Along with the paintings that hang across museum walls and statues that stand tall with vigor, watches are also seen as delicate works of art.
Beyond being time tellers, they exude luxury and craftsmanship because of the level of detail and work required to make each one. High-end watches are already adored in the Middle East, and that’s why for some time now, watchmakers have begun to create pieces with Arab-inspired elements.
These are our special picks of limited edition Arab-inspired watches crafted over the ages:
Arab Dial Rolex
Known as the king of watches, Rolex is a luxury watch brand that never went out of fashion. Throughout the years, the watch exuded the visionary spirit of its founder, Hans Wilsdorf, who, back in 1905, introduced the concept of innovative, timeless wristwatches equipped with small, precise movements.
Since the 1950s, the company had a major client base in the Middle East and started fulfilling custom orders from the Arab States in the Gulf, with its best-seller being the iconic Day-Date.
Along with its classic models like the Day-Date and Oyster Perpetual, it also crafted a limited number of watches with an Arabic dial, making a special ode to Arab states. These pieces are so rare and incredibly hard to come by but make for unique timeless pieces.
Today, it’s known as one of the most important companies in modern watch collecting; but that wasn’t always the case.
Stepping back 10 years ago, only the inner watch-collecting circles knew of Universal Genève. Yet, the Swiss watch company is one that deserves recognition, especially as it was the first to introduce the first-ever chronograph in 1917.
The watch brand is so iconic that it has also found its place in the Middle Eastern market. Along with its general collections, back in the 1950s, a special edition of the Universal Genève watch was gifted to King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud.
The special watch featured a cloisonné enamel depiction of the map of the Saudi Kingdom. To this day, it remains one of the most unique watches that celebrates the Arab nation.
Limited Edition Classic Fusion Hublot
Coming to life in the 1980s was Hublot, the prestigious Swiss watch brand that was owned by Carlo Crocco, who aspired to create watches known for their innovative and luxurious design and sporty elegance.
Its first-ever watch, called Hublot, was crafted using gold and rubber, which was pretty innovative during the 80s. Since then, that particular design has become the hallmark of the brand.
As with Rolex and Universal Genève, Hublot hopped on the trend of crafting one-of-a-kind special edition Arab watches, which is why, in 2013, it released the first modern-era Arabic dial. The special watch was a limited edition Classic Fusion made from titanium.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Arab Edition
The Italian luxury fashion house doesn’t just excel in stylish Italian design; it also offers the finest in watchmaking expertise rooted in more than 100 years of craftsmanship.
The story and legacy of Bvlgari watches began way back in 1884 by Greek silversmith, Sotirios Voulgaris. Today, the watch brand earned wide recognition from the global watch market and even the biggest celebrities.
As a continuation of its expertise in watch craftsmanship, the brand created an exclusive Middle Eastern watch that was released in 2017. It took its special line of Bulgari Octo Finissimo and altered it so that it’s made with an Arab dial.
Chrornomètre Bleu Byblos
Along with major Swiss brands, there are also independent and highly skilled watchmakers who’ve made a big name for themselves in the luxury watchmaking business. One of these well-known watchmakers is François-Paul Journe, a French craftsman who remains to be the only watchmaker still based in central Geneva.
In 2014, he created the Chrornomètre Bleu Byblos with a unique Arabic dial. He crafted the watch in celebration of opening his own boutique in Beirut, and back then, he only made 99 pieces of this special edition.
All these unique pieces, which make a special ode to the region at large, showcase the major passion and love the Arab world has for high-end watchmaking.