Since ancient times, people have decorated household items and artworks with images of various birds and animals. The manufactories, making wristwatches, didn’t stay away from that tradition either. Many masters have risen to eminence in the creation of time meters, making them more precise, functional, complex, and of course, beautiful. Today, more often the experts compare so skillfully made watches with the works of art. This statement is especially true when one considers that the engravers, jewelers, enamellers work on their creation.
Ancient Greek philosopher Cicero asserted that the creations of nature were always more perfect than the works of art. Indeed, what mechanism can be compared with a perfect body of predator that combines strength, speed and grace? And of course, no one jeweler will be able to create an equally strange and beautiful picture, like the one that is repeated countless times on the wings of butterflies.
Long since people have admired the works of nature. That's why they didn’t take beasts, birds, insects just as representatives of the animal world, but as symbols of some phenomena or features. Many of these notions (especially those related to religious beliefs about the world) are relevant in our time. We are accustomed to associate a brave man with a lion, lonely - with a wolf, irresponsible – with a cuckoo, wise – with an owl.
With growing interest in mysticism and extrasensory perception, many people began to surround themselves with talismans and amulets, protecting them from harm and bringing luck. Various figurines, jewelry and even watches decorated with images of animals can serve as such objects.
The manufactories, producing time meters, gladly made advances in such needs. Recently, the number of those, who want to buy watches decorated with animalistic miniatures, increases. Accordingly, the range of such accessories becomes wider.
Each watchmaker gives his own answer to the question how an animal should be depicted on a time meter. Any, even the most unusual technologies, many of which were considered to be long forgotten at all, or simply never occurred to anyone before, are used today. Along with enamel miniatures and engravings, the masters often decorate wrist watches with lacquering or use parts of insects or reptiles for decoration.
Although dismissing all these subtleties, we can note one more unquestionable advantage of such accessory. Watches with a picture of animal or bird are at least very beautiful.
Winged watches from Angular Momentum
In 2011, the manufactory “Angular Momentum” released a new collection “Artisan”. This is unique watches that are created in a single copy in accordance with individual customer's requirements. The models included in the collection “Artisan” have one common feature – sophisticated miniatures, depicting falcons.
These birds of prey are perfect hunters. A prey can’t escape from their watchful eyes and quick wings. To strike its prey the falcon ruches to the pursuit at a rate that can reach 200 miles per hour.
The images of this bird were often used in heraldry. Like an eagle, the falcon, pictured on the arms, could mean excitement, victory over the enemy, triumphant ascent to the heights through all obstacles. Also this bird is seen as a symbol of freedom, liberty from the shackles, both moral and spiritual. In Egypt, the falcon was revered as the "King of Birds". Even then the falconry was practiced. However, the feathered predator wasn’t considered just as a hunting bird, but also the embodiment of heaven origin. No wonder one of the most revered gods in Egypt - Horus – was depicted as a falcon or a man with a falcon head. In Scandinavia, there are also ancient legends and myths associated with this bird. Only in a figure of falcon god Odin could descend to the earth. In addition, its image was associated with another Scandinavian god - restless Loki.
The company “Angular Momentum” adorned the watches “Falcon Collection” with images of falcons. To draw that majestic bird on the dial the masters used a unique method, called “Verre Eglomisé”. The term was invented in the XVIII century by French designer Jean-Christophe Glomi. It means a special technique of cold painting and gilding, which was used back in the pre-Roman times. It is used when the image is applied on the reverse side of glass. When a watch is decorated by this technique, the miniature is performed on the inside of sapphire crystal that covers the dial. The picture is painted, etched by special chemical compounds or engraved on metal sheets, covered with silver or gilded, and fixed to the glass by special gelatin glue. The result is a charming miniature, acquiring fascinating depth due to natural glossy luster of the glass.
Verre Eglomisé is sometimes used today. In 2004, the craftsmen of Angular Momentum adapted and improved it to decorate watches with such images. Today, this is still the only company, which uses this method, creating incredibly skillful and rare models of time meters.
The wrist watches from “Falcon Collection” are equipped with the historic in-house movement, created by Angular Momentum in 1950s. It is self-winding and enclosed in a classical round case of white 18-karat gold. By customer request, the masters of the manufactory can make watches with diameter ranging from 38 to 42 mm. The crown is decorated with gorgeous black "cabochon” diamond. The dial is decorated with the image of falcon. The time is indicated with the help of digits that appear in the aperture, which is located between the staples. They are applied on a special rotating disk “à Souscription”. This unique design with a complex movement is patented by Angular Momentum. It allows enjoying an exquisite miniature and easy time reading. The watchmakers of Angular Momentum claim: Verre Èglomisé is so complex that it is impossible to create two absolutely identical images. So, those who want to have a unique time meter should buy a watch from “Falcon Collection”.
Another novelty of 2011 from Angular Momentum - a unique collection “Poetic Interworlds”. This is unique wristwatches with caliber FHF 96, equipped with the function of manual winding. The reverse side of sapphire protecting the dial is adorned with a miniature of a bird. This creates the effect that the feathered creature as if soars inside the watch.
The first model from the collection “Poetic Interworlds”, released by Angular Momentum, is called “Sparrow”. This unique watch has a case of white 18K gold, which consists of two parts. Its diameter is 40.1 mm and thickness makes up 13.2 mm. The dial of “Sparrow” is made from an unbroken piece of mother-of-pearl. The hands are made of white gold. The polished hour markings are made in the style of “bâton”. The crown is rather big - its diameter is 7 mm. It is encrusted with amethyst cabochon.
The wristwatch is decorated with a figure of sparrow, situated beneath the sapphire crystal, performing the function of the top cover of case. This bird symbolizes freedom, hope, renewal of life. In Eastern culture its image is associated with returning home after a long journey. Besides, sparrow is considered to be a talisman, keeping off evil spirits. Subjects with a picture of this bird are believed to help the owner to find true love. The watch “Sparrow”, decorated with a figure of a flying sparrow, may become not only a favorite accessory, but a mascot. Such time meters are highly valued by the collectors, as they are made by order, and therefore such watches are rare. Amateurs of unusual works of art will like to buy the watches “Sparrow” too.
The sparrow on the dial of time meter is made by the technique “takamaki”. This is an ancient method of creating enamel reliefs, invented in Japan. The relief figure of sparrow is decorated with platinum and gold sputtering. Precious metals of four colors are used for its finishing. The eye of sparrow is made of onyx cabochon. To create an impression of soaring bird above the dial, the figure is fixed on a separate plate. It is made of sapphire crystal of 0.4-mm thickness. The transparent case cover is situated on top. It is also made of double-bended sapphire glass.
Exotic animals on “Continuity Collection” watch dials from Blacksand Genève
The new collection, named “Continuity Collection”, has marked the recently begun 2012th year for the Swiss company “Blacksand Genève”. These watches are devoted to rare species of plants and animals. The company “Blacksand Genève” tried to draw attention to the preservation of rare species of fauna and flora in that way.
All models from the collection “Continuity Collection” are equipped with special automatic caliber BS Calibre 1999 with a power reserve of 110 hours, disk time indication, by means of which the owner can determine hours and minutes. For this purpose the dial has two apertures in positions of "12" and "6" hours. At "3" hours there is an aperture of day time indication in the form of a small crescent. All watches are made by hand. To date, “Continuity Collection” has two models, released by 100 copies of each.
The watch “Continuity Collection Koala” has round case of rose gold. It is decorated with enamel miniature, depicting koala with a baby among the stalks of bamboo. The shoots of plants are encrusted with diamonds. The case rim is decorated with the same 80 precious stones. The enamel miniature is made by difficult technique of “grand feu cloisonné”. Koala does not carry any special symbol. However, this rare and incredibly charming animal is as unique as the wristwatch, decorated with its image.
Another new product from Blacksand Genève – the model “Sea Turtle White”. Its case is also made of rose gold. The figures of four sea turtles of different sizes are situated on the dial. They are made of pink gold and encrusted with diamonds. The bezel is also finished by the same precious stones. Turtle is an ancient symbol of wisdom. All connoisseurs know the myth that the Earth, from ancient people’s point of view, rested on the backs of three elephants standing on the shell of that animal. In that regard, turtle acquired another meaning. It became a symbol of world order and stability amid the chaos.
It’s not that easy to buy watches from “Continuity Collection” because of their limited edition. However, let’s hope that the manufactory “Blacksand Genève” will please the fans of exotic animals with other models, decorated with similar unusual animals.
On the occasion of Baselworld 2012 the watch “Sea Turtle” is also updated. As an experiment, they’ve tried to move the turtles to the cases of white gold too. Two updated models will certainly attract the attention of those who would like to buy a watch of bright colors. One of the variations of “Sea Turtle” has a white-blue dial and grey satin strap. Another watch is made in white-green tones. This model of “Sea Turtle” has a strap of pale-green color.
Revival of ancient arts and crafts by Vacheron Constantin
Last year the Swiss manufactory “Vacheron Constantin” expanded the “Metiers d'Art” collection with three new models. Their half-skeletonized dials are decorated with lacquer miniatures, depicting fish and aquatic animals. For their creation an ancient technique under the title “Maki-e” is used.
To create such miniature the ebauche for dial is first lacquered in black, and then apply the outlines of future picture by special adhesive compound. To reveal the picture the base is sprinkled with gold or silver powder. The result is a kind of precious metal evaporation.
The “Maki-e” technique was often used several centuries ago to decorate various accessories and household items for the Eastern emperors and nobility. Then, that tradition was almost forgotten. However, in Japan some old enterprises, engaged in lacquering, continued functioning, although the demand for such delights was low. Last year that unique technique of painting drew the attention of Vacheron Constantin craftsmen.
To create the unique models “La Symbolique des Laques 2011” the Swiss manufactory resorted to cooperate with the Japanese company “Zohiko” once again. It was founded in 1661 in Kyoto. The masters of Zohiko carefully preserve the ancient traditions of lacquer painting. This is one of the oldest and most famous companies in Japan, engaged in the creation of such traditional miniatures.
The ladies watch from the collection “La Symbolique des Laques 2011 Carp & Waterfall” (ref. 33222/000G-9550) has a round case of 18 carat white gold with diameter of 40 mm and thickness of 7,5 mm. It is waterproof at the depth of 30 m. The wristwatch “Carp & Waterfall” is equipped with the strap of black Mississippi alligator leather with a fastener, made of gold. The dial and back case of this model have round holes, through which you can examine the movement in detail. At the front side this hole also performs the function of dial with two central gold “sword” arrows. They are set in motion by an ultra-thin movement, based on the caliber 1003 SQ at 18 stones with Poincon de Geneve. Its thickness is only 1.64 mm at diameter of 21.1 mm. In total, this unique movement consists of 117 parts. It is equipped with manual winding. The power reserve of this model is 31 hours. The dial and back case of “Carp & Waterfall” are decorated with a lacquer miniature, made by “Maki-e”, representing two carps on the background of a waterfall. This watch can be considered as a real talisman, attracting luck. In Japan carp is one of the favorite symbolic characters. Its image is associated with fortune, material well-being and spiritual achievements of man. In addition, if the talisman shows two carps (like on the watch dial of “Carp & Waterfall”), it helps to create harmonious relationships between man and woman.
Another novelty of the series “La Symbolique des Laques 2011” from Vacheron Constantin – the watch “Frog & Hydrangea” (ref. 33222/000R-9546). It has the same characteristics as the previous model and differs only by the miniature, shown on the dial. At this time, the masters of Zohiko have chosen images of frogs and hydrangeas as a subject for their creations. The symbolic meaning of these flowers is love and admiration. Hydrangeas are associated with perfection that is why they are usually presented to a person to express admiration for him. In its turn, the frog was considered to be a symbol of the goddess Isis in Egypt. In Asia, that amphibian was known as a sign of spring awakening of nature and a harbinger of the first rains.
Another novelty from the collection “La Symbolique des Laques 2011” by Vacheron Constantin is the watch “Turtle & Lotus” (ref. 33222/000R-9548). The watch “Turtle & Lotus” can become a true mascot for its owner, as the ornament it is decorated with has a powerful symbolic value.
The turtle became a respected animal in many cultural traditions. The Indians believed that it was the first living creature that appeared on Earth. The Sumerians worshiped the turtle as a king of the sea. The Greeks and Romans from ancient times perceived the turtle as a symbol of fertility and feminine. According to legend, it emerged from the sea foam, like Aphrodite. The Taoists believed that the turtle was a symbol of the incarnated "Greater Triad" or, in other words, the illustration of their world. The upper domed part of the shell symbolized the vault of heaven, beyond which the boundless space stretched. The interior space and the body of turtle itself were associated with the Earth and inhabiting people. Finally, the lower side of the shell was seen as a symbol of water. The Christians initially associated the turtle with the forces of evil. Later, however, that image became a symbol of a decent woman, keeper of the hearth. But the Chinese revere the turtle along with the mythical phoenix and dragon as one of the most spiritually given beings. In China, the animal is called "Black Warrior", referring to such qualities as endurance, strength and longevity.
For the Eastern people the lotus means the realization of hidden potential in every sense of the word. In Egypt, this beautiful flower is a symbol of the Sun, as it is from lotus, according to local legend, where god Ra, the patron of this star, appeared. This image is associated with the processes of creation, birth and renewal of strength and energy, and immortality. For the Indians the lotus, like the turtle in the Chinese culture, became an embodiment of the Universe. The Buddhists believe this flower is a symbol of spiritual revelation, wisdom, and even associate its image with the state of nirvana. The fact is that the lotus grows from mud but, going through its dirty layer, still comes into the world pure and beautiful.
According to the idea of Vacheron Constantin watchmakers, the watch “Turtle & Lotus” should please its owner not only with a skillful performance, but also by those kind and beautiful values that are represented by lotus and tortoise, depicted on the dial.
All models from the collection “La Symbolique des Laques 2011” are released in limited quantities. Only 20 lucky bargees will be able to buy watches of this series.
Sweet feelings from Chaumet
The watch company “Chaumet” celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2011. In honor of that auspicious date the manufactory released several unique time meters, decorated with images of jewelry bees.
This insect has a multi-faceted symbolism. On the one hand, the bee is the embodiment of such positive human qualities as diligence, thrift, honesty, chastity. This insect is often called the symbol of the starry sky.
However, the image of bee has another, more mystical meaning. In ancient Greece, that insect was considered to be a special allegory of the soul. This meaning has been preserved till our days in Islamic countries. Since ancient times, the bees have been depicted in the tombs, as they symbolized immortality and resurrection. Those insects were believed to have connections with the other world, even with the Erebus, so their images accompanied the funeral rites. In part, that belief was caused by the fact that in winter bees hibernated, which could be easily interpreted as a temporary death, followed by revival.
The women's watch “Bee My Love” (ref. W16187-36K) from the company “Chaumet” isn’t decorated only with the image of the most industrious insect, but also with its honeycombs. This combination has long been seen as a symbol of eloquence and poetic gift. Another proof - the name of the watch. “Bee My Love” - a clever play on words, alluding to the phrase “Be my love”. Adding one extra letter, the verb "be" is transformed into the word "bee".
The women's watch “Bee My Love” by Chaumet is created from white or pink gold. Its round case has a diameter of 35 mm, making this model look elegant even on a delicate wrist. It is waterproof at the depth of 30 meters. The bezel and staples of strap are encrusted with round diamonds. Four more precious stones are placed on the dial, serving as hour markings. Also, the wings of the bee with its little body of white opal cabochon are adorned with diamond.
The watch “Bee My Love” has enamel dial with an unusual structure. In the gold base the craftsman has made the cells that repeat the shape of a hexagonal honeycomb. They are filled with enamel of various colors. The resulting miniature acquires an extraordinary volume and fascinating depth. This effect is caused by a unique method of creating images. The dial is both an enamel miniature and mosaics. In the center of the dial on the head of jewelry bee the hour and minute hands of gold are fixed. They are set in motion by the movement, equipped with automatic winding function. Due to it, the women's watch “Bee My Love” can continue functioning for forty hours. Each model is equipped with a textile strap with the color matching the enamel, decorating the dial. The watches “Bee My Love” are performed in four colors. However, each model is created by masters of Chaumet in a single copy. Those women, who are lucky enough to buy a watch “Bee My Love”, will have a unique accessory.
Graff Diamond Swan – a swan for Princess
A couple of hundred years ago among the ladies of high society it was considered to be indecently to appear in the world with such usual accessory today as women's watch. The jewelers came to the aid. They cleverly hid the women's watches in brooches, bracelets, pendants and other jewelries acceptable in the society. To see the hidden dial, they had to know a secret. It could be hidden in the bracelet buckle, behind the finishing parts.
The jewelry company “Graff” decided to return to this tradition. The new women's watch “Graff Diamond Swan”, created by its masters, is intended primarily to decorate the woman. However, this stylish piece of jewelry is also a quite functional time meter.
The ladies watch “Graff Diamond Swan” has a case of white gold in the form of a swan. This beautiful bird has long been reputed as a symbol of purity, nobleness, rebirth, courage and wisdom. Sometimes the image of a swan is also associated with prophetic powers. In various legends and fairy tales, this bird may serve in positions of both good and evil power. Typically, the mythical battles of black and white swans are allegories for the eternal confrontation between life and death, good and evil. In addition, this bird is considered to be a sign of poets. For the first time such interpretation of the image of the swan was given by ancient Greek poet Aeschylus. He was the author of the term "swan song". Aeschylus claimed that the bird had a gift of prophecy, and therefore felt its impending death. At such times, the swan supposedly begins to produce enchanting sounds that compose a song of wondrous beauty. Unfortunately, this legend has not been confirmed. The modern scientists say: the swan cannot sing. Although these birds emit rather squeaky sounds, one can’t call them a beautiful song even by a long stretch of imagination.
The case of “Graff Diamond Swan”, in the form of a swan, is decorated with diamonds. The large stones of "Marquis" cut were used to finish the wings. The model “Graff Diamond Swan” - a watch with a secret. The oval dial with two central hands is securely hidden behind the finishing elements. To find out the time one need to gently lift and pull the swan’s wing to the side.
The “Graff Diamond Swan” case is fixed on a wide bracelet. It has a wavy relief. It seems that the swan rows on the shimmering water. Such similarity is created by the diamonds, sputtered on the bracelet. 832 precious stones are used for its finishing. Totally the wristwatch “Graff Diamond Swan” is adorned with more than 900 white diamonds. Their total weight is approximately 54.7 carats.
For the connoisseurs of fine jewelry there is one more nuance, in addition to price, which might prevent from buying Graff Diamond Swan. The fact is that the company “Graff” has created only one piece of this unique model.
Happy anniversary, fans of Chopard!
The jewelry house “Chopard” was founded 150 years ago. The watches under this brand don’t have a long history, but they have already gained the fame of true works of art. This is why, working on a new collection, which is timed to be issued to the anniversary of the company, the masters of Chopard haven’t pass by the time meters.
All exclusive jewelries, released by the house in 2011, were devoted to various animals. According to the authors of the anniversary collection, each animal adorning one of the 150 anniversary novelties is a symbol of one year from Chopard’s life.
The series “Animal World” has completed with the novelties, adorned with the pictures of animals. The miniatures do not show only the little animals, but also their natural habitat. The watches of the anniversary series have round cases of 18-carat white or pink gold. They all have decorative bezel, decorated with a row of round white diamonds. The dials of these models are decorated with mother-of-pearl. Depending on a kind of animal adorning these watches, it is performed on the background of its usual nature landscapes. The polar bear is located in the ice, the koala is depicted sitting on a tree, the flamingo stands at the water in the reeds, the panda is hidden in the bamboo, and the monkey is hanging on the vine. Every wrist watch from the “Animal World” series by Chopard is provided with a textile strap of bright color, matching the miniature on the dial. The movement of these models is quartz.
However, these jewelry watches are not the only novelty, by which the company “Chopard” pleased its fans last year. The Swiss manufactory released the original collection called “LUC XP Urushi” in collaboration with Japanese artist Kiichiro Masumuro. At home he is considered to be a "living national treasure". Masumuro came up with nine dials, reflecting the basic philosophical concepts of oriental culture, for Chopard,. The images are executed in the traditional technique of Urushi. This is the art of making lacquer miniatures, the secrets of which have long been passed from generation to generation in Japan.
To make a special varnish, necessary to create such paintings, wood resin “Urushi” is required (its name is translated "varnish-tree"), which grows mainly in Japan and China. It can be harvested only once a year, and in small quantities. The resin obtained should go to the store for a period of 3-5 years. When it is gathered, it is subjected to special processing, while the structure of substance becomes like honey. Then the watches can be decorated with obtained organic varnish. For the surface of the dial acquired the necessary relief, creating deep image, this substance is added with gold dust in small quantities prior to application. To create clear outlines the master of Urushi uses bamboo pipes and tiny brushes made from rat wool. Few masters are able to do such a fine job. One of these virtuosi is Kiichiro Masumuro. He worked in cooperation with old “Yamada Heiando Company”, which was the official supplier to the Japanese emperor, on the Urushi miniatures, decorating watches from the collection “LUC XP Urushi”.
The subjects of images on the dials of time meters from Chopard represent five main components of the Universe, according to ancient Chinese philosophy. The watches from the collection “LUC XP Urushi” are adorned with five mythological creatures: phoenix, unicorn in the moonlight, dragon with a blue horn, tiger, and fabulous beast “genbu”, which is something between a tortoise and a snake. They represent fire, earth, wood, water and metal. The other watches of “LUC XP Urushi” are decorated with red fish, peacock and jungles, inhabited by many animals.
All nine models are made by hand, and Masumura personally supervised all stages of creating the miniatures. The images of animals turned out remarkably poetic. The connoisseurs of oriental culture and philosophy will certainly want to buy watches of Chopard from the collection “LUC XP Urushi”. In addition, the unique method of finishing makes them a desirable acquisition for any collector.
Big Bang Boa Bang - a reptile on the wrist from Hublot
The famous Swiss watchmaker “Hublot” also uses animal prints to design its time meters. In particular, the model “Big Bang”, which can be called a base for many successful experiments with the design, carried out by the masters of the company. Last year, that watch from Hublot acquired a spotty paint. And the leopard pattern covered not only the strap, but the dial of the model.
In 2012, one of the members of the Hublot management, Jean-Claude Biver, has presented a new exotic watch “Big Bang Boa Bang”. Its strap and dial repeat python skin coloring.
The watch “Big Bang Boa Bang” (ref. 341.PX.7818.NR.1978) has a case of 18-carat pink gold. Like the base model, it is made in the form of a circle, the diameter of which is 41 mm. Its front and back cases are made of sapphire glass, which is treated with anti-glare coating from inside. The case is waterproof at the depth of 100 m.
The watch “Big Bang Boa Bang” is equipped with a fixed bezel from rose gold. It is fixed to the case with six screws. The bezel is incrusted with 48 precious stones: light-green tsavorits, pale-green sapphires and baguette-cut tourmalines. There is another version of “Big Bang Boa Bang” (ref. 341.PX.7918.NR.1979), executed in brown tones. Baguette andalusites and quartz were used for its finishing. The dial of “Big Bang Boa Bang” is adorned with a print, repeating Boa python skin pattern. The same pattern is applied to the strap, made of hard rubberized denim. The indices and Arabic numeral "12", and eight diamonds of 0.14-carat total weight are used as hour markings.
The watch “Big Bang Boa Bang” is equipped with an automatic movement, based on in-house caliber HUB4300. It consists of 276 parts, including 37 gems. The movement of this model has a refined finishing. It has bevelled bridges and skeletonized rotor. The details are rhodanized, and all screws are black due to PVD coating. The movement is equipped with automatic winding. As a result, the watch “Big Bang Boa Bang” has a power reserve equal to 42 hours. The time in indicated by the three central hands made of pink gold.
The masters of Hublot have provided “Big Bang Boa Bang” with a number of additional functions. For example, the date indication. Its aperture is located on the dial between "4" and "5" hours. In the position of "3" hours there is an additional dial with small second hand. Also, this model has 12-hour and 30-minute counters, which are located near the markings of "6" and "9:00" hours respectively. The watch “Big Bang Boa Bang” is equipped with chronograph function. To start the countdown and reset the counters there are two special buttons on the right side of the case. The crown is situated between them.
Those people, who do not like the shade of pink gold, the Swiss company “Hublot” offers to buy the watches “Big Bang Boa Bang” (ref. 341.SX.7917.NR.1979) with a brown pattern and “Big Bang Boa Bang” (ref. 341.SX.7817. NR.1978), decorated in green color, in a more modest case of stainless steel. However, the fans of original models, combining sporty design with an unusual finishing, should hurry up. All four models are produced in limited number of 250 pieces.
Extraordinary Dials by Van Cleef & Arpels: jewelry journey
Recently the craftsmen of the Watch and Jewelry House “Van Cleef & Arpels” have been carried away with the theme of unusual travels – the plots of novels by famous French geographer and writer Jules Verne. The masters of Van Cleef & Arpels have devoted several models to these science-fiction works: the wristwatches “From the Earth to the Moon” and “Five Weeks In a Balloon”.
The collection “Extraordinary Dials”, released in 2011, became a logical continuation of the theme of unusual journeys. The designers of the brand “Van Cleef & Arpels” have tried to imagine what a man could see during his round-the-world balloon flight.
The wristwatches from “Extraordinary Dials” can be divided into two groups: models on the theme "Africa" and "Antarctica". It's funny that one of the dials is decorated with the image of polar bears, which actually do not live in Antarctica. However, when a lady sees so charming ladies watches, then this fact for the sake of their beauty can be neglected.
All models of “Extraordinary Dials” have round cases of 38-mm diameter. They are made of 18K white gold. All ladies watches of “Extraordinary Dials” are provided with decorative bezel, incrusted with diamonds. They are equipped with straps made of genuine alligator leather, the color of which harmonizes with the design of dials. The craftsmen provided watches with their favorite brand central fastening with straps and golden clasps, incrusted with diamonds. All watches of “Extraordinary Dials” are equipped with ultra-thin movement with manual winding, based on the caliber Piaget 830P. It sets in motion two central hands, made of white gold, which indicate hours and minutes.
To create the miniatures on the watch dials the watchmakers from Van Cleef & Arpels used not only encrustation and various techniques of cutting stones, but also "champlevé" enameling, marquetry (mother-of-pearl carving), engraving. The enamel miniatures for this collection are created by Dominique Baron, who cooperates with many famous manufactories, as she is an excellent expert today. Each dial is made by hand. Dominique Baron applies the enamel carefully with a tiny special sable brush, which might consist of just a few hairs. Another celebrity, who participated in creating the collection “Extraordinary Dials”, is famous engraver Olivier Vaucher. In particular, he was involved in the processing of mother-of-pearl, decorating these women's watches. Vaucher had to put the image of the multi-colored pieces, the size of which sometimes didn’t reach even a half of millimeter in thickness.
The women's watch “Lady Arpels African landscape Elephant Décor” is one of four models from “Extraordinary Dials”, revealing the theme of Africa. It is decorated with the image of elephant with a calf. Their figures are crafted in white gold. The picture of elephant encrusted with diamonds, and a piece of mother-of-pearl is used as its tusk. The dial of “Lady Arpels African landscape Elephant Décor” is adorned with enamel jungles, made by "champlevé", and pearly sky with clouds. The leather strap of the model has a brown color.
Another model of the African series is the watch “Lady Arpels African landscape Giraffe Décor”. Its dial shows a part of Savannah, made of enamel. At the right side of the miniature there is a giraffe with its baby at the time of the meal. These figures are carved from white gold and adorned with diamonds. The miniature is completed with a bright strap of rich green color.
The women's watch “Lady Arpels African landscape Antelope Décor” will reminds its owner of the fairy tale about a golden antelope. The figures of two graceful animals of precious white metal with diamond incrustation are depicted on the background of the dawn sky and waterfall, beautifully carved from mother-of-pearl.
The model “Lady Arpels African landscape Hippopotamus Décor” - a watch with a picture of two hippos swimming in the river. The water surface is a skillful mosaic from mother-of-pearl pieces of different colors. The clouds are also made of it. The sky and tree branches at the top of the case are made of enamel. This women's watch has a bright accent - pink leather strap.
The women's watch “Lady Arpels Polar landscape White Bear Décor” - one of four models, devoted to arctic landscapes and animals. Despite the fact that polar bears do not live at the South Pole, they have become the characters of the miniature, decorating its dial. The Arctic landscape is created from pieces of colored mother-of-pearl. In the foreground there are figures of bear, made of white gold with diamonds and two small gold bear-cubs. The picture is completed with a snow-white leather strap.
The dial of “Lady Arpels Polar landscape Seal Décor” is adorned with the figures of two seals. They are also carved out of white gold and completed with incrustation. The dial built from pieces of mother-of-pearl is not less attractive. The watch “Lady Arpels Polar landscape Seal Décor” is adorned by a real north light in the sky over the Arctic waters and icebergs. It is made from a skillfully processed piece of mother-of -pearl. This watch has a purple leather strap.
A similar mosaic decorates the dial of the model “Lady Arpels Polar landscape Penguin Décor” too. In addition, this watch is decorated with images of penguins. Their figures are made of white gold. They have black enamel backs. Their breasts are encrusted with spessartites, sapphires of unusual yellow color and diamonds. The watch “Lady Arpels Polar landscape Penguin Décor” is equipped with a light-purple leather strap.
The last model from the collection “Extraordinary Dials” by Van Cleef & Arpels is called “Lady Arpels Polar landscape Whale Décor”. Its dial is depicted with whales of white gold with diamonds, frolicking in the mother-of-pearl deep sea. The picture is complemented with a dark-blue leather strap this watch is equipped with.
Any model of “Extraordinary Dials” is truly unique. And not just because all women's watches from this series are released in an edition of 22 copies. Richness of colors and variety of subjects provide every beautiful lady with an opportunity to buy a watch, which seem to be designed by the masters of Van Cleef & Arpels specially for her.
A few birds from Jaquet Droz
The wrist watches, issued under the brand “Jaquet Droz”, combine truly genius movements with exquisite finishing. They are assembled only by hand. Many wrist watches from Jaquet Droz are produced not just in a limited series, but even by individual orders. This underlines their exclusivity. The manufactory pleased its fans by novelties at Baselworld 2011.
The masters of the company “Jaquet Droz” were obviously inspired by the images of birds for the creation of series “Petite Heure Minute Relief”. It includes three models, slightly different with their materials. However, all these watches have some common features. First of all, this is round form of the case. It is made of 18 carat pink gold. The diameter of cases is 41 mm. On its right side the crown of the movement of a quite large size is situated. All watches from the collection “Petite Heure Minute Relief” are equipped with satin straps of brown or black color. The movement for these models is based on automatic caliber Jaquet Droz 2653. The power reserve is approximately 68 hours. The masters of Jaquet Droz moved the time scale and the hour and minute hands from the center of “Petite Heure Minute Relief” dials upwards. With this in its lower part a room for cleverly executed animalistic miniatures appeared.
The watch “Petite Heure Minute Relief” (Ref. J005023571) has a mother-of-pearl dial, which shows a bird sitting on a branch near the nest, where a little chick sits. The figures of the birds are crafted in 18K pink gold. They were decorated, being covered with patina that gave a particular texture to the image. Exactly the same miniature from rose gold decorates the dial of the model “Petite Heure Minute Relief” (Ref. J005023570). However, this watch was not supplemented with patina. A soft lacquer shine of black onyx gives special nobility to the image. The watch “Petite Heure Minute Relief” (Ref. J005033207) has an enamel dial, resembling ivory in color. Its case is a little bit more than the other models in this collection - 43 mm in diameter. At the bottom of the dial there are three monochrome birds. To create this miniature the masters of Jaquet Droz have used the so-called hot enameling. It is applied to the dial in several layers. Each of them is fired for fixing. The craftsmen have to use a microscope to get such a clear and elegant picture. Each model in the series “Petite Heure Minute Relief” is available in a quantity of only 8 pieces.
New rarities from Panerai
As you know, rabbit was the symbol of past 2011 by the Eastern calendar. In honor of that animal the Swiss watch company with Italian roots “Officine Panerai” released a special collection of time meters, which was sold only at three stores in Shanghai and Beijing. The watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand” from this series has a metal top cover, on which a stylized rabbit is depicted. This model is released in a limited edition of totally 25 pieces.
The watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand” has a round case with a diameter of 44 mm. It is made of a solid piece of stainless steel. The metal has a matte texture due to special processing that makes watches highly durable. The case is waterproof even when submerged in water at the depth of 50 pm. It is provided with leather strap with steel buckle, but a replaceable rubber strap is supplied too. The back case is transparent. It is made of sapphire glass, as well as the front part. The men's watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand” has a grey dial with large black indices. In position of "3" hours the date aperture, provided with a slight convexity for better readability, is situated. On the opposite at "9" hours, an additional miniature dial is situated.
The idea of miniature, decorating the men's watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand”, is borrowed from Chinese masters, performing an ancient traditional art of paper cutting. This is an engraving, depicting a rabbit among the plants. It is engraved on the top of the steel case by hand. A special technique that is used by the masters of Officine Panerai allows making the image in color. Most likely, those who were lucky enough to buy a watch from the limited edition “Panerai Luminor Sealand”, were not captured only by a stylized image of the rabbit. The Swiss brand “Officine Panerai”, which is famous worldwide for its innovative approach to the creation of time meters, ensures the highest quality, reliability and accuracy of the movement of these models.
Last year, the collection of rarities from the company “Officine Panerai” was completed by another novelty. At that time, the men's watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” (Ref. PAM 817) was adorned with the image of a majestic eagle. The head of the noble bird is engraved on a steel top case of the model.
This men's wristwatch has become a continuation of the collection “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition”. Just like the other models in this series, it has a round case with a diameter of 44 mm. It is made of AISI 316L steel of particular strength. As a result of special polishing the case acquires a matte texture. This makes the watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” more durable, reducing the risk of acquiring minor scratches and chips in everyday wear. The case is waterproof at the depth of 50 m. The watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” is equipped with a leather strap. However, the buyer receives a silicone one in compete set too. In addition, the set includes a miniature screwdriver. You can easily replace the straps with it, selecting more appropriate to a situation, or simply to your mood.
The men's watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” is equipped with an automatic movement, based on a reliable caliber Panerai OPIII. It is certified by Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres. Due to this fact, the men's watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition”, equipped with the caliber Panerai OPIII, has the status of the chronometer, and therefore its indications are highly accurate. The dial of the model is white. The black hour markings of large size are especially noticeable on it. The men's watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” has an additional dial at "9" hours and the date aperture at “3” hours. The dial is protected by the sapphire crystal and stainless steel top case with engraving. The image of the eagle is made by hand. The work on one piece of such complex engraving might take the master up to a hundred of hours.
The watch “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” will be to avid hunters’ taste too. The inside part of the top case is mirror. When it is opened, the men's watch transforms into a kind of gadget, which can give a light signal. The model “Panerai Luminor Sealand Special Edition” is issued in a limited edition. Only 100 lucky people will manage to buy the watch, engraved with an eagle's head.
Phoenix in nephritic cage from Longio
Gone are the days when the phrase "watches from China" caused an association with the forgeries of famous Swiss brands. Now the watch manufactories of this country produce the most real works of art. The Chinese watches combine high-quality movements and original finishing in ethnic style.
The manufactory “Longio” has been created not so long ago - in 1996. However, today the Chinese company has already acquired worldwide recognition. The wristwatches under the brand “Longio” are famous for skillful tourbillons and rich finishing.
In 2011, that Chinese company presented a completely unique watch in its kind – the model “Longio Mythos”. As a material for its manufacturing the nephrite "Hetian” is chosen. This kind of mineral has an unusual white color and is considered to be one of the rarest, and therefore, the most valuable. This jade is mined in the province of China called Xinjiang. For several thousand years, the products made from this material were allowed to be worn only by the elite of society and the nobility. Jade was the hallmark of Chinese emperors and high officials, such as judges.
To date, the watch “Mythos” is the only time meter in the world, made of this mineral. The case and bracelet are crafted in white jade. Their round dial is covered with black enamel. In the left part at "9" hours a skillful tourbillon, made by the Chinese craftsmen, is situated. The remaining space is taken by the phoenix figure. It is carved by hand from 18K yellow gold. This work is so delicate that the master had to use a microscope to accomplish it. As a result, the watch “Longio Mythos” became not just a beautiful and unusual accessory, but a real mascot. According to Chinese mythology, the phoenix (aka Feng Huang) symbolizes the power, wealth and prosperity, as well as high virtue. The watch “Longio Mythos” was presented at Baselworld 2011. This model is a fusion of traditional Chinese culture and craftsmanship of the company watchmakers, creating movements by their own designs.
Menagerie by Cartier
Every year the watch company “Cartier” produces original models, decorated with images of animals. To realize the designers’ ideas a variety of materials and methods are used. To create an animalistic collection Cartier applied enamel painting, mosaic, marquetry (wood incrustation), and incrustation with precious stones. The choice of subjects is as various.
In 2011, the series of watches “Cartier d'Art” with images of animals was completed with two models, dedicated to bears. One of them, called “Rotonde de Cartier bear motif” (Ref. CRHPI00540), has an enamel dial, made by unique technique “paillonné”. It consists in the following: prior to the application of enamel a thinnest sheet of silver or gold is applied on the base of the future image. As a result, the final image is filled with a soft sheen, given by the substrate of precious metal. To depict a polar bear on a dark night sky, the craftsman uses a special transparent enamel of white and dark-blue colors. The resulting miniature acquires fascinating depth. In the center of the dial the blued hands are situated, indicating the current hour and minute.
This model has a round case, the diameter of which is equal to 42 mm. It is made of white gold and is waterproof at 30-m depth. The wristwatch “Rotonde de Cartier bear motif” has a crown, adorned with elegant engraving and sapphire cabochon. It serves for manual winding of movement, based on the caliber 9601 MC. The strap is made of black alligator leather. Both men and women will be able to buy “Rotonde de Cartier bear motif”. However, they should hurry up - only 40 copies of this model are issued.
For those, who do not like arctic landscapes, “Cartier d'Art” collection has watches “Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Jumping Hours bear motif” (Ref. CRHPI00329) with brown bear. The image of the animal on the dial of white gold is made of ten kinds of wood. As a result of using "marquetry", the bear's head is made of carefully fitted pieces of chestnut, willow, oak, walnut, holly, pink, gray and variegated maples. This work takes the master about 160 hours. The total number of parts of the image is 38.
The watch “Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Jumping Hours bear motif” is equipped with manual winding movement on the basis of caliber 9905 MC. It is responsible for a rather unusual time display technology. The hours are indicated by alternating Roman numerals, which appear in a special aperture at the top of the dial. The minute scale is applied along the inner bezel of the watch.
The movement is set in a round case, made of 18-carat white gold with a diameter of 42 mm. It is water-resistant at the depth of less than 30 meters. On the right side of the case the crown, incrusted with "cabochon” sapphire, is engraved. The watch “Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Jumping Hours bear motif” is equipped with a brown alligator strap. This model is released in a limited edition. The number of copies makes up 50.
The collection “Cartier d'Art” has been completed with other models, the dials of which are decorated with appliqués. A variety of materials are used for creating such images. For example, the women's watch “Rotonde de Cartier koala motif” is decorated with an appliqué of straw. It depicts the head of koala. The strongest stalks of straw are chosen for making the picture. They are cut, straightened and polished, and then the pieces of appropriate form of seven different colors are picked up to create the image. This is a very laborious work, as the pieces of straw should fit tightly to each other. To equip one women’s watch “Rotonde de Cartier koala motif” with such dial, the master spends almost 40 hours. The ready koala is not lacquered to preserve the texture and natural soft luster of straw. The unique dial of “Rotonde de Cartier koala motif” is placed in a tiny case of 18-karat white gold. It has a round form of 35-mm diameter. The bezel is decorated by a row of 43 diamonds. The women's wristwatch “Rotonde de Cartier koala motif” is equipped with black alligator strap with a gold buckle.
In the center of the dial there are hour and minute hands. They move thanks to the movement with manual winding, based on caliber 9601 MS. The ladies watch “Rotonde de Cartier koala motif” refers to a limited edition. The back case of each of 20 copies is provided with a personal serial number.
For finishing the dial of “Santos-Dumont XL horse motif”, more traditional materials are used. However, in combination with an unusual technique of execution, the gems this mosaic consists of look very extraordinary. The masters of Cartier laid a white horse with red bridle on the dial with small pieces of opal, obsidian, multicolored jasper. The watch “Santos-Dumont XL horse motif” has been presented at the Geneva Exhibition SIHH 2012 in two versions: the craftsmen added 10 more pieces with bezels, incrusted with "baguette" diamonds, to 40 base pieces of the unique model. The cases of these works of horlogerie have a rectangular shape. They are made of noble white gold. All watches “Santos-Dumont XL horse motif” are equipped with alligator straps, brown color of which perfectly matches the shades of precious stones adorning the dial. The case of the model is waterproof at a depth not exceeding 30 m. A manual winding movement, based on caliber 430 MC, is placed inside. It sets into motion the blued steel hands, by which “Santos-Dumont XL horse motif” indicates the current hour and minute. This model equally well suits to both men and women.
In order to decorate the watch “Large model Tortue Cockatoo motif”, Cartier's watchmakers used a charming combination of enamel and mother-of-pearl. To create a dial for a single copy of this model, up to 50 hours of work might be spent.
The wrist watch for women “Large model Tortue Cockatoo motif” has a pink dial with a picture of parrot. It is made by “champlevé” technique. Pale-pink hue was chosen for the background. In order to achieve deep image, the semitransparent enamel is used by several layers. The parrot's beak and eyes are made of black enamel, its tuft - of yellow. The feathering is created of mother-of-pearl of white and pink colors. To create this unique mosaic the artist first cuts the stripes from mother-of-pearl, and then with the help of skilful engraving gives the pieces a shape of feathers. Then the craftsman arranges them on the dial in the form of flakes. This creates an illusion of depth and three-dimensional image, and the parrot looks like alive. This lovely dial is placed in the barrel-shaped case, which is made of 18-karat white gold with rhodium coating. The watch “Large model Tortue Cockatoo motif” has a decorative bezel, making up a whole unit with the staples. This surface is sputtered with diamonds. Their total weight reaches 2.1 carats. The same precious stone adorns the top of the crown. 134 diamonds were used to decorate the women's watch “Large model Tortue Cockatoo motif”. The water resistance makes up 30 m. In the center of the dial the craftsmen of Cartier placed the hour and minute hands of graceful form. The caliber 430 MC with manual winding is responsible for their movement. The women's wristwatch “Large model Tortue Cockatoo motif” is equipped with the straps, made of genuine alligator leather, which has a pale-pink color. This feminine, elegant model refers to the limited series. Only 50 representatives of the fair sex will be able to buy the watch “Large model Tortue Cockatoo motif”.
The watch “Ballon Bleu de Cartier large model monkey motif” (Ref. CRHPI00410) is another new product of 2011 from the company “Cartier”, decorated with animalistic enamel miniature. The craftsmen and enameller jewelers recreated an image of monkey, hidden in the foliage, on the dial, made of yellow gold. The animal is decorated with diamonds of cognac color. The background is made of enamel of eight shades by “champlevé”. The alligator strap also has a green color, matching the dial. The women's watch “Ballon Bleu de Cartier large model monkey motif” has a round case with bezel, encrusted with white diamonds. It is made of white 18-karat gold. Its top case is made of sapphire crystal. The diameter of the watch “Ballon Bleu de Cartier large model monkey motif” is 42 mm and its thickness is 13 mm. It protects the movement from moisture at a depth of 30 meters. The ladies wristwatch “Ballon Bleu de Cartier large model monkey motif” is equipped with in-house caliber Cartier 049.
This model is also released in a limited edition. Total 25 people will buy watches “Ballon Bleu de Cartier large model monkey motif”.
Precious reptiles from Bulgari
Some manufactories are not limited by the image of favorite animal on the dial. A particular attention should be given to watches, the very appearance of which resembles an animal. Usually in such cases the watchmakers pay attention to various reptiles.
For several years, the jewelry company “Bulgari” has been completed the collection “Serpenti”, dedicated to snakes. In 2012, two new items from this series have been presented to the lovers of luxury accessories, manufactured under this brand. The wristwatch for women “Bulgari Serpenti” looks like a real snake, double twisting the wrist of its owner. The head of jewelry reptile is provided with dial with hour and minute hands, set in motion by a quartz movement Bulgari caliber B031.
The main advantage of this model is, of course, the original design. The watch “Bulgari Serpenti” is made of 18-carat gold of soft pink hue. The precious body of snake is divided into sections, each of which is decorated with black or white enamel, depending on the model. In addition, the links are encrusted with diamonds. Totally the women's watch “Bulgari Serpenti” is decorated with 346 precious stones, the total weight of which makes up 3.5 carats. The bracelet is made by the Italian masters, after that it is send to Switzerland. There the watch “Bulgari Serpenti” is equipped with a practical movement with a power reserve of two years.
The dial of this model is also incrusted with diamonds. To decorate twelve hour markings, the masters used 33 small stones weighing 0.06 carats total. Another six large diamonds weighing 0.6 carats adorn the case itself. The watch dial is protected by sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating. The women's watch “Bulgari Serpenti” is a bright, bold accessory that is worthy of the most elegant wrist.
Watch from Quinting – a sapphire aquarium for carps
The watches of Quinting brand surprise with their unusual performance. In 1999, the company introduced the first model with a transparent movement - the fruit of seven-year work of Swiss craftsmen.
At the exhibition BaselWorld 2012 the company Quinting has presented a new product from series “Art Collection”. The watch “The Koi Fish” is decorated with images of five dancing carps, drawn at the transparent glass, replacing the familiar dial. Three of them are located on the top case, the rest - on the lower case. In addition, over time these discs of sapphire glass are rotating slowly that creates the illusion of continuous movement of fishes. This animation effect is created by four electric motors, which are practically impossible to see by naked eye.
All details of unique movement “Quinting Tech 5” this watch is equipped with are made of sapphire. The choice of this material by the masters of Quinting is determined by two reasons. First, sapphire is only little inferior to diamond by its strength. Second, this stone has a transparent texture. This property has attracted the masters of Quinting. Creation of movement from sapphire is a complex and painstaking work. The individual miniature parts are fitted at microscopic precision. If the master makes a mistake at least for a hundredth of millimeter, then the item will be irrevocably damaged.
The watch “The Koi Fish” has two central “sword” hands, made of stainless steel. This metal was used in manufacture of the model’s case. It has an average diameter (43.8 mm) at a rather impressive thickness - 14 mm. The watch “The Koi Fish” has hour markings in the form of black Arabic numerals, applied on the white space of inner bezel. The model’s case remains water resistance at a depth, not exceeding 50 meters. The strap, with which the watch “The Koi Fish” is equipped, is made of white genuine leather.
The choice of the dancing carp as a decoration for this model is not by chance. This fish is not only able to swim against the current, but also to overcome such difficult obstacles on its path, as waterfalls. In the future the company “Quinting” also plans to produce other variants of this model – “Golden Fish” and “Kingfish”, on the dials of which other fishes will be shown.
You can buy the watch “The Koi Fish” from official representatives of the company “Quinting”. The special charm and exclusivity of the models produced under this brand is impossibility to forge their patented sapphire movements. The watch “The Koi Fish” does not only demonstrate the delicate taste of its owner, but also extensive knowledge in the field of watchmaking, which allowed choosing such an unusual time meter.
Design experiments from Artya
Talented watchmaker Ivan Arpa, working on his new models, does not limit his imagination at all. His company under the title “Artya” became famous all over the world for the materials, used for decorating the models: standard metals and gems, as well as quite unexpected ashes, cut bills, real bullets, or even parts of the tombstone of a Roman legionary.
In 2011, Ivan Arpa introduced some more unusual options for decorating his models. The new watches from the collection “Artya Beasts Series” contain particles of living beings.
Creating the women's collection, the master turned to one of the most beautiful creatures on our planet - the butterfly. He adorned his new women's watches with a unique mosaic from colored wings of these insects.
The model “Artya 1/1 Tropical Butterfly” has a round case with a large engraved crown, which is made of stainless steel. The metal has an unusual ribbed texture. To give the case of this women’s watch such an unusual form, he subjects it to electric current through the transformer by Tesla. It keeps water resistance at a depth, not exceeding 50 m.
This model is equipped with a reliable self-winding movement, made in Switzerland. Thanks to it, the women's watch “Artya 1/1 Tropical Butterfly” has a 42-hour power reserve. This model has functions of hours, minutes and seconds indication with the help of three central hands of an unusual asymmetric shape.
The dial is decorated with a composition, comprising a part of tropical butterfly’s glittering wing. A special technology that allows maintaining the structure of the wing for a long time was used in manufacture of this model. Buying the women's watch, the lucky winner receives a 24-month warranty on this masterpiece. However, the wing of a butterfly on the dial is not the only part of a living being, used for finishing the model. The Swiss watch “Artya 1/1 Tropical Butterfly” is equipped with a black strap, for the manufacture of which the cane toad leather was used.
The result of works on creation of the unique model was so impressive that Ivan Arpa decided to make its other variations, adorned with wings of butterflies. The watches from the collection of Artya “Farfalla” were presented at GTE 2011. The name of this line is translated from Italian as "butterfly". The watches “Farfalla” have a black dial, decorated with a collage of colorful pieces of different butterfly species’ wings. The fragile composition is protected by solid sapphire crystal. In the center of the dial there are three hands, counting seconds, minutes and hours. Depending on the model, they may be created in avant-garde style, or have a more classic design. The watches from the collection “Farfalla” have the same automatic movement, as the model “Artya 1/1 Tropical Butterfly”. Their round cases are made of stainless steel with the use of Tesla transformer for the finishing that became the brand style of Artya. The straps for these models are made of cane toad leather. They have a neutral black color that emphasizes the brightness of the colorful butterfly wings.
Ivan Arpa stresses that he’s created these watches with great respect for living beings. No one butterfly was specifically put to death to create the collage. The use of natural leather for manufacturing the straps does not harm the environment either, because the cane toads have become a real disaster for Australia. Every year, these reptiles enlarge their natural habitat, damaging other inhabitants of unique ecosystem of the country. The fact is that cane toads are very poisonous. The predator who’s tried to eat this treacherous reptile receives the strongest poison. Toad poison paralyzes the animal, which dies as a result. Australia carries out large-scale campaigns to reduce the number of these reptiles. We can say that Ivan Arpa makes his contribution to this effort, using the skin of cane toads to decorate the straps.
Today, the watches “Farfalla” are also made by order. Their cases can be made of stainless steel or bronze. The customer can choose the color of the wings, which will compose a unique collage on the model’s dial.
However, Ivan Arpa has not stopped on using the fragments of butterfly wings. The new model from the company “Artya” was devoted to the inhabitants of sea. In July of 2011, the fans of the brand enjoyed the watches “Fish or Fly”, decorated with real fish scales. Previously, it belonged to freshwater fish, caught from the Lake Geneva. To create the wristwatch “Fish or Fly”, seventeen different techniques, generally not applied in the traditional approach to the creation of time meter, were used. In particular, the company applied forging, the technology of collage creation of organic materials, the subtleties of which are kept in secret by the watchmakers of Artya, and also the use of non-standard dyes and pigments. The Swiss watch “Fish or Fly” has a black dial, decorated with iridescent fish scales. The case of this model is made of stainless steel. Just like the other models, it has been processed by electric current of high voltage. The case of “Fish or Fly” has a round shape. On its right side there is a big crown, adorned with engraving. These watches are equipped with Swiss automatic movements. It sets in motion the hour, minute and second hands, located in the center of the dial.
The strap of “Fish or Fly” is made of blue perch leather. It was stitched by hand. To create this strap the leather, tanned by a special technology, is used. As for the water resistance, the watch “Fish or Fly” has surpassed the perch itself, with scales of which it is decorated. The avid anglers know that this fish submerses to a depth of no more than 30 meters. The case of “Fish or Fly” is water-resistant at 50-meter depth. This unique model is implemented in a single copy. So it will be very difficult to buy the watch “Fish or Fly”, although its cost cannot be called transcendental.
One of the most unusual models in the collection of Artya “Beasts Series” is the unique piece, named “Coprolite”. This watch has received such name due to the material, used for decoration of the dial. It was presented to the public at the Geneva exhibition “Baselworld 2012”, evoking a wide range of emotions - from excitement or bewilderment to a real shock. Coprolite is, to put it mildly, a relic of the Jurassic period, or, if to call a spade a spade, fossilized droppings of dinosaurs. To the question on why they didn’t use the bones of prehistoric dinosaurs for decoration of “Coprolite”, Ivan Arpa answers that their waste products are much cheaper, and it is easier to get them.
The round case of this watch can be made of stainless steel or bronze. It has an unusual texture that resembles the cracked bark of a tree. The case is water-resistant at 30 meters. It is equipped with black strap of poisonous Bufo marinus (or cane toad) leather. On the back case of “Coprolite” there is a round aperture, protected by sapphire glass, through which the reliable Swiss movement can be seen. The dial of the chronometer, contrary to expectations, do not produce a feeling of revulsion. It has a steel shade, completed with rust effect. And of course, in its lower part there is a small piece of coprolite, which made that Swiss watch famous. In the center of the dial there are three skeletonized hands of unusual shape. With their help the watch “Coprolite” counts hours, minutes and seconds. No more extra functions. The Swiss watch “Coprolite” is released in a single piece. It costs a little bit more than 11 thousand dollars.
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