This timepiece is not only a representative of the highly attractive and collectible family of bespoken Middle Eastern watches, but furthermore it belongs to the “royal” subgenre of this family.
It was – and is – customary in Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and indeed UAE, to order series of personalized timepieces – with either national crests or royal signatures – both for the ruling family to enjoy, and also to be given as gifts to dignitaries or particularly honor-worthy subjects.
It is known that Emir of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum ordered such a series of 6263, comprising a few dozen watches, in the mid-seventies. These watches were made with a personalized dial, made in two similar variations differing for the signature above the 6 o' clock subsidiary dial. One version displays the mark of the Wazarah Ad Difa'A department, and it was probably offered to high ranking officials. The other version however, exemplified by this superlative timepiece, bears the royal signature of the Emir himself. It is more than plausible that such “royal” pieces were reserved either for a more private use – by the Emir and members of his family – or given to extraordinarily worthy individuals or dignitaries. The custom of different tiers of watch personalization – corresponding to different tiers of honor to be bestowed on the recipient of the gift – is also quite customary in the Middle East. Another example of this behavior comes from Omani timepieces: it is well known that those bearing the signature of the Sultan on the dial were gifted only on the most extraordinary circumstances.
Of particular technical and aesthetic interest is the UAE crest. It was crafted in different 'padded layers': each color was applied with a pad, then the dial would be put to dry on a warm plate, and then the process would be repeated for all the colors present in the logo. This operation is extremely delicate, and the multiple passages were rigorously hand made by the most skilled artisans. Aesthetically, the immediate impact is absolutely amazing, first and foremost because the substitution of the Rolex signature (only the applied crown is left, and suitably so, considered the royal destination of the piece) with the emblem dramatically modifies the entire balance and looks of the dial, but also because this methodology creates a peculiar tri-dimensional effect noticeable at close examination.