Zach’s four favourite Dubai Watch Week 2021 releasesZach Blass
Dubai Watch Week was a hub of horological discussion and creativity, but, of course, one of the main attractions for visiting the fair was to get hands-on with a ton of watches. The fair was a great opportunity to check out past releases from the year, some staple references, as well as a few incredibly rare collectibles. But while the focus was not primarily commercial, some brands used the occasion to announce and launch some cool new timepieces. Here are four of my favourite Dubai Watch Week 2021 releases.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403
Oris has entered a new era for their manufacture, making a game-changing move towards in-house caliber production – elevating their offerings without losing the value-driven component that makes the brand strong. The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date has been in constant production since 1938, but the watch has never been stronger thanks to the new in-house calibre 403. The automatic calibre 403 offers attractive tech and specs, boasting five days of power reserve and more than 30 anti-magnetic parts that help it exceed the ISO 764 anti-magnetic standard. I also have a soft-spot for its architecture, the twin barrels serving as eyes and the rotor the mouth, which is a nod to their Oris Bear mascot.
The watch’s approachable 38mm stainless-steel case is 50 metres water-resistant, secured by a screw-down crown, and its compact lugs ensure the watch will suit a variety of wrist sizes. While green is certainly in fashion, blue will always be a fan-favourite. Here, the deep and dark tone is incredibly versatile, making it the perfect watch to quickly strap on for a day at the office. Its vintage sensibilities are heightened via its sub-seconds register at 6′, and the dial is very legible with large Arabic numerals and a well-placed outer calendar scale for the date that is indicated by a third central red arrow tipped hand. The Pointer Date layout ensures the dial remains clean, with no aperture cut out to potentially ruin its uniform tone and symmetry. A huge bonus, of course, is its 10-year warranty – a clear indicator of confidence in their in-house technology.
Price: $3,400 USD, CHF 3,100
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Eternity Limited Editions
We at Time+Tide have always been fans of the Laureato. On many occasions we have referred to the collection as one of the best alternatives, not compromises, to the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. But the new Eternity limited editions not only showcase the expertise and craftsmanship of the brand, but also highlight how the collection offers novel elements you would never find from the aforementioned references.
Grand Feu enamel has always seduced collectors, and at Dubai Watch Week Girard-Perregaux unveiled two new Laureato watches, sport watches mind you, with textured enamel dials. The rich green and blue tones really pop, and add a greater sense of elegance to the sporty collection. Based on the pattern of the texture, I really hope they one day create a red variant of this Eternity collection because I am dying to nickname a watch “Spiderman”. While subtle in certain light, at particular angles and brighter settings a sort of webbed texture reveals itself – which the brand refers to as a “guilloché sunray motif”. Another detail Girard-Perregaux nails is the date complication at 3′, precisely colour-matched to the point you would almost mistake the fact the indicator is sunken within an aperture.
The 42mm stainless-steel watches offer 100 metres of water-resistance, and features attractive mixed brushed and polished finishes to the case and bracelet. Inside you have their calibre GP01800 – entirely designed, produced, assembled and adjusted by Girard-Perregaux in-house. Technically it is solid, offering a minimum 54 hours of power reserve, but it excels aesthetically as well with a circular grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, and Côtes de Genève stripes on the bridges as well. Its gold oscillating weight, decorated with circular Côtes de Genève, adds a bit of precious flair to the steel pieces.
Price: $15,200 USD, each variant limited to 188 pieces.
Konstantin Chaykin Minions Limited Edition
The Konstantin Chaykin Joker is irrefutably a future classic, a highly cool and collectable timepiece that always brings a smile to those who see one in the metal. But of all his Wristmons in the collection, I do not think any variant has elicited a wider grin on my face than this new Minion Limited Edition. It is such an unexpected, yet perfectly suited, mashup. I would have never anticipated this design coming to fruition, but at the same time it is a natural pairing – the playful Minion character in line with the playfulness of the Joker design framework.
Limited to 38 pieces, the watch features a smooth and glossy yellow lacquered dial, and interesting switch up when you consider the majority of these designs incorporate guilloche texture, sapphire hours and minutes eye indicators, and a mouth moonphase indicator. The case – 40mm in diameter and 13.5mm thick – is made of stainless steel with black PVD-coated adjusting crowns. It wears great on the wrist, and the blue textile micro-denim strap with calf leather lining is the perfect pairing for the Minion – a nod to the signature overalls they wear. Inside, beneath its exhibition caseback, the K07-3 automatic caliber, a ETA 2892-A2 paired with the Joker indication module, offers 42 hours of power reserve off the wrist.
Price: €13,800, limited to 38 pieces.
H. Moser & Cie. Heritage Bronze “Since 1828”
A tribute to the Russian roots of the brand, the Heritage Bronze “since 1828”, their first-ever official launch in bronze, expands the line with an online-only, limited-edition release that features their Cyrillic logo on a black or fumé sunburst dial. Another notable element of the dial are the Globolight® hour numerals, individually hand-carved in luminous ceramic that result in the three-dimensional digits adding further depth to the dial. Each of the 50 pieces are made from Cupro-Aluminium Bronze, an alloy that will develop character gracefully over time – no green case tarnish here. The 42mm case, and its wire lugs, have a classic converted pocket watch aesthetic and it wears quite well on the wrist. Inside the exquisite HMC2000 automatic caliber ticks away, visible beneath an exhibition caseback.
Price: CHF 17,900, sold exclusively through H. Moser & Cie. and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons online.