Spring/Summer 2018

Art & Auctions
A Masterpiece for ‘Year of Zayed’

It took three years to manufacture the exceptional $2.1-million watch, which has a hundred-year-old movement

Louis Moinet, one of Switzerland’s most prestigious watchmaking brands, is celebrating the UAE’s ‘Year of Zayed’ with the creation of a unique masterpiece: the “Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque” timepiece.

This year marks the birth centenary of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first President of the UAE, who passed away in 2004.

Sheikh Zayed developed the country’s resources and transformed his nation, building hundreds of schools, hospitals, various other institutions and businesses.

The timepiece was created by Louis Moinet as a tribute to Sheikh Zayed and the UAE.

Three years of work was required to manufacture this exceptional watch as the company sought a hundred-year-old movement, one that was first manufactured at the time of Sheikh Zayed’s birth. The heart of this timepiece was designed a hundred years ago, in the Joux Valley, just a few kilometres from where Sheikh Zayed liked to spend his holidays, in Lausanne and the surrounding canton of Vaud, in Switzerland.

“It is a rare piece, and includes complications. Its minute repeater chimes out in memory of the glorious times the UAE enjoyed under the Sheikh’s guidance, while the chronograph marks out the passage of time, calling to mind the Sheikh’s race to build his country as fast as was possible,” said Louis Moinet.

The case is made from 18-carat gold, using a patented manufacturing process. To enrich the sound of the minute repeater and discreetly activate the chronograph, more than a 100 components have been crafted for this unique timepiece, most of them fully hand-finished.

The dial is a work of art. It represents the legendary Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, commissioned by the Sheikh himself. It is the largest mosque in the UAE, with a capacity of 40,000 people inside over a space of 22,000 sq m, and is the largest man-made marble structure ever to have been built. Every aspect of its dazzling beauty, from the largest to the smallest, has been distilled onto a mother-of-pearl dial, hand-painted by a miniature artist.

A special and possibly unique technique has been used to add a slight relief effect to this micro-painting. Magnificence surrounds it, too, in the form of 30 baguette-cut diamonds, emphasising the fact that it truly is one of the wonders of the modern Islamic world. The case is also set with 68 baguette-cut Top Wesselton VVS diamonds.

This unique timepiece will remain the only one of its kind.  It has already been purchased by a well-known Sheikh from Oman, at a price of CHF 2 million ($2.1 million).  

© Al Hilal Group all rights reserved. Designed & Developed by North Star.