Daniel Wellington finally launches in the Middle East

After dominating Instagram the preppy Swedish watch brand is now on sale in the UAE.

Neil Churchill November 9, 2016

The unveiling of a watch company’s latest models is something that happens pretty regularly in the GCC region. So regularly in fact it quickly dulls your horological senses.

But what doesn’t happen that regularly at all is the launching of an entire watch company. Partly this is because it is harder and harder for new kids on the watch block to be taken seriously in an industry so steeped in age and tradition, and in a region that holds such affinity for the classic Swiss Made names. Plus, the region’s local partners don’t go into business with just anybody.

Thankfully Daniel Wellington has shown itself as a serious and strong enough brand to break into the region, as it is now finally, officially in the Middle East.

It’s about time too. The Swedish brand has been one of the watch industry’s most talked about names of the past couple years, dominating Instagram thanks to its collaborations with fashion ‘influencers’. 

Brought to the UAE by local retailer 1915 by Seddiqi & Sons – the contemporary retailer owned by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons – the launch makes the watches available to buy in the region for the first time, and includes the new Classic Black dial. 

If you’ve not heard of Daniel Wellington before, you’ve more than likely seen it on the wrist of someone – probably on social media – and wondered to yourself “what’s that watch?” Its look is a minimalist, clean dial in a thin case – gold or silver – on a colourful nato strap. That’s the classic DW look.

There are leather band options too, an increasingly large number in fact, jumping on the trend of switching straps as often as you like for different looks and occasions. We say ‘jumping on the trend’ but Daniel Wellington has a fair claim as any other for starting the current movement of mixing up your watch’s appearance. But there's more substance to Daniel Wellington than just preppy fads, which can explain how it's broken into the region ahead of similarly styled watches.

From the men’s side at first glance there are only two lines, but dig a little deeper and the variety of choice is extensive. The Classic range with a white dial comes in either a silver or gold case, at 40 mm, and a choice of 11 straps – both leathers and natos. The new Classic Black dial range, also in silver or gold, comes with a choice of seven. So from essentially one line that’s a range of 36 different looks. 

Then there’s the Dapper line, measuring 38 mm with roman numerals, blue hands and a date window. It comes only in the white dial but with the same case options and six straps to pick from, it has 12 different looks.

Most of the watches are unisex too – useful if you’re a ‘his and hers’ kind of guy – with the women’s side featuring the same Classic and Dapper options but in smaller sizes, and also boasting its own feminine line the Classy.

The UAE’s watch market is often a congested and repetitive one, but the entry of Daniel Wellington is a breath of fresh air, particularly to those who do not depend on the words 'Swiss Made' to consider a watch worth buying.

Expect to see those colourful nylon straps on a few more wrists around town.