When most people think of Seiko, they think of the mass-produced quartz watches that dominated the world’s markets in the 1980s and thereafter. What most people don’t realize is that Seiko, one of only a handful of companies able to manufacture a watch from A to Z, makes the full range all the way up to full-on mechanical handmade horological delicacies with fine finishing and artful embellishment. And they don’t come more full-on than the Seiko Credor Fugaku Tourbillon.
Thrash metal rocker Dan Spitz has had an interesting life that has seen him go from being the co-founder of Grammy-nominated band Anthrax to becoming a noteworthy watchmaker. This three-minute video by Great Big Story really tells his story in a cool, compact way.
In contrast to the pared-down visuals of the original Charming Bird, Jaquet Droz’s 2016 edition puts equal focus on the lovely songbird chirping away underneath the domed sapphire crystal and the beautifully artistic dial crafted in engraved and painted mother-of-pearl.
One viewing of the Parmigiani Fleurier Hippologia in action is enough to confirm that its two horses’ gaits seem completely fluid and natural. The Hippologia displays two horses, a mare and a foal, taking a stroll around a Lalique glassware cabinet enclosing the highly complicated automaton and eight-day clock movement. This is an object that needs to be seen to be believed.
A tsuba is the hand guard of a traditional Japanese sword. “These eventually became elaborate pieces of art – far beyond their practical use,” says engraver Kees Engelbarts, whose fascination with Japanese handcrafts led him to use the Japanese metal alloying technique called mokume gane as the first one in watchmaking. It has now also led him to dedicate a watch to the tsuba theme, inspired in particular by a piece by Japanese swordsmith Hamano Masanobu.
While you hear very often that watches are “mechanical art,” in this case the overused description makes sense: here mechanical art (Benzinger’s unique movement embellishment) meets conventional art in the form of the dial embellished with an oil-on-canvas painting by French painter Léon Zanella.
Over the last 12 months we have published an unusually high number of articles about drummers, the timekeepers in nearly every musical band or group. Actually, it kind of stands to reason that drummers would particularly like watches – even if they can’t (or shouldn’t!) wear them while playing – as both fields have extreme time-keeping functionality.
A recent visit to Dallas, Texas gifted me with a surprise: I came across a very large painting simply entitled ‘Watch’ at the Dallas Museum of Art. Further inquiry into its painter, Gerald Murphy, revealed a fun historical anecdote and a bit of a mystery. Why did Murphy paint a giant Cubist impression of two watches in 1925, and which watches were they?
I have been involved in the watch world for 26 years; my first visit to Baselworld was in 1991. The massive fair halls have undergone two major reconstructive changes during this long period, in addition to several smaller updates. The last major reconstruction was finished in 2013. In no way, though, was I prepared for how the complex looks and feels when Art Basel is on compared to how I know it during the hustle and bustle of Baselworld.
“It’s a tent,” Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias jokingly explained during Art Basel at the opening of Robin Meier’s installation “Synchronicity,” pointing to the large, soft structure barely discernible behind him in the dark room. It did indeed look like a tent. A tent encompassing the most unusual type of art installation I had ever seen. Welcome to the world of synchronous firefly flashes and grasshopper chirps in the name of art.