O6m92qk0 dubai watch week 2023

Top twenty timepieces at Dubai Watch Week

Watch experts from across the world share their thoughts on the best of Dubai Watch Week.

Following on from Dubai Watch Weeks sixth – and largest ever – edition, some of the globe’s top watch experts choose their favourite timepieces from what is fast becoming a must-attend international watch show.

A freak rain storm that flooded the open air event space of Dubai Watch Week did nothing to dampen the spirits of journalists enjoying the best of the industrialised and independent watchmakers presenting at the Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons extravaganza.

The November event was an opportunity for the great and good of the industry to come together for the final time of the year, and also hosted a number of launches, many of them limited editions made specifically for DWW.

WatchPro spoke to fellow journalists, watchmakers, distributors and retailers to get their pick of the best watches they saw in Dubai.

Here are the watches that our expert panel loved the most.

Ariel Adams
Founder & owner, A Blog to Watch

Ariel adams 13104596

Reservoir X Abdulla LUTFI

Reservoir 13104586

One watch that typifies my enthusiasm for both Dubai Watch Week and the local market was a limited edition produced by Reservoir in collaboration with the retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

Rapidly moving from a more conservative to an open-minded market, Dubai and its surrounding territories are embracing fun and personality as much as they are luxury and exclusivity.

This jumping hour, retrograde minute watch has a dial designed by local Dubai artist Abdulla Lutfi, and successfully attempts to capture both the local character as well as the metropolitan dynamism of the region in a timepiece anyone can enjoy.

Scarlett Baker
Watch and jewellery editor, Wonderland magazine

Scarlet barker

MB&F HM11 Architect

Mbandf hm11 architect 5n black lres

The MB&F HM11 earned the top spot for me at Dubai Watch Week, given its enigmatic approach and distortion of time as a linear thing.

The fact that it’s based around the architectural style of Charles Haertling and each chamber of the watch is considered as a house, really proves that there’s so much more to watchmaking than telling the time and testing new complications.

It really is about re-enacting a story from the past for audiences new. 

George Bamford
Founder, Bamford Watch Department

George bamford 13104592

MB&F HM11 Architect

Mbandf hm11 architect blue lifestyle credits eric rossier lres

So many watches to choose from. The Ulysse Nardin Freak makes my heart sing and I love the green combination on the dial. 

Bulgari’s John Player Special design of forged carbon and yellow gold on the Octo Finissimo is a standout.

Moser’s new Streamliner popped on the wrist in a beautiful way. But the winner of the whole show for me is the new MB&F HM11 Architect.

It is one of the craziest watches from Dubai and it really delivers on the promise of something new, something different.

Zach Blass
Editor, Time+Tide

Zach blass 13104602

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel

Hmoser 6500 1200 streamliner small seconds st aquablue lifestyle tablet white

The MB&F HM11 was certainly the most technically compelling watch of the show, but if I could walk away from DWW 2023 with one watch it would have to be the Streamliner Small Seconds. 

With a smaller wrist, I always love to see brands make slimmer and more compact versions of their most compelling creations.

Within the integrated steel sports segment so many designs can look like one another, but Moser’s Streamliner excels with a distinct look unlike any other in the category.

Stunning blue enamel dial, new upgraded calibre – what is there not to like (other than I cannot afford it)?

Robert-Jan Broer
Founder and editor-in-chief, Fratello

Robert jan broer 13104604

Ressence Type 1° Round DX3

T1 ro dx3 pak ld ver 3 4 2023 do not use

My absolute favourite watch from Dubai Watch Week is the Ressence Type 1° Round DX3, a watch that combines Arabic mosaics with the art of cloisonné. 

A special treat is served up when the luminescent dial starts to do its work in low-light conditions.

The cloisonné design comes to life due its Super-LumiNova paint.

A good second favourite would be the Doxa SUB 300β Seddiqi Edition, with its blue mother-of-pearl dial and dark blue ceramic bezel.

Rob Corder
Founder and editor-in-chief, Watchpro

Rob corder 13104579

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel

Hmoser 6500 1200 streamliner small seconds st aquablue lifestyle wristshot suit blue show

H. Moser & Cie. has distilled the essence of its modern identity into a smaller 39mm Streamliner with a textured blue enamel dial that is pure elegance.

The CHF 29,900 steel watch is perfectly sized for the current market, and pushed Moser to make its smallest-ever movement with a micro rotor for the first time.

That declutters the underside of the movement, exposing more of the watchmaker’s truly exquisite finishing. 

James Dowling
Collector, author and Instagram’s Mister Rolex

James dowling 13104599

Chopard Alpine Eagle Summit ‘Zinal Blue’

Chopard 13104591

I really loved the Chopard Alpine Eagle in white gold with a sapphire bezel and a dial that morphed from green to turquoise to blue.

It looked like a butterfly’s wings as the light caught the dial. If they made it without the sapphire bezel I would be queuing outside their boutique on the first day of sale, but as it is, it’s definitely the watch that caught my eye the most at DWW.

Sophie Furley
Editorial director, World Tempus

Sophie furley

ID Genève Circular C

Idg circular c soldats fn photo spectrals

My most interesting discovery at Dubai Watch Week was ID Genève’s Circular C timepiece. This new watch brand has put sustainability front and centre of its business strategy with refurbished old stock movements and innovative materials inside and out.

For sustainable timepieces to be successful, they also need to be gorgeous – think Tesla and Patagonia – and the ID Genève timepieces are just that.

I am not the only one they have impressed either, as Leonardo DiCaprio is one of their investors. 

Frank Geelen
Founder and editor-in-chief Monochrome Watches

Frank geelen 13104601

Frederique Constant X The Avener Highlife Automatic

2023 frederique constant highlife automatic the avener fc 303ta3dnh6 pr web

On the level of experience, DWW is second to none and I can only recommend every watch enthusiast to visit. 

The new collaboration pieces from Frederique Constant X The Avener look great and offer an elegant sports watch at a very friendly price.

Also in the ‘pleasant’ price range is the limited edition created by Doxa and Seddiqi, featuring a new colour scheme and a dark blue mother-of-pearl dial.

Moser’s newest Streamliner now features a micro rotor movement and looks absolutely fab!

Last but not least, MB&F’s newest creation is again very bold and perfectly shows Max Büsser’s inspiration. 

James Gurney
Founder of QP magazine

James gurney 13104589

Daniel Roth showcase

Daniel roth tourbillon souscription 2023

Ever since the two names were put together, Daniel Roth has been in the shadow of Gérald Genta, particularly over the past decade.

But that’s about to change as Louis Vuitton puts some heft into the two brands’ revivals.

On show at Dubai were eight key Daniel Roth watches made between 1989 and 1999 that showcased both his horological inventiveness and truly exquisite design.

As the tourbillon commissioned by Asprey in 1989 shows, this will be a revival to savour.

Kristian Haagen
Collector, writer and the OG of watch influencers

Kristian haagen 13104595

F.P. Journe FFC

News ffc face dos mobile 11zon

One watch really stood out during Dubai Watch Week and that was the F. P. Journe born from a discussion with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in 2012 and finally made for Only Watch (RIP) in 2021 as the FFC Blue. 

Now offered as a regular production piece in the Classique collection, what fascinates me is the departure from the conventional two-hand watch.

Rather, it emerges as a ‘full hand’ watch. Inspired by a 16th-century prosthesis invented by Ambroise Paré, the father of modern surgery, every 60 minutes, the fingers animate, appearing or vanishing in an instant to convey the time. 

A brilliant concept and undeniably a favourite of the week.

Aya Jaber
Editor, WatchPro Arabia

Aya jaber 13104605

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie


My choice for the best Dubai Watch Week piece goes to the magical and subtle Lady Féerie from Van Cleef & Arpels.

Always a great inspiration for the maison, on this watch, a beautiful fairy depicted in gold and gemstones indicates the minutes with her diamond-set magic wand.

While doing so, she is seated on a cloud, which gives a view of the moon or the sun, indicating the hours.

The story is housed in a 33mm case and equipped with an automatic movement. The piece feeds my great passion for breath-taking high jewellery creations.

Ming Liu
Watch journalist and WatchPro contributor

Ming liu 13104578

MB&F HM11 Architect

Mbandf hm11 architect blue wrist shot 2 credits eric rossier lres

Leading the pack for me is the MB&F HM11, whose boundary-pushing, architecture-inspired design set the tone, being launched in the Dubai desert, but which also signals a kind of maturing of MB&F and Max Büsser, who was spurred to create the piece after being called ‘predictable’ by a respected colleague.

I was also excited to see Bremont’s new direction under the meticulous eye of Davide Cerrato, while the exclusive Dubai editions were especially eye-opening, notably the Doxa Sub 300B, Ming Worldtimer and Reservoir’s collab with the Emirati artist Abdulla Lutfi.

Tracey Llewellyn
Editor, WatchPro

Tracey llewellyn 13104585

Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE OPS

Ulysse nardin freak x ops 5

They say you should never meet your heroes, but when it came to my first face-to-face conversation with horological maestro and 21st-century renaissance man Ludwig Oechslin, they could not have been more wrong.

One of a trio of brilliant minds behind the handless, dial-less, crownless Freak, as well as the brainchild of the super-simplified ‘complicated’ Ochs und Junior timepieces, an hour with him would be enough to recharge even the most jaded of watch hacks.

And the latest version of his Ulysse Nardin opus did not disappoint either – an eminently wearable 43mm in black DLC titanium and khaki carbon fibre, this stealthy beast is fully-charged and ready for adventure.

Eléonor Picciotto
Editor-at-large, Revolution

Eleonor picciotto 13104572

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner

H moser streamliner sapphires

The H. Moser Streamliner in white gold boasts a dazzling dial set with over 7 carats of rainbow sapphires, accentuating the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

This mechanical marvel involves intricate gem-setting, with each stone meticulously hand-cut to complement the cushion case.

The bezel is adorned with 2.73 carats of baguette-cut diamonds. The integrated bracelet features the signature wavy links, creating a perfect yet contrasting blend of precious stones.

In Dubai, the extravagant rainbow bezel was a must, foregoing other dial options like Vantablack or Brown Smoky in the Streamliner series that I fell in love with in Geneva.

Monica Porracin
Managing director, The Blue Company

Monica porracin 13104577

Doxa SUB 300β Seddiqi Edition

Doxa 13104573

My pick is the Doxa SUB 300β Seddiqi Edition 2023 (limited to just 50 timepieces) launched during Dubai Watch Week.

A departure for Doxa, it represents the first time the brand has used this magnificent, deep sea blue dial made in natural mother-of-pearl, so that each piece is truly unique.

The new line β is amazing, thinner than the 300T with a profile of just 11.95 mm, and offers
unique combinations of colours, materials, and textures.

Miguel Seabra
Editor, Espiral do Tempo

Miguel seabra 13104603

MB&F’s HM11 Architect

Mbandf hm11 architect workshops 11 credits fabien nissels lres

The new MB&F is my pick for a number of reasons that make it the most emblematic of the event.

It is unlike any other watch regarding looks and functionality, I actually remember the futuristic houses that inspired it, Max Büsser lives in Dubai and DWW built its reputation around high-end independent brands.

But I must also mention H. Moser & Cie.’s Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel for its excellence, aesthetic and wearability, plus Doxa SUB 300β Seddiqi Edition 2023 for the most beautiful mother of pearl dial and the history behind it.

Felix Scholz
Co-host OT: The Podcast

Felix scholz 13104593

Ming LW.01 Manual

Ming lw01 manual

Ming occupies a fascinating spot in the hierarchy of watch brands. Far from your typical micro, but lacking the infrastructure and institutional heft of more established players.

The company has a ‘plucky upstart’ energy, which is epitomised by the LW.01 Manual, which they claim is “probably” the lightest watch ever made.

At only 10.6 grams on a strap, this magnesium alloy is both audacious and incredible. Especially as it feels like a real watch.

Robin Swithinbank
Watch journalist and WatchPro contributor

Robin swithinbank 13104580

Norqain Wild ONE Gold Limited Edition

Norquain 13104581

Not so much favourite as ‘one to watch’, in this case the fast-rising Norqain, which showed its Wild ONE Gold LE.

The start-up backed by Jean-Claude Biver and Ted ‘Breitling’ Schneider is quickly defined by its Wild ONE, which features a case you can actually squeeze, thanks to its shock-absorbing rubber middle section.

Felt great on the wrist, the design is solid, the price point is far from unreasonable. One wag described it as a ‘cool Hublot’.

Alex Teuscher

Alex teuscher. 13104587

MB&F HM11 Architect

Rjyfa3ms mbandf hm11 architect face 5n black lres

My pick for best of Dubai Watch Week 2023 is without question the MB&F HM11 Architect.

The creativity and technical expertise from Max Büsser and his team has few equals in the independent watchmaking world, and there truly is nothing like the HM11 on the market.

Dubai is known for its impressive architecture, and it was fitting to launch the visually impressive timepiece at the show.

One thing that can always be counted on for the HM releases is to be surprised, and this release is no exception. Chapeau.

Brynn Wallner
Watch journalist and founder Dimepiece.co

Brynn wallner 13104597

MB&F HM11 Architect

Charles haertling built the brenton house

“A creative adult is a child who survived.” This statement captures the spirit of MB&F, the collaborative independent behind the HM11 Architect.

As the name suggests, the watch pulls inspiration from the architectural style of the mid to late 1960s.

The watch has four ‘rooms’ with varying functions referencing Charles Haertling’s Brenton House (pictured above).

Experiencing this watch and its story helped me understand watchmaking in a way I hadn’t before.

It is a far cry from the tiny Tanks I drool over, but it’s important for me to see people like Max Büsser pushing the industry forward in a very human way and having fun. 

Andrew Wingrove
Brand development director, WatchPro

Andrew wingrove 13104583

Bremont S302 Supermarine GMT Diver

Bremont 13104594

This is the watch I am most likely to wear and enjoy on a day to day basis and it is a stepping stone towards a fresh and exciting future for Bremont under the leadership of new CEO Davide Cerrato.

The reworked S302 is a watch for every occasion and its blue/green bezel version makes it stand out as something cool and very functional.

Comfortable to wear and slim, despite its Trip-Tick case, it has a date and GMT function, plus the ability to dive to 300 meters (all that I need).

If you are a one watch person this timepiece will deliver.

Suzanne Wong
Editor-in-chief, World Tempus

Suzanne wong 13104590

The Vyntage Horology family edition

S1 vyntage horology

Vyntage Horology is the Seddiqi family’s own brand.

Launched at Dubai Watch Week 2023, it marks the fruition of a long-held dream of Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi (COO of Seddiqi Holding) and his cousins.

Seeing them launch this brand as a true labour of love was an absolute privilege.

A special Vyntage Horology edition was created just for the Seddiqis who are personally active in the family business, and the feminine model on the wrist of Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi (Director General of Dubai Watch Week and CMO of Seddiqi Holding) featured a titanium case and a dial of fossilised wood.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *