Dubai Watch Week 2023 — The Releases You Might Have Missed
With Dubai Watch Week 2023 behind us, it’s time to revisit more releases. The event first took place in 2015, and it has quickly grown into one of the annual highlights on the horological calendar. This year, people who attended the event agreed that it was bigger and better than ever. We saw a plethora of great releases from the show, many of which we featured here on Fratello for those who weren’t in Dubai. But there were also some glorious new timepieces that we did not cover but that do deserve a place in the spotlight. Let’s take a look at a few of them today.
Dubai Watch Week has quickly become an event to look forward to. In the past couple of years, some of the horological highlights of the year debuted during the five-day luxury fair. It is great to have an event at the end of the year to spread the great releases out. This time, we saw some great pieces that might make it onto our year-end favorites lists. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the best releases from this year’s event.
Usual suspects reinvented
Let’s kick things off with the new H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel. While the dial is an instant eyecatcher, there is more to this new Streamliner than the magnificent dial. It also features a newly redesigned case measuring 39mm wide and 10.9mm thick with the crystal (down from the previous 40 × 11.8mm form). As a result, the case still shows its inspiration from the first high-speed trains of the early 1900s, but it feels more refined. This case is possible thanks to the new in-house caliber HMC 500.
This partially skeletonized movement is Moser’s smallest, and it packs a 74-hour power reserve. As you can see above, it displays a very modern-looking black finish, Côtes de Genève, anglage, and a platinum micro-rotor. Moser has paired this new caliber and case with an Aqua Blue fumé Grand Feu enamel dial with a hammered texture. The refined sub-dial at 6 o’clock contrasts it with circular graining and brushing. This stunning reimagination of the Streamliner is available for CHF 29,900.
Another standout was the Zenith Chronomaster Revival Dubai Watch Club that Watches by SJX reported on. It’s a special 69-piece LE for — you guessed it — the Dubai Watch Club. The watch is based on the iconic Zenith A384 and features a lightweight 37mm titanium case with microblasted texture and a DLC coating.
This creates a stunning contrast with the bright yellow dial as well as the black registers and tachymeter ring featuring Eastern Arabic numerals. It’s a detail that only stands out if look closely. Yes, this special version is very much an insider’s watch, and it runs on the trusted El Primero 400 caliber. All 69 pieces are for Dubai Watch Club members and have a price of CHF 10,900 before taxes.
Challenging the status quo at Dubai Watch Week
Another highlight of Dubai Watch Week was the De Bethune DBD Evergreen. The watch stands out immediately with its remarkably shaped 42.6 × 9.4mm Grade 5 titanium case with cone-shaped lugs. This gloriously sculpted case houses a stunning green dial with Côtes de Genève, creating great depth and richness.
Gracing the dial, we see a window for the jumping hour at 6 o’clock, a rotating minute disc in the center, and a day, date, and month display at 12 o’clock. Making this possible is the brand’s DB2044 caliber. This manually winding movement boasts a five-day power reserve and beautiful finishing. The De Bethune DBD Evergreen will be produced in a limited run of 20 pieces and is available for CHF 105,000.
The Bell & Ross BR-X5 Green Lum is a completely different beast. As you can see, the watch features a case made from LM3D, an off-white luminescent composite that lights up green in the dark. I should say “partly made,” though, as it is quite an intricate construction. The 41 × 12.8mm case also consists of a microblasted and DLC-coated Grade 2 titanium container that holds the movement. The luminous bezel insert and the main luminous “exoskeleton” are made of the aforementioned LM3D.
The fixed bezel, crown, crown guards, and case back are also crafted from Grade 2 microblasted titanium with a DLC finish. Powering the watch is the Kennisi-produced BR-CAL.323, which offers 70 hours of power reserve. The black dial features a large three-date display and a power reserve indicator. On top of that, the black color is heavily contrasted by lumed elements to complete the spectacular aesthetic. This unique-looking Bell & Ross R-X5 Green Lum is a limited edition of 500 pieces and has a price of €13,900.
Standout sports watches
Similarly, the Doxa Sub 300β Seddiqi Edition 2023 is also a watch that is hard to miss. This 50-piece limited edition is the next Sub 300β model that follows the stealthy Sub 300β Sharkhunter, a watch that I love. The 42.5 × 11.95mm case is crafted from 316L steel. Additionally, the watch has a black ceramic bezel with a dark blue ceramic insert that perfectly suits the beautiful deep blue mother-of-pearl dial.
Fitted with a white rubber strap, the watch looks quite brilliant. For a slightly more reserved look, it also comes with a beads-of-rice bracelet. Powering this piece is the automatic Sellita SW200-1 with a 38-hour power reserve. On the white rubber strap, this is another standout SUB 300β. Compliments to Doxa for pushing the boundaries of the classic Sub 300 here. The 50 pieces went on sale for AED 11,750 (roughly €2,920) at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons retail locations.
A duo of Wild Ones created for Dubai Watch Week
Now we move on to Norqain’s duo of Jean-Claude Biver-backed Wild Ones released for Dubai Watch Week. First is the Wild One Gold, the brand’s first sports watch with a special gold outer cage. Underneath it is a special shock-absorbing case made of the brand’s proprietary Norteq carbon fiber material. The second release is the Wild One All Black, a black version of the same model made with Norteq carbon fiber. Both have the same 25-part, 200m-water-resistant case design. It measures 42mm wide, 12.3mm thick, and 49.4mm from tip to tip.
The COSC-certified automatic caliber NN20/1 by Kenissi is protected by a titanium container and black rubber shock absorbers. Both models feature the characteristic laser-cut mandala-like pattern on the dial. The hands and indices of the Gold model are plated with rose gold, while the hands and indices of the All Black model have a black plating. Finishing the look is a black curved-end rubber strap. For the rose gold model, you can choose between a black buckle for €11,950 or a rose gold buckle for €13,590. The Wild One Gold will be produced as a limited edition of 99 pieces, with the 100th piece going up for auction next year. The Wild One All Black has the same black strap with a black buckle and will cost €4,950.
Where the music comes in
Frederique Constant announced two time-and-date Highlife models to celebrate its collaboration with French musician and producer The Avener. Both models will be produced in a limited run of 432 pieces. The number refers to 432Hz, which is widely believed to be the perfect frequency, delivering all the calm of absolute harmony. Both models feature the same 39 × 10.34mm case shape but differ in some important ways. The first is a stainless steel version that comes on a steel bracelet. This one features a blue dial with a pattern based on the frequency of the musician’s hit “Fade Out Lines” from his first album.
The second model features a black DLC-coated stainless steel case and comes on a black rubber strap. This version features a black dial with a concentric sound-wave pattern. To me, this model seems less gimmicky as the pattern feels less like a music frequency and more like a regular dial motif. Both watches are powered by the automatic caliber FC-303 based on the Sellita SW200-1. The stainless steel model will be available for €1,995, while the black DLC model comes in at €2,495.
A striking watch to close it all out
I’ll close this list out with Chopard. I would like to put the spotlight on the L.U.C Strike One, my favorite watch of this year’s Dubai Watch Week. If you paid attention, you might have seen that Mike covered this already, but I believe that it deserves just a little more love. The watch is part of a brilliant series of releases celebrating the 25th anniversary of Chopard’s L.U.C collection. As such, the watch will be released as a 25-piece limited edition. First, the Strike One has a 40mm 18K white gold case that is just 9.86mm thick. It is matched with a stunning green dial made from solid gold with a hand-guilloché honeycomb motif. The railway-style minute track is engraved on the crystal and is one more detail that makes for a strikingly beautiful timepiece.
At the same time, the watch is equally impressive on the horological front. The L.U.C 96.32-L movement chimes with the passing of each hour via a Chopard-patented monobloc crystal with sapphire gongs. The hammer that strikes the mirror-polished sapphire is visible thanks to the cut-out in the dial at one o’clock. The automatic micro-rotor movement provides a 65-hour power reserve, a COSC chronometer certification, and meticulous finishing. As a result, the L.U.C Strike One is the full package at €75,000 and one of the highlights of Dubai Watch Week 2023.
This concludes our overview of some of the most striking Dubai Watch Week releases that we didn’t cover in our articles (with the small exception of the last one). That just leaves one question: which of the releases unveiled during Dubai Watch Week were your favorites? Let us know in the comments section.