Momentum pioneered the Dubai vintage watch market, and this year celebrates its 4th anniversary.
Four years ago something new and unexpected appeared in Dubai’s International Finance Center. It was one of a kind – a boutique dedicated to displaying and preserving rare vintage timepieces. It was something of a curiosity, at the time, since there was no real watch community in the area to speak of. Since then things have changed.
The founders of Momentum worked hard to search out those who might have a passion for classic timepieces, and steadily put all the pieces in place. Slowly a network was created out of thin air and love for vintage timepieces. They educated, informed, and shared their passion for vintage watches. Budding enthusiasts were made aware that something unique was happening in Dubai, and word has spread. Now in 2015, Momentum has become a hub of interest in the classic timepiece arena.
The early days, of course, were fraught with doubters and with challenges. People were skeptical at first – after all – who cares about old watches? Why would anyone choose vintage over new?
The answer might surprise you.
Over the last decade, give or take, there has been a big resurgence of interest in fine watches that were created by the horological masters of years gone by. There is something intriguing about them. Perhaps it is a reaction to the flood of new technology we see all around us. Perhaps it is a bit of nostalgia. Or perhaps people simply know a good thing when they see it.
As the first watch specialists in this field, in Dubai at least, we have gone out of our way to keep the momentum going. (If you will excuse the pun!)
We love nothing more than sharing our passion with like-minded people, whether they are experts or amateurs. The Momentum’s in-store collection has grown, and so too has our list of satisfied clients. We have taken care to develop our reputation as the experts in repair and service, and trading in vintage watches together with everything around them.
Our shop offers something quite different to the usual retail experience. Call us old-fashioned, if you have to, but we pride ourselves on our expertise, our knowledge base, and our insight into the vintage watch world.
There are all kinds of clientele who have an interest in our niche. It might be a dedicated fashionista, looking for a new strap for a favorite old timepiece (we have the largest strap collection in the Middle East). More seldom it’s a hard-core watch enthusiast, looking for something rare and exotic – we take care of the details. Most often it is just curiosity. We welcome that too.
Since 2011, there is a strange phenomenon that we have witnessed time and again. A curious passer-by will stop in at the shop and simply investigate. “Just looking.” But there is an unmistakable twinkle of interest in the eyes.
Sure enough, he will be back. Before you know it, he is asking questions about Omega IWC, or a Rolex from the mid 1970’s. Perhaps he wants to know which movement was used inside his grandfather’s old Omega, and what it might be worth, these days. He’s hooked. The vintage watch world is fascinating, and it draws you in.
Step by step the cynics and skeptics were won over. There is, indeed, a place for vintage watches in Dubai, and that place has become Momentum.
This is why we love the business. It has a tremendously rich heritage, and it is full of interesting twists and turns. It’s quirky, and unique, and it combines the best in artistry, engineering, and craftsmanship. We would like to share our passion, and see Momentum continue to grow over the next four years, just as it has in the last four.
We chose the location for Momentum’s store with great care, since we were planning to stay for quite some time.
In our minds we had imagined something like Burlington Arcade in London. We were looking for an area that suited our vision, and that’s why we settled in the Dubai International Finance Centre. We wanted to create something old-world, yet contemporary at the same time. We wanted it to feel personal, and do justice to the remarkable legacy of design and artistry that we love so much.
The original founders were Adam Roan, Anas Halabi and Tariq Malik. All of them were instrumental in launching our name and our identity, but Tariq has become the face of the boutique.
It makes sense, because Tariq has been a watch expert since his early days. He has always been the “go-to-guy” on any question related to watches, especially the vintage kind. This has been one of the keys to our success so far. It is personal insight, and authentic passion for the subject that translates to a rewarding experience when visiting Momentum. Tariq’s enthusiasm is contagious.
As we grew and developed, our net was cast wider. We involved ourselves in local events partnering up with top brands, or exhibited new advances in the art of watchmaking. We regularly appeared in the press, sharing interesting stories about both vintage and contemporary watches. We explained the art, gushed over the designs, and highlighted the innovations that shaped the watch industry over the decades. Not to forget heritage and history, the heart of vintage.
To us, the steady rhythm of a Rolex movement is sheer poetry. The older and rarer the better!
Momentum has links to many horological experts all over the world. We’ve worked steadily to create a kind of global map of the watch world, from the big auctions in Geneva, to the niche traders in Hong Kong, New York and the rest of the globe. We can find models, or even rare parts for a vast range of vintage watches – no easy feat, believe me! Years of experience back up our service department, and we’re still expanding our reach.
The past four years have been a rollercoaster ride for us. It involved a lot of hard work, and an incredible amount of personal dedication. But, when you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like a chore. Being surrounded by rare and exquisite watches every day is a joy, and a labor of love.
So hat’s off to Tariq and the dedicated team who have worked so hard to make it successfully through the first four years, and may the future be as rewarding and exciting as the past.
As they say: “Time is what you make of it!”