As already reported with the Qatar Watch Club in recent years, there are more and more groups of watchmaking enthusiasts flourishing around the world, specifically in countries where horological culture is slightly more recent than in our old continent. These local initiatives to encourage collecting are a great way to generate passion and increase horological knowledge among their members. To create a community feeling, these groups often create watches dedicated to their members. The latest in line is the Emirates Watch Club (here on Instagram), a group of collectors in the United Arab Emirates, which has just unveiled a watch with a stunning dial, the Moritz Grossmann Benu Emirates Watch Club.
Moritz Grossmann is one of the top German watchmakers, a proper manufacture with traditional execution and watches with a historic feel, not only in the design but also in some of the technical solutions used for the movements – such as the impressive hammer-like self-winding mechanism of the Hamatic. Mostly known for its classic Benu collection, the brand has used this typical German watch to create a special model for the Emirates Watch Club.
At first glance, there can be no doubt whatsoever regarding the provenance of this familiar model. It retains the same case shape and movement of other time-only models in the collection. There are, however, several updates to this Benu Emirates Watch Club that make it unique. First, although the case is still 41mm in diameter and 11.35mm in height, it is now made of stainless steel but still retains its sapphire crystals front and caseback. It is paired with a classic alligator strap closed by a steel pin buckle.
The real deal with this edition for the EWC is the dial, with a raw, almost prototype-like decoration that is entirely handmade. First, the material is original, as the plate is made of German silver, usually reserved for the movement’s plate and bridges. Also known as maillechort, this alloy has a warm metallic colour and patinates over time. Its surface has a pronounced brushed finishing with a diagonal linear pattern. The most striking elements are the Breguet numerals, which are manually engraved into the metal, with an artisanal feeling. The Moritz Grossmann logo is also hand-engraved.
To highlight the numerals and the dial’s texture, the minute track and the small seconds indicator at 6 o’clock have been removed, making this Benu Emirates Watch Club a two-hand model (hours and minutes only). Time is read via hand-polished stainless steel hands annealed to a brown hue. Despite the absence of a seconds display, the watch retains the patented hacking-release mechanism, which stops the movement and allows for precise time-setting. Nevertheless, this raw, artisanal-like dial is extremely attractive.
Under the sapphire crystal is the in-house, hand-wound calibre 100.1. This movement is typical of the German school of watchmaking with its pillar architecture, its large bridge covering most of the movement and its warm, highly embellished decoration with screwed gold chatons, the large stripe pattern and engraved cock – among other impressive hand-finished parts. The movement runs at a slow pace of 2.5Hz and stores up to 41 hours of energy when fully wound.
The Moritz Grossmann Benu Emirates Watch Club is a limited edition of 12 pieces, only available to EWC members. It is priced at AED 91,000 (approx. EUR 20,300 at the time of publishing). For more details, please consult instagram.com/ewc.ae and grossmann-uhren.com.