Monday, March 25, 2013

GRIEB & BENZINGER's Black Tulip Sabudha Imperial

This just in from GRIEB & BENZINGER -

The avant-garde watchmakers of GRIEB & BENZINGER present a new signature bespoke watch to commemorate an auspicious occasion, the third anniversary of luxury magazine Simply Abu Dhabi.

Simply Abu Dhabi is the only English luxury magazine in the emirate of the same name. Its CEO, Arnie Hira, recently outed himself as a big fan of the German workshop known for bespoke horological masterpieces. “They supported our inaugural edition, and I have become a huge fan of their watches. So, as patronage to Abu Dhabi and to commemorate our third birthday, Georg Bartkowiak (CEO of GRIEB & BENZINGER) and I collaborated on a one-off timepiece – something that will never be reproduced.”

The result, the BLACK TULIP SABUDHA IMPERIAL, is an exceptionally decorated wristwatch inspired by the majesty, mystery and magic of the Middle East, and prominently spotlights a re-imagination of the most mythical jewel in the world. 


This watch is the quintessence of GRIEB & BENZINGER`s singular philosophy: limited to a single, never-to-be-repeated piece, it is decorated using irreplaceable nineteenth-century guilloché tools and handmade with skills that cannot be found beyond GRIEB & BENZINGER`s workshop in Germany. What’s more, it is significant to the publication, tightly wrapped as it is in Middle Eastern culture and the mythology of Europe’s storied imperialism.

Estimated to fall well within the six-digit US dollar spectrum, BLACK TULIP SABUDHA IMPERIAL is a sumptuous hand-wound watch, whose open-worked design is influenced by Arabic style and in particular inspired by the artistry of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The brilliance and sheer desirability of this solid rose gold wristwatch does not stop there: attention is drawn to the bezel set with black gemstones, which are not black diamonds, contrary to what might be expected. Black diamonds are actually very commonplace nowadays, so instead of black diamonds, the bezel is set with incredible black spinel gemstones, aligned perfectly with invisible settings and glittering with a deep, ethereal intensity. These very jewels, which are rarely if ever used in watchmaking, have a wonderfully smooth, clean surface.

But what makes this gemstone even more precious, and what elevates the BLACK TULIP SABUDHA IMPERIAL wristwatch to even greater heights of wonder is the mythology surrounding spinel and the many priceless stones chronicled throughout history. The Black Prince’s Ruby is one of the most famous gemstones in the world. It is currently mounted, pride of place, upon Great Britain’s Imperial State Crown. And it is not a ruby, it’s a spinel.

As Simply Abu Dhabi is one of the only publications to be distributed to the Royal Palatial Homes and Offices of the ruling families of Abu Dhabi, it made sense to use gemstones with a royal association.

The price of this watch? A six-digit mystical as the watch itself …

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