In Full Bloom
Many different artistic techniques have been used to depict the Yves Piaget rose on the timepieces in Piaget’s Art & Excellence series. The year 2016 sees artisan Dick Steenman using gold engraving to create a delicate and highly dimensional rendition of the brand’s distinctive ﬂower from a rose gold disc, housed in a rose gold Altiplano 38mm case set with diamonds.
Shadows and Light
Two ﬁne arts, engraving and enamelling, come together in the shaded enamel technique used to create Hermes’ Arceau Tigre. Working with a white gold base, the engraver ﬁrst creates a three-dimensional motif – the most deeply engraved areas will become denser and darker. An enameller then coats the dial with slightly tinted translucent enamel to enhance the way the motif reﬂects light. This 41mm white gold watch houses an in-house automatic movement.
Age of Exploration
Inspired by historical transatlantic trade and travel, the Montblanc 4810 Exotourbillon Slim includes limited edition pieces featuring maps of Asia (pictured), North America or Europe. Each topographical map is hand-painted, beautifully depicting oceans, forests and deserts. The 42mm white gold watch is ﬁtted with an automatic movement featuring Montblanc’s Exotourbillon with stop seconds.
Flight of Fancy
The Charming Bird by Jaquet Droz does a lot more than just look pretty – the automated songbird ﬂaps its wings, chirps and spins when activated. Housed in a 47mm white gold case, the winner of the Mechanical Exception Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve 2015 is designed on the principle of a wind instrument, and tiny pistons are used to reproduce three different notes.
In 2016, Cartier brings together the arts of enamelling and Etruscan granulation to depict its iconic panther motif on the 42mm Ballon Bleu de Cartier Panther. Pieces of enamel are stretched to form ﬁne threads, which are then cut into small pieces and heated to form beads. These beads are then assembled and heated repeatedly at a range of high temperatures.
A rolling wave, inspired by a famous Japanese woodblock print created by the artist Hokusai, takes centre stage in Blancpain’s The Great Wave timepiece. Set against a base of Mexican silver obsidian, the engraved wave applique is made from white gold that is patinated through a complex oxidation process. Housed in a 42mm case, the manually wound watch has an eight-day power reserve.
Swans gliding over Lake Geneva inspired two of the latest metiers d’art watches by Vacheron Constantin. Available in a 42mm (pictured) or 39mm ladies version, the brand’s L’Eloge de la Nature: Swan watch unites four crafts: engraving, guilloche, enamelling and gem- setting. A meticulously engraved and diamond-studded swan spreads its wings against an engraved Grand Feu enamel dial.