The Middle East is the centre of the world, quite literally. It is also the hub of the watchmaking world, with many discerning collectors based here. These masterpieces capture the spirit and grandeur of the rich land. By Mitrajit Bhattacharya
La Esmeralda Tourbillon is the direct descendant of the La Esmeralda Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, a watch that created quite a stir at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. The new watch pays homage to the original—from the ornate case and cover, to the ingenious construction of the movement and its components. Designed like a secret watch, the new interpretation features a cover protecting the back. The hand-engraved pink gold case picks up the motifs adorning the 1889 model—the outside cover features three horses gallop across in a stunning design.
What sets apart this five-piece limited edition masterpiece is the way its skeletonised pattern is reproduced on both the sides. Across the dial of this men’s watch plays an embroidery of skeletonised mother-of-pearl with a filigreed pattern of symmetrical arabesques. The pink gold case, the screwed lugs, the orbital flying tourbillon, and the automatic Calibre 941 movement decorated by hand make this watch very exclusive.
It’s after nearly half a century that Rolex has come out with a full Arabic dial and calendar. The timepiece features an ice-blue dial in platinum with Eastern Arabic hour-markers, Arabic-script day calendar and day number wheel. The movement inside is the new-generation in-house automatic Rolex Calibre 3255. The watch is fitted with Presidential bracelet, platinum case, blued hands, and a smooth bezel. It comes with water resistance up to 100 metres depth and a 70-hour power reserve.
In the past couple of years, the luxury brand, Hublot, has presented several watches honouring cities and countries in the Middle East. One stunning piece to emerge is the Classic Fusion “The Island”, a product of a collaboration between Hublot and Bahrain Jewellery Centre. It combines the brand’s craftsmanship with touches reminiscent of Bahrain’s flag (red straps) and of its 33 islands (depicted on the case back glass). The 33-piece limited-edition timepiece is one for keeps.
One of the most daring timepieces by Graham made for modern-day explorers, this one features a stunning black PVD chronograph with a plain carbon start/stop lever and an innovative telemeter function. The Eastern Arabic numerals in green on the black dial is a tribute to the customers of the Middle East.