The Best New Releases From Dubai Watch Week 2023
— 20 November 2023

The Best New Releases From Dubai Watch Week 2023

— 20 November 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

An annual showcase that has become increasingly important inside the broader ecosystem of watch industry shows, Dubai Watch Week wrapped earlier today after a 5-night extravaganza of activations, masterclasses and roundtable discussion.

Naturally (and acerbic as it sounds) all of these happenings registered as window dressing for the main event: ergo, the unveiling of the final new watch releases of 2023.

Beyond creations unveiled by the fair’s tentpole names — Audemars Piguet and Rolex were among them — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to draw your attention toward a few timepieces we think collectors will rally around in the coming months, if not years.

RELATED: The Best Watches We Saw At Watches & Wonders 2023

MB&F Horological Machine 11 ‘Architect’

Dubai Watch Week

It isn’t too often we get an entirely new timepiece from the legendary Max Büsser, but the latest MB&F HM11 “Architect” has been worth the wait.

Featuring a 42mm sapphire, titanium, and gold case (inspired by Charles Haertling’s Brenton House), this modular-looking timepiece is wound by being rotated on its own central axis, with each of the four “windows” offering a different room to peer into.

It’s a mind-blowing expression of creativity, but one that is as wearable as any of Büsser’s designs. — Nick Kenyon

Doxa SUB 300β Seddiqi Limited Edition

Easily one of the nicest Doxa designs we’ve seen in years, this collaboration between the Swiss diving specialist and the Middle Eastern retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons features a stunning deep blue mother-of-pearl dial.

Framed by a black and blue ceramic dive bezel and arriving on a comfy beads-of-rice bracelet, I’m surprised this limited edition (50 pieces worldwide) hasn’t already sold out. You know the drill: run, don’t walk. — NK

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel

Not to be outdone by MB&F (the other large-scale indie with robust commercial appeal) H. Moser & Cie opted to use the occasion of Dubai Watch Week to unveil a new model in its Streamliner collection.

Moser’s answer to the ubiquitous steel sports watch on an integrated bracelet — in this case, inspired by the streamline moderne design movement — the new Small Seconds Blue Enamel is more than just a pretty face.

Granted: this is the first reference in the collection to utilize a dial that has been fired in Grand Feu enamel, yet that aesthetic flourish is only a prelude to everything new that’s in store.

To wit: when wearers turn this Streamliner on its axis, they’ll be greeted by the striking architecture of the HMC500. This new movement is an extravagant alternative to the HMC200 that Moser habitually employs in its Streamliner models — distinguished from the latter through its usage of a micro-rotor and contrasting grey bridgework.

Is it counterintuitive to graft what is essentially a porcelain dial onto the medium of a waterproof steel wristwatch? Possibly. But you can’t deny that it’s a move that is both gutsy and original. So, all in all, classic H. Moser. — Randy Lai

Dubai Watch Week

Baltic is back at it again with another cracking collaboration with the Dubai-based Perpétuel Gallery, this time reimagining the brand’s chronograph with a tropical Eastern Arabic dial.

With a very approachable 39.5mm steel case, and an attractive aluminium bezel framing the dial, the watch is powered by the hand-wound SW510-M calibre. — NK

Chopard Alpine Eagle Summit ‘Zinal Blue’

(Image Credit: Patrick Csajko)

One for the fashion girlies and jewellery district crowd, Chopard‘s ‘Summit’ models occupy a highly specific niche within the kingdom of the Alpine Eagle — gem-setting.

Originally unveiled at the outset of Dubai Watch Week in four variations; after having sat with the different models over the weekend, I’ve come away most impressed by the ‘Zinal Blue’ execution.

Modelled after the distinctive hue of a particular alpine glacier in the Pennine Alps, this dial option is a light-hearted callback to Chopard’s own history: evoking ski resorts, adventure, and the variegated blue dials in the now-defunct St. Moritz collection (incidentally, the Alpine Eagle’s spiritual predecessor).

In conjunction with the ‘Eagle’s Iris’ texture, the Zinal-themed dial easily leaves the strongest impression. Likely aware of how beguiled people would be by its whirl of teals and purples, the watchmakers at Chopard opted to set the watch’s bezel in baguette-cut gems of similar brilliance and clarity.

If there’s any criticism (and the reality is that, at this price point, it’s unlikely to be broadly relevant) these new Summit models are available only in 41mm cases. For now.

Perhaps we should start a petition to the office of the Scheufele family (Chopard’s long-time owners) for some 36mm versions. — RL

De Bethune DBD Digitale Evergreen

Bound to tickle all the fancies of the collector who loves Pallweber pocket watches and the Zeitwerk, De Bethune’s DBD Digitale made an explosive debut at Dubai Watch Week with this 20-piece limited edition.

To our minds, a far superior alternative to the similar (albeit terracotta-coloured) ‘Season 2’ model that was released in April, the ‘Evergreen’ (as it’s nicknamed) is an inversely engineered marvel: incorporating a whopping three digital displays.

Against the backdrop of the striped green mainplate, wearers read off the time in a bottom-to-top fashion. Start with the jumping hour display (at the 6 o’clock position) and work your way upward — with the triple calendar-style aperture located just below the De Bethune signature.

As with previous designs in the DBD family, the watch’s case is made in an ogival configuration: meaning that there are no lugs (at least in the conventional sense) at 12 o’clock. Instead, that space is used to house the Evergreen’s large, elegantly fluted crown. Fully wound, you’ll get about 5 days of power out of this thing, even with all the digital action on the frontside. — RL

Keen to learn more about this year’s latest releases from the world of mechanical watches? Then consider a few other of our favourite related stories below:

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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