Founded in 2015, Dubai Watch Week is an annual event dedicated to all things horology, providing a platform for not only industry professionals and watchmakers but also for enthusiasts and collectors to come together and celebrate their passion for watches while engaging in thoughtful discussions about the art and craftsmanship of watchmaking. What makes this event unlike any other is the unique way in which Dubai Watch Week combines exhibits, workshops, master classes, and panel discussions to create an experience far beyond any other watch fair. This focus on education helps to promote a deeper understanding of not only the industry today but also the history behind this passion of ours.
While this year’s Dubai Watch Week may have just wrapped up, I’m still swooning over a few of the incredible launches that we’ve seen in recent days. This year’s event featured over 60 watch brands! That being said, let’s take a look at some of the standout launches!
MB&F’s Horological Machine II “Architect”
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with describing this incredible timepiece. One of the things that I’ve enjoyed most about following MB&F over the years is the way that the brand combines architecture, high horology, and literally “out of this world” ideas (like the M.A.D. 1) to develop watches that are truly works of mechanical art, and the Horological Machine II is no exception to this. Envisioned as a house with four rooms, the watch features a central “living area” that houses a one-minute reverse-rotation central flying tourbillon. And as if that weren’t impressive enough, each “room” has a separate function including a thermometer (in either Celsius or Fahrenheit), power reserve indicator, and of course, time setting and time display. At 23mm thick, it is not for the weak wristed but is guaranteed to be a talking point and conversation starter!
Image Source MB&F
Oris’ ProPilot X Calibre 400 “Laser”
Since its introduction in 2022, Oris has been pumping out renditions of the ProPilot X, creating unique and fun dial colors including a literal Kermit the Frog version earlier this year. Last week, the brand introduced their newest variation. While all the general specs stay the same as the ProPilot X predecessors (except a no date for this model), this new Laser ProPilox X includes a new dial that is just incredible! Essentially, the brand is using a new laser technique to create a dial that changes colors as it catches light from different angles. The treatment is a surface manipulation in which, depending on where you view the watch from, you will see a variety of colors and a cool 3D effect. Giving new meaning to the dreaded phrase “the dial plays with the light”. At $5,200 I look forward to checking these out in person!
Image Source Oris
Moser’s Streamliner Small Seconds
While no stranger to the independent world (mostly through controversy), Moser does not seem to be able to do any wrong and last week’s launch was no exception. After years of feedback wishing for a smaller Streamliner, the brand listened and introduced the new Streamliner Small Seconds in 39mm. With this new case size comes an incredible new movement, the Caliber HMC 500 which includes a platinum micro-rotos. All that sporty appearance that the Streamliner traditionally has is then offset by a stunning blue fume enamel dial that just looks dreamy in every single photo! This one is everything that I think of when Moser comes to mind. Not too serious and the ideal dressy sports watch. While it took me a long time personally to come around to the Streamliner collection, if you’ve never tried one of these on I most definitely encourage you to as they are just dreamy!
Image Source Moser
While those are my top three picks, I saw an interesting trend at this year’s Dubai Watch Week – precious stones! Gem set dials and bezels seemed to be all the rage this year. I can already hear many of your eyes rolling. I know they’re not for everyone, and maybe my love of them comes from a long background in jewelry, but in this super serious hobby of ours, I do genuinely appreciate the beauty and elegance that can come from precious metals and stones in watchmaking. The biggest surprise, a rainbow Aquanaut Luce Minute Repeater from Patek Philippe. With a dial covered in diamonds and gemstones plus a marching fully gem set bracelet, this watch is clearly not meant for everyone. And with its laughable specs (especially compared to the traditional Aquanaut but I don’t think anyone is diving in this), it’s definitely not meant for any sporty wear. But there’s just something beautiful about this – a romance that you don’t find in traditional watchmaking usually. And that, I can appreciate.
Image Source Patek Phillipe
With Dubai Watch Week being the last major watch event of the year, I wouldn’t expect to see too many more launches these final 6 weeks of 2023. One thing’s for sure, seeing the constant flow of new watch articles come out last week has me eagerly ready for Watches and Wonders next year. The chaos, the leaks, the surprises (both good and bad). I cannot wait to see what next year’s first big watch fair has in store for us. On a side note, is it too soon to start speculating?
- asking for a friend.