When 2018 was announced as the Year of Zayed last August, French watchmaker Louis Moinet was already well into making its tribute timepiece for the country’s Founding Father.
The one-of-a-kind Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque watch took a total of three years to construct. The process began when Atelier Louis Moinet sought out a 100-year-old movement, one that was manufactured at the time of Sheikh Zayed’s birth. The case is made from 18K gold, while more than 100 hand-finished components are worked into the mechanism, to enrich the sound of the minute repeater and discreetly activate the chronograph.
Only one piece of the watch has been made, and it’s already been purchased by a sheikh from the Sultanate of Oman, for 2 million Swiss francs (Dh7.85 million).
The dial is the true highlight of the timepiece – etched as it is with an image of the iconic mosque that was commissioned by Sheikh Zayed himself. The true-to-scale rendering has been hand-painted by a miniature artist and distilled onto the mother-of-pearl dial, which is surrounded by 30 baguette-cut diamonds.
A verse from the Quran is etched along the side of the timepiece. Translated from the Arabic, it reads: "As to the righteous, they will be in gardens and happiness." Meanwhile, the case is set with 68 baguette-cut Top Wesselton VVS diamonds.