Watches over the years have become more than just a basic-looking timepiece. Combining creativity and complexity in their chronographs, watchmakers have adapted bolder designs with complicated dials that double up as a statement piece. This year alone, watch events like Geneva Watch Days and LVMH Watch Week showcased some beautifully artistic dials displaying miniature paintings, sculptures and engravings among other creatives. If you’re a person of substance over style and enjoy sporting wearable art then take a look at our selection of the most artistic timepieces of 2022.
Chopard LUC XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony
Peonies have been a source of inspiration for Chopard for the longest time. And so it comes as no surprise that their new collection captures the beautiful flower in the most captivating manner. LUC XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony, a limited edition collection with only 8 pieces, celebrates fine watchmaking with its artistically designed dials. Made with ethical 18-carat rose gold, the dial uses the art of Grand Feu Enamel, a design inspired by the antique decorative pocket watches found in Chopard’s museum in Fleurier, where the brand’s enamelling artist paints a vibrant image of pink peonies blooming against a light green background. A mechanical self-winding movement, visible through the back, is beautifully decorated with Fleurisanne, an engraving technique mastered by the in-house artisan.
Corum Bubble x Aiiroh
Artistic watch dials have been trending for quite a while, and Swiss watchmaker Corum is among the leaders of exquisite art watches, featuring actual works of art created by artists around the world. Their latest design is a limited edition Bubble watch, created in collaboration with French street artist Aiiroh, whose works have been displayed at several galleries around the world. Aiiroh has worked with two other artists named Soyz Bank and Namisen for the artwork displayed on the watch. It is a wall art piece showcased through a fretwork-style floral pattern, a spiral motif of a rose inspired by Aiiroh’s Black Série Rose artwork. The 47mm watch comes in a stainless steel case with black PVD coating, is automatically wound and is water resistant to 100m. The watch is a limited-edition piece designed specifically for the Geneva Watch Days and has only 88 pieces in the collection.
Jacob & Co. Fleurs De Jardin Rainbow
When it comes to artistic dials, Jacob & Co. takes the cake! The brand has a reputation for the most stunning dials. The Fleurs De Jardin Rainbow tourbillon is one of their latest designs. A rainbow version of its popular Fleurs de Jardin timepiece, the new Fleurs De Jardin Rainbow has a ‘garden-on-your-wrist’ aesthetic, framed by sparkling rainbows and a delicate butterfly tourbillon movement. Set on a mother-of-pearl base, the dial is decorated with rainbow sapphire flowers and a 288-facet Jacob-cut grass-green tsavorite sitting inside an 18K rose gold case. The flying tourbillon, the time display and a frame holding three gemstone flowers turn clockwise every ten minutes, while an additional gemstone flower turns counter-clockwise while going around the dial. Anti-reflective sapphire crystals cover the front, back and sides of the watch, while a selection of gemstones adorns the bezel and the inner case ring.
Jaquet-Droz The Rolling Stones Automaton
Teaming up with one of the most iconic bands ever, Jaquet-Droz designed a new timepiece and is calling it The Rolling Stones Automaton, because why call it anything else! Miniaturized like a dollhouse but without the red-cheeked figures, the central set features important motifs like Ronnie Wood’s Fender Strat and double stack, the minimalist drums of the late Charlie Watts, and Keith Richard’s famous five-string guitar, all shaped from a block of red gold, which are then engraved and hand painted. The exact colour tone of each instrument, the tweed finish of the amp, the pickguard of the guitars, and the tolex of the loudspeakers, every tiny detail, is painted by hand. The mythical grooves are represented with their original cover, in the form of six iconic albums from 1971 to present day. Each collector will be able to choose the covers of these albums. They will be reproduced by hand by the craftsmen of Jaquet Droz on a disc able to rotate, on demand, around the central stage.
Louis Moinet Only India
There have been several luxurious timepieces that attempt to represent the culture of India, and Only India by Louis Moinet has captured it beautifully. The timepiece features India-specific elements that give it a unique aesthetic for a timepiece. One of the most notable features of the dial is the Martian meteorite, Shergotty, which fell to Earth on 25 August 1865 near Sherghati, in the state of Bihar, India. Additionally, the dial also captures the beauty of the national bird, the peacock, where the dial base is made from a real peacock feather, giving it a natural iridescent effect. The third and most captivating creation is the hand-engraved applique which represents the 20 spokes of the eternal wheel of the law of Dharma, embodied by the Ashoka chakra found on the Indian flag. The sense of movement suggested by the wheel is highlighted by the micro-painting delicately applied to the different spokes and in the centre of the engraving.
Roger Dubois Knights of the Round Table Monotourbillon
Roger Dubois’ Knights of the Round Table is among the brand’s most creative collections. The 8th edition of the collection is the new Excalibur Knights of the Round Table Monotourbillon. Vibrant hues of purple, red and blue encircle the dial, while the twelve micro-sculptures sit around the table – the dial. The knights are handcrafted with 18K pink gold while the table is made of crystal sapphire with Murano glass blocks, symbolizing the unity and equality of the knights. A setting system at the two o’clock position raises a flag when pressed, to indicate the different winding and setting modes. The entire movement is housed in a 45mm pink gold case with sapphire crystal.
A high-luxury brand, Qannati specialises in wearable art, featuring some of the most artistic dials ever. Their latest collection titled ‘Celebration of Time’ is a stunning collection of timepieces inspired by time itself. Among these is one striking piece called Alpha, which captures the first moment when time began to unfold in the universe, the Big Bang. The case, made of carbon fibre, is a beautiful black diamond baguette. In the centre of this case is a beautiful Ethiopian opal which resembles the explosion’s core, with diamond slices scattered throughout its explosion, whilst using natural magnetic sand from New Caledonia. Adding ot the all-black theme, the watch is decorated with plenty of black diamonds, along the dial, across the sapphire dome glass that covers the case of the dial, and on the alligator strap where rough black diamonds have been generously used.
Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Papillon Féerique
Van Cleef & Arpels continues its journey of miniature artworks with its latest Charms Papillon Féerique watch. The fairy is an important motif in all of Van Cleef & Arpels’ collections. The brand combines this beautiful mythical creature with the butterfly for its latest timepiece. The dial paints a nighttime scene floating over a body of water created with white gold and paillonné enamel. A rose gold fairy takes the centre stage adorned with rose-cut and round diamonds, along with a white gold butterfly featuring a marquise cut diamond, plique à jour enamel, white mother of pearl, miniature painting and mother of pearl glitters. A white gold lily, floats on the enamel-painted water, featuring round buff-topped sapphires, while the background is made from white gold, round diamonds and black aventurine. The story continues on the back of the watch, with an engraving that echoes the dial.