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50th anniversary of the UAE  - 35 unmissable watches !

50th anniversary of the UAE 35 unmissable watches !

The United Arab Emirates – a young country with a very mature watch market – celebrates its half-century with Seddiqi & Sons, who are offering a special commemorative set produced in association with their loyal partner brands

The United Arab Emirates: a watchmaking El Dorado? The UAE, a highly mature market, has sophisticated tastes, with a preference for Haute Horlogerie and prestigious watchmaking institutions. But the country is also very keen on bespoke pieces, custom orders and very limited series – not to mention special one-off commissions that generally remain off the radar. It’s also a market of collectors who have their own signature styles, sometimes asking brands for specific finishes, or other distinctive features. And finally, it’s a market that has a great appreciation for watchmaking icons and high complications. But the younger generation is gradually becoming more au fait with alternative niche brands that offer equally high quality, while taking a less traditional approach.

The curated selection presented by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the UAE is representative of this eclectic mix. No fewer than 35 timepieces have been created specially for the occasion, covering a variety of models and brands. There are some astonishingly unique creations, alongside other more conventional offerings.

In the former category, “The Fifty” by Moritz-Grossmann is surprisingly obvious: 10 pieces, steel case, two hands, and a large number “50” occupying almost the whole of the black dial. The reference is certainly clear, but there’s not much to it, and it has none of the exquisite uniqueness that has shaped the identity of the Glashütte firm.

35 pièces à ne pas manquer !

DB Kind of Two © De Bethune

A little braver and more whimsical are two creations signed Anonimo and De Bethune. They both came up with the same idea: a “50” in the 10 o’clock or 50 minute position. But that’s their only similarity; the watches are worlds apart in other respects. The De Bethune comes in a case similar to that of the DB Kind of Two, but in a colour more reminiscent of the DB27 Titan Hawk, tweaked to match the green of the UAE flag. The khaki textile strap is a welcome addition, enhancing the De Bethune’s sex appeal. Naturally enough, the watch has been renamed the “UAE Hawk”.

In the same spirit, Sarpaneva had fun creating not one but two timepieces, one a response to the other, like the opposite shores of the two Gulfs that circumscribe the Emirates (the Persian Gulf to the west, and the Gulf of Oman to the east). The red and green symbolising the UAE are present on the strap and dial, representing unity and liberty, both values the UAE holds dear, as do Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, who would probably add independence to the list. These strong, distinctive and unusual pieces will provide the discerning collector with a unique addition to their collection, as well as a fascinating conversation starter!

35 pièces à ne pas manquer !

Al Sarraj Astrolabe © Louis Moinet

Next comes the Louis Moinet Astrolabe Al Sarraj. The first version of this watch made its debut at Baselworld in 2014. The Astrolabe is represented by a double flat projection, an interpretation of the ancient instrument used to measure the movement of the stars across the night sky. It was widely used by Arabian astronomers from around the 8th century A.D. The instrument uses astronomical observations to tell the time (during the day, by observing the sun, and at night by observation of the stars).

35 pièces à ne pas manquer !

19thirty Fleurier Limited Edition © Bovet

Les Ateliers Louis Moinet produced an exclusive series of 12 Al Sarraj astrolabes, identical to the original made by Ahmad Ibn Al-Sarraj in the 14th century, which can now be seen at the Benaki Museum in Athens. The original watch featured a tourbillon, but the exclusive new creation for Seddiqi & Sons has been completely redesigned.

The final two timepieces both have a special finish. The two figure-of-8 dials of the Bovet 19Thirty Fleurier Limited Edition come in an unusual salmon-pink hue (a feature they share with another major manufacture, to be announced very soon) H. Moser & Cie has come up with a stunning Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Erythro, whose dial, from certain angles, appears to be a deep purple. But it isn’t: the “heart of ruby” dial is a garnet red hue, reminiscent of the colour of the UAE flag. Only 20 will be made. And, because the dials are 100% natural minerals, each one will be unique.

35 unmissable watches!

Endeavour Centre Seconds Automatic Ruby © H.Moser & Cie.

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