Give Me Five! Stunning Artistic Dials Even Men Might Appreciate
While it seems that “métiers d’art” could be considered a catchword, trend or even buzz phrase in modern high-end watchmaking, the reality is that when luxury brands take the time, energy, and cost to create these unique elements, it results in some of the most magnificent artwork available in horology today.
Here we present you five exceptional dials we found at SIHH 2014.
This model is highly unusual for the technical brand, which is perhaps the reason it stands out so much: Greubel Forsey introduced a “set” (French: serti) version of the “contemporary” edition of the 24 Seconds Tourbillon, which includes 272 (9.71 ct) premium, invisible-set, baguette-cut diamonds in IF clarity (D-E color). According to Greubel Forsey, the quality of these diamonds is the highest ever used in watchmaking.
The Tourbillon 24 Seconds Contemporary Serti displays its sparklers on the top movement plate (which passes for the dial here), bezel, lugs, and strap buckle. It is a unique piece that glows inside and out. Literally. www.greubelforsey.com
Cartier has made a name for itself of late with its extraordinary work in the arts, including many types of rare crafts. This toucan is created in plique à jour enamel, an art form that Cartier masters in-house in its state-of-the-art La Chaux-de-Fonds facility. The scintillating [IS1] high-quality diamonds on the bezel and crown adds to the overall aesthetic, while the mechanical movement ensures it a place in high watchmaking. www.cartier.com
Piaget, long a proponent of high-end crafts in watchmaking, introduced a spectacular addition to its line of Altiplano rose-themed timepieces. Inspired by Anita Porchet’s enamel roses of 2012, embroidery artist Sylvie Deschamps stitched this unique flower in silk for the dial. Diamonds on the bezel add to the feminine visuals, while the svelte white gold case feels almost as smooth as the silk looks. http://en.piaget.com
Vacheron Constantin wowed visitors to its SIHH booth with four unique, feminine creations called Fabuleux Ornements (“fabulous ornaments”). These clearly stem from the creative mind of product director Christian Selmoni, whose artistic eye is often inspired by trips he takes.
The timepieces literally revel in the celebration of foreign cultures’ artistic crafts. Pictured here is the Ottoman Architecture model powered by manually wound Caliber 1003SQ, which has not only been hand-skeletonized but also hand-engraved, and is naturally visible in the off-center cutaway under the hands. It also bears the Seal of Geneva, am unparalleled stamp of quality.
The Ottoman Architecture model’s inspiration is reflected by the rose gold wooden lattice motif over the white mother-of-pearl base forming the lion’s share of the dial; every single edge is minutely beveled by hand. The absolutely magical gold grid work is studded with half-pearls. www.vacheron-constantin.com
Jaeger-LeCoultre enters the club of heavy hitters in the métiers d’art sphere by introducing 12 unique pieces collectively known as the Hybris Artistica at the SIHH. This group comprises existing models outfitted with completely unique, handcrafted elements on the dial or case.
They also include some of the venerable manufacture’s most complicated mechanical elements. Here we have a unique Gyrotourbillon I outfitted with a unique latticed dial that was enameled in-house in Le Sentier. www.jaeger-lecoultre.com