Is it a watch, or is it so perfect it’s a piece of art? Watchmakers today have explored and experimenteded with their designs, giving us some of the most creative concepts of ‘wearable art’, right from hand-painted and hand-carved dials to skeleton and gemstone-embedded dials.
Displaying creativity and complexity in their chronographs, watchmakers have moved on from the basic mechanisms, to bolder designs with complicated dials that also double up as a statement piece. If wearable art is your thing, then take a look at our selection of some 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.
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.
Louis Moinet Only India
There have been several luxurious timepieces that attempt to represent the culture of India, and the 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 mytical 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.