Sometimes rare watches cross your path, exclusive limited editions made for a specific market you have never heard of and for which not even a press release exists. Such a watch is the De Bethune UAE Hawk, a seven-piece limited edition made in collaboration with world-renowned watch specialist and Dubai Watch Week organizer, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Arab Emirates.
Forming a nation
The history of the United Arab Emirates is an interesting one as starting from antiquity, advanced civilizations have populated the region. It wasn’t easy to survive in the harsh environment, let alone thrive, but the (then) nomadic tribes succeeded in both.
The region has been dominated by European powers over the last few centuries, mainly the Portuguese and later the British. In December of 1971, it gained its independence from the United Kingdom to form the United Arab Emirates. As the name already indicates, the UAE is a federation of the seven emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and Sharjah, each governed by a sheikh. Together they also form the Federal Supreme Council, with one of the sheikhs serving as president.
In the world of watches, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is a global power. Not only is Seddiqi the premier watch seller in the Middle East for many of the most exclusive brands, the family-run company’s passion for watches goes far beyond just selling them. Seddiqi is the driving force behind the highly successful Dubai Watch Week and frequently works with brands to create unique limited editions. The De Bethune UAE Hawk special edition is such a watch – with each of the seven pieces representing an emirate in the federation.
De Bethune UAE Hawk: a stunning display of green
As might be expected from a collaboration between two watch industry titans, this timepiece is absolutely stunning. In essence, it’s a DB27 Titan Hawk with a unique dial. It is a touch more classical than the standard Titan Hawk with a wide chapter ring marking seconds and minutes and bold pad printed Arabic numerals around a guilloche center in silver – except for the “10,” which has been replaced with a “50” in gold to mark the nation’s anniversary in a regal manner.
Even with its canvas strap, the watch still possesses a classic appearance as its dial color is similar to the green used in the Titan Hawk. Thanks to the dial’s multi-level complexity, there’s a constant play of light shimmering with different verdant hues.
De Bethune’s automatic manufacture Caliber AUTOV2 powers the De Bethune UAE Hawk. Comprising 217 parts, 29 of which are jewels, the movement is fitted with a stunning winding rotor made of titanium and tungsten. The balance wheel is also made of titanium with gold inserts and supported by a full bridge for increased shock resistance.
The back of the UAE Hawk is every bit as charismatic as the front, but perhaps even more significant is its incredible wearing comfort. At 43 mm in diameter the UAE Hawk is substantial, but the clever case construction and superb proprietary floating lugs have it hugging the wrist closely.
With a height of just 9 mm, the UAE Hawk is pleasantly slender and its polished grade 5 titanium case keeps the weight down substantially.
With a limitation of just seven pieces, the chances of ever seeing a De Bethune UAE Hawk special edition is very remote. But next time you visit the United Arab Emirates keep your eyes open, you might just get lucky.
For more information, please visit www.seddiqi.com/curators-journal/50-years-crafting-future-uae.
Quick Facts De Bethune UAE Hawk special edition
Case: 43 x 9 mm, polished grade 5 titanium
Movement: automatic Caliber Auto V2, titanium balance wheel with gold inserts, steel escape wheel, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 60-hour power reserve (one spring barrel)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 7 pieces