Why this Verdi-inspired watch is worth a million dirhams

The Macbeth timepiece is part of a collection of four one-of-a-kind watches that marks Dolce & Gabbana’s entry into the world of Alta Orologeria.

The Macbeth timepiece by Dolce & Gabbana costs Dh1,307,834. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana
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A collection of four one-of-a-kind watches marks Dolce & Gabbana’s entry into the world of Alta Orologeria (which literally translates as high watchmaking in Italian) for men. Building on Dolce & Gabbana’s signature aesthetic of theatrical opulence, these pieces are a meeting point between timekeeping and high jewellery. They were presented as part of the brand’s Alte Artigianalità, a twice-yearly showcase of its mastery of couture and high jewellery.

The four timepieces are an homage to the music of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Following the different themes of Verdi's operas, each piece has been named for one of the composer's masterpieces: Otello, Don Carlos, Nabucco and, finally, this piece, inspired by Macbeth. Designed to harmonise music, art and timekeeping, the whole project took an estimated two years to bring to fruition, with the Macbeth watch taking master goldsmiths and engravers eight months to create by hand.

Made from solid 18K gold, with a 46-millimetre case, the dial, bezel and bracelet have all been hand-engraved, drawing on the renowned skills of Italian goldsmiths. The dial is marked with a stylised leaf motif, which has been painstakingly drawn by hand. The crown, bezel, case and bracelet have been milled to create a textured matte effect, which, against the engraved face, highlights the tourbillon as the only area polished to a high shine.

Hand-engraved Roman and Arabic numerals decorate the case, bezel and bracelet, which according to the brand is an attempt to highlight the relativity of time, while "Dolce Gabbana Alto Orologeria" has been embossed onto the dial. The bezel has been hand-etched with five-second demarcations, while a sapphire glass back allows viewing of the bridges.

Sporting a Dolce & Gabbana 23.01 caliber, with a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour, the Macbeth also has a chronograph – with both hour and minute indicators – operating on a single-button system, rather than the more commonly used two, in a nod to the timepieces of yore. Additionally, it comprises a column wheel, favoured by collectors for its intricate workings, and has a power reserve of 100 hours, marked by the indicator between 8 and 9 o’clock. A tourbillon sits at 6 o’clock, with the initials DG on the gold bridge.

Each watch is totally unique, comes with a certificate of authenticity and a numbered caliber, and is presented in a restored antique box. Clients can request elements of customisation, as required. The Macbeth costs Dh1,307, 834.

Read this and more stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, April 13.