When Umar Bajwa and Youssef Ayoub founded WQT in December 2017, it was because they saw a gap in the watch industry. In their estimation, many brands favor status symbols over genuine self-expression. Even more importantly, they observed that true luxury is typically unattainable for the average person. Bajwa and Ayoub are philosophically opposed to these premises, and they set about to create a brand that offers originally designed watches executed with premium components that are actually affordable. And WQT is very much a multi-cultural, “East-West” brand, with headquarters in both Dubai and Los Angeles.
After two years of development, the Eclipse Collection was born. WQT launched its first four models in this collection in February 2020 — all skeleton watches — and they each retail for $475.
Bajwa and Ayoub firmly believe that the experience of wearing a WQT watch needs to be about the minutiae, the many details that distinguish a generic, mediocre watch from a potentially iconic one. Every aspect of the design of the Eclipse Collection watches is intentional. Bajwa and Ayoub moved the crown to 2 o’clock so that the right components would be exposed in a beautiful, elegant way. And they balanced the weight and used a butterfly clasp so that the watch would be functional and easy to wear all day long and on any occasion, from casual to formal.
Each of the four models in the Eclipse Collection is 43mm-wide and 10.45mm-thick. And each is made of 316L stainless steel and has a custom-brushed HZ9615 hand-wound mechanical movement, sapphire glass, IPL coating, and Italian leather strap (for the black models; rose gold models come on a bracelet). The custom movement allows the full skeleton to run almost edge-to-edge, and the proprietary Arabic font pays homage to the past while being innovatively modern. The watches have a power reserve of 40 hours and are water-resistant to 3ATM.
Co-founder Bajwa says, “We truly celebrate luxury from the East and the West. Our watches, like our identities, are layered. The custom Arabic numerals, the hidden crescents, and the elegant curves all pay homage to the past. We refined every element, even the packaging, to give you an experience only associated with Swiss brands. Either you can buy a generic-looking quartz watch at $150 or a Swiss watch in the thousands. There is not much in the middle, and that is why we believe that WQT Watches will play such a crucial role in filling this void.”
Model N.01 is a full skeleton in “noir” (black); model R.02 is a full skeleton in “rose” (rose gold), which comes on a bracelet. The half-skeleton models are the N.03 and the R.04, in black and rose gold, respectively. Again, the price for each model is $475. For more information, visit www.wqtwatches.com/collections/eclipse.
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