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Alfred Dunhill showcases its latest mechanical timepiece collection for 2005 in dubai. Arnold Pinto reports.

Alfred Dunhill Ltd. introduced its new line of innovative mechanical timepieces to the Middle Eastern market at an exclusive event held at the One & Only Royal Mirage in Dubai. Tom Bolt, the British designer of the timepiece collection, said he was constantly inspired by the original DNA of the brand that goes back to its genesis in 1903, adding he had joined the brand at a very exciting period in its history. According to Bolt, the new collection interprets Alfred Dunhill’s genius for innovation in a timekeeping trend of the 21st century – a combination of classic elegance and revolutionary thinking.       

Bolt’s creation of the 10 entirely new watches in the timepiece collection for 2005 required him to combine his unrivalled knowledge of classic watches with his vivid imagination, technical know-how and, in the case of the Motorities watches, his passion for cars and motorcycles. Passionate about the brand’s beginnings, Bolt pointed out that in 1903, motorcars had scant weather protection and proved a jarring ride, both of which spelt bad news for watches. Also, in that era, hand throttles, crash gearboxes and fuel and ignition settings had to be manually adjusted while driving, left little opportunity for dipping into a waistcoat to withdraw a pocket watch.       

For Alfred Dunhill, stated Bolt, the answer was obvious: There were clocks in houses, why not in cars? Dunhill’s solution consisted of a pocket watch snugly fitted inside a sturdy, dashboard-mounted brass case. The Case was a pleasing, teardrop shape with a hinged porthole cover that allowed the watch to be removed at the journey’s end. This first foray into watches opened up a whole new world to Dunhill, and soon he was interpreting the timepiece in unprecedented ways: The belt buckle watch, the lighter watch, the pen watch and the money clip watch – all sprang from his vivid imagination – although wristwatches proved to be his forte. Guests, who comprised of watch industry professionals and watch aficionados from all over the GCC region examined the different timepieces from the new collection, such as the Citytamer, the Cityfighter, A-Centric and X-Centric that were displayed around the legendary Jaguar E-Type at the event in Dubai which was also attended by Yann Debelle de Montby, Director of Image and Press Relations, Alfred Dunhill Ltd.        Citytamer: The rugged Citytamer is both sophisticated and functional, making as much of a statement at a board meeting as at the dinner table. A masterpiece of elegant engineering, the Citytamer has a horizontally split, two-part case with top-loading screws. A central gasket is an integral part of the aesthetic of the watch and ensures it remains watertight.       

A Swiss self-winding mechanical movement nestles within the cradle of the curving, rectangular body of the watch, the shape of which was inspired by the bonnet of a period sports car. Cityfighter: The tough, slightly bigger brother of the Citytamer, the Cityfighter’s dial and crystal are protected from the knocks of  urban life by a snap-on/snap off stainless steel shield. The shield is fitted with a domed, sapphire crystal magnification lens making the dial easier to read while on the move. Whether you’re riding a motorcycle, driving a car or stepping onto a train, the Cityfighter will always be at your service.       

A-Centric: The gloriously understated A-Centric is inspired by Dunhill’s Motorities heritage, when motoring was the preserve of the gentleman driver. Protected behind the A-Centric’s crystal, an outer bezel displays the days of the month marked by a revolving hand with crescent tip, while the time of day is read fro crisp Arabic numerals and luminous ‘Superluminova’ hands within the central ring.       

The stepped-case A-Centric is simple, effective and timeless – yet undeniably evocative and wonderfully nostalgic. It is a precision instrument, which would not look our of pace in the cockpit of a fighter plane or on the dashboard of a 21st century supercar.

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