantial 90-hour power reserve. Ulysse Nardin provides luxury watch enthusiasts with two options for straps: One is a black and khaki “ballistic” rubber and the other is an alternate two-tone rubber strap, also in black and khaki. The material for both choices is 30 percent recycled material from manufacturing waste.

Audemars Piguet announces Dubai Future Foundation collaboration

Apart from luxury watch releases, Dubai Watch Week 2023 also witnessed Audemars Piguet underscore its commitment to innovation. A leading name in Haute Horlogerie, the brand participated in the Horology Forum. At the event, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) François-Henry Bennahmias announced a landmark partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation. This team-up echoes Audemars Piguet’s tradition of working with technology and innovation experts across different fields to advance the art of luxury watchmaking. 

Commenting on the partnership, H. E. Omar Sultan Al Olama said, “Through this alliance… we aim to elevate the watchmaking industry to new heights, marrying its rich heritage with the dynamic realm of advanced technologies. Together, we envision a future where technology and watchmaking craftsmanship converge to create groundbreaking masterpieces.” He is the minister of state for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and the deputy managing director of Dubai Future Foundation.

Dubai Watch Week 2023

Moreover, the Swiss company also mounted an exhibition called “Seek Beyond.” It offered an immersive journey into Audemars Piguet’s universe, highlighting notable timepieces. These include the Code 11.59 Ultra-Complication Universelle, the Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date and the Royal Oak Selfwinding Rainbow set. The exhibition also featured workbenches where in-house artisans shared insights into the brand’s legacy and craftsmanship.

Read: Chopard’s Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF: A watchmaking masterclass

Chopard’s The Alpine Eagle Summit

The Dubai Watch Week 2023 served as the event’s biggest edition to date, with over 55 brands participating. Among those is Chopard whose “artisans of emotions” have been crafting remarkable watches since 1860. 

Dubai Watch Week 2023

For watch enthusiasts and collectors, Chopard’s Alpine Eagle Summit is a must-have. It recently welcomed a 41-millimeter model with a “Zine Blue” dial. Inspired by the majestic Alpine landscape, this dial is complemented by a bezel adorned with blue and purple baguette-cut sapphires. Like the other models in this collection, the watch is made from ethical 18-carat gold and is powered by the Chopard 01.15-C movement.

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