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It is one of the few watches manufactures that has two completely separate strengths – an incredible history of innovation, and world-class manufacturing capabilities. Today, they go hand in hand, which is why Rolex produces and sells almost one million timepieces a year. But it also produces many limited edition watches, many of which are manufactured as gifts to foreign dignitaries on special occasions or diplomatic visits – or to honour those in military service.
\nOn Rolex watches, in particular, the dials were customised to feature logos and effigies, such as the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE Air Forces, the UAE Eagle, the Abu Dhabi Government, and, on a few very exceptional collections. While none of these limited editions are ever put up for sale by Rolex, they are (rarely) available from vintage watch boutiques. Here are nine of the best, found at Momentum Watch Shop in Dubai International Financial City.
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Rolex Oyster Precision Ref 6426 with the UAE Armed Forces dial, from the early 80s, here on one of the Momentum curated UAE Flag Natostraps so you can wear your flag on your wrist.
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Two more Rolex Precisions, the right one features the UAE Armed Forces on the dial, the right one was made for officers of the Dubai Police, both from the early 80s. The smallest of the gents collection with a case diameter of 34mm.
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The 18K gold Rolexes watches were given to high ranking officers of the UAE Armed Forces and VIPs. This one is a Day Date Ref 18038 from 1984 and has arabic calendar discs, these were delivered in very small numbers.
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The UAE government logo was a more uncommon one and was gifted to Officers of the State. Here on a stainless steel Datejust from 1980. A few of these are seen during National Day in the UAE.
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The dial version of this yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date is very rare, apart from the UAE Armed Forces emblem on the dial it has pyramid hour markers.
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Another Day Date Ref 18038 from 1978. Not only the UAE logo watches, even the boxes with the emblems are very collectible and extremely rare.
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The UAE Air Force logo, here on a Rolex Oysterdate Precision from 1984. This logo is one of the most uncommon ones and coveted among collectors.
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Another Oysterdate Precision. It is not only the rarity which makes these dials sought after but the look of the emblem.
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The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date with the UAE Armed Forces dial. The Flag on your wrist.