CLOCKS WITH THEIR OWN LITTLE WORLDS
PARIS — What does a watch say about you? Mahmood Qannati would tell you, “Anything you want it to be.” The goal of his Bahrain-based brand is to give customers a way for their wrist jewelry to convey what they want.
“We create ‘wearable art objects’ that can tell the story of who you are or capture a meaningful moment in your life,” said Mr. Qannati, founder and CEO of Qannati Objet d’Art, said in an April interview in Paris, where he oversaw the final production of the company’s first collection. “We offer full customization because that’s what I think is the future of luxury.”
The collection, called The celebration of time, was introduced earlier this month in Paris. It included six Quantum watches and six Eternity bracelets (prices upon application), as well as a 13th piece that he plans to donate to a charity auction.
In early 2018, Mr. Qannati, a marketing executive in Bahrain’s capital Manama, who had no professional ties to watch or make jewelry before entering the industry, decided to create a company to create well-crafted objects that reflected his fascination with ancient civilizations.
On a visit to the Louvre Museum in Paris in 2019, he discovered a stone carved figure titled “The Hero Gilgamesh Overpowers a Lion”, in which the ancient Mesopotamian king was depicted with a cuff on each wrist. “I realized that the concept of men wearing an ornament on each wrist had its roots in civilizations going back 4,500 years,” said Mr. Qannati said, prompting him to include both watches and bracelets in his line.
Following the advice of jewelry influencer Katerina Perez, whom he reached out to on Instagram, Mr. Qannati began working with two French jewelry and métier d’art specialists: Frédéric Mané, a designer, and Jothi-Sèroj Ebroussard, a jeweler and sculptor. “No one needs a watch to tell the time,” Mr. Qannati said. “My goal was to show their absolute first-class craftsmanship.”
Some of the pieces, like the Gladiator’s Quantum watch, were topped with a flat glass, while others have domes, like the First Civilization Quantum and its matching Eternity bracelet, which features two miniature white gold figures of Adam and Eve, surrounded by a gray serpent, reaching for an apple made of Oregon sunstone.
Other themes include the Jurassic era, Formula 1 racing and Bahrain itself, celebrated with the “Pearl of the Bay” Eternity bracelet, which notes the country’s pearling traditions with a tiny boat sculpted in brown silver sails on a blue sea of larimar.
The watches’ Swiss automatic mechanical movements are assembled by Regence Production, a watchmaking manufacturer in Meyrin, outside Geneva, and the straps are made from Atelier du Bracelet Parisienknown as ABP, in Paris.
Sir. Qannati said the collection could be viewed by appointment in Paris, and he also invited customers to suggest their own designs. “This collection is the realization of a dream,” he said. “We hope to fill a niche for those in the luxury market who are looking for truly unique items.”