THEIR STATE-OF-THE-ART MECHANICAL MOVEMENTS WILL HAVE HOROLOGY HOUNDS GEEKING OUT. THEIR ORNATE FACES CREATED WITH A COUTURIER’S HAND WILL MAKE EVERYONE ELSE WANT TO JOIN THE NETWORK. IMRAN JALAL ZOOMS IN ON SOME OF THE MOST FANTASTIC METIERS D’ART WATCHES OUT NOW
ARCEAU ROBE DU SOIR 18K ROSE GOLD WACTH ON CALFSKIN STRAP, HERMES
Originally created by Parisian illustrator Florence Manlik for one of the brand’s scarves, the vibrant equestrian motif on the dial goes from 2D to 3D here, thanks to a new leather mosaic technique that took the house one and a half years to perfect. The image within each 41mm case features 2,200 mini pieces of calfskin squares painstakingly arranged by hand, which might explain why there are just 12 of these timepieces in the world.
Metiers d’Art Grafﬁ ti 18K rose gold watch with diamonds on alligator strap, Graff
Elevating its collector’s item status is the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind piece designed by Takashi Murakami (he also created three other unique watches for the British jeweller). Featuring a whimsical mix of manga and traditional Japanese motifs, the dial was the result of detailed miniature painting using more than 10 colours, each manually blended for a customised hue.
Tuscany 5177G-001 18K white gold on alligator strap, Patek Philippe
There’s a reason why this limited edition Calatrava watch is part of the brand’s Rare Hand crafts collection. First, a gold wire as thin as a strand of human hair is used to create the outline of the image on the dial: the picturesque Tuscan countryside. Next, to achieve the painterly depth of colour, between 30 to 35 types of opaque, transparent and opalescent enamel are used – all this on a 38mm dial.
Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara 18K red gold watch with diamonds on satin strap, Jaquet Droz
Produced to mark the brand’s 280th anniversary, this opulent timepiece with an expressive tiger motif was created using a 1,500-year-old enamelling technique to mimic the delicate translucency of stained glass (yes, the back of the case is transparent to allow light to pass through). It’s also available in white gold with the feline depicted in cool tones of lapis blue and cerulean, with each limited to just 28 pieces worldwide.
Metiers d’Art Les Aerostiers 18K white gold watch on alligator skin strap, Vacheron Constantin
There’s a romantic tale of wanderlust behind this limited edition collection. Each of the ﬁve dial designs pays homage to an iconic hot air balloon ride that took place in France between 1783 and 1785. Entirely hand-engraved and microsculpted with gold, each dial also comes complete with intricate reliefs of human and animal ﬁ gures, and takes artisans up to three weeks to complete.