To mark the birth centennial of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the United Arab Emirates, Swiss manufacturer Louis Moinet has unveiled a unique Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque minute repeater chronograph.
Born May 6, 1918, Sheikh Zayed was the Emir of Abu Dhabi and was instrumental in founding the United Arab Emirates, thus uniting the Trucial Coast. He served as the country’s first President from date of its creation on December 2, 1971. He died on November 2, 2004. Incidentally, the Grand Mosque is the largest in the UAE and the late President’s final resting place is in the ground adjacent to the mosque complex.
The watch uses an 18K carat white gold case, which is quite a complicated one considering it houses a minute repeater and a chronograph that can be activated discretely. According to the official release, a patented manufacturing process resulted in a case that can enhance the sound of the minute repeater and the mostly hand-finished case alone is composed of more than 100 components.
Three years in the making, the watch uses a stunning mother-of-pearl dial that has a miniature painting of the pristine mosque in Abu Dhabi, which was commissioned by the Sheikh himself. The dial has a running central chronograph seconds hand and a running seconds subdial at 6 o’ clock.
A baguette-cut diamond-studded ring on the inner flange frames the stunning mother of pearl dial. The case is also set with 68 baguette-cut Top Wesselton VVS diamonds. A slider on the case band at 2 o’clock operates the minute-repeater. The caseband also features an Arabic inscription from the Holy Quran Holy "Enna Al Moutaqeen fi Jannaten wa Naeem" which translates to "The righteous are in gardens and bliss."
Though Louis Moinet hasn’t specified the name of the movement used in this watch, it is supposedly a 100-year-old one and fitting the centennial celebration that this timepiece marks. The only information we have as of now is that the movement was created in the Vallée de Joux region, the cradle of Swiss haute horology.
This is a unique piece and is priced at CHF2 million (AED 7.8 million) but don’t both reaching for that cheque book yet. The watch has already been sold to a prominent sheikh from the Sultanate of Oman.