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Articles | Interview

Architecture of time

Ars longa, vita brevis…

Architecture and horlogerie

Throughout their existence, people have been creating
architecture of Italy new and new forms of art, trying to beautify their lives and all the surrounding objects. At the moment we have a huge variety of arts. In addition, a characteristic feature can be traced: all types and branches of contemporary art are so closely linked that sometimes one simply can’t exist without another. Considering the art of creating time meters, it is impossible not to notice a close connection with other human activities. This article focuses on the role of such ancient art, as architecture, in watchmaking and vice versa.
The word "architecture" comes from the Greek "senior builder" or "master carpenter" that is architecture is the art of designing and building structures, houses, building complexes, etc. The main goal of architecture is to create an environment that will be necessary for people and good for their lives and work. In addition, architecture certainly relies on advanced technical possibilities and aesthetic preferences of a particular society. The connection with horlogerie is there: creating a watch, the watchmaker or "the chief builder of time" presents to the world not just an accessory useful in today's society, suffering from a lack of time, but a device, which measures that time, meets all the latest trends in fashion and design.
Patek Philippe (Ref.1527) 1943Great architecture is inextricably linked with the time, since creating a building that will survive the architect who created it and stand for a few decades or centuries is the ultimate goal of this art. Time keeps the best architectural buildings and works, which are often perceived by mankind as cultural symbols, works of art, unparalleled masterpieces. Architecture differs from painting, for example, by its objects created in accordance with the needs of people. The same situation is in watchmaking. Simply put, a house without doors, as well as a watch without time indication, cannot be considered a final result, a complete object, acceptable subject to satisfaction of human needs. Historical civilizations are characterized by their achievements in architecture, every country has its great architectural and cultural monuments. Thus, the architecture of Ancient Greece is considered to be one of the greatest, and the Swiss watches are standards of watchmaking, the top of the world chorology.
No doubt, architecture is a rather expensive art, but, as the history proved, there is not a more profitable investment than creation of an architectural masterpiece. According to statistics, over the past 30 years, nearly 300 million of people visited Athens, Rome and Venice just to look at ancient buildings. Since there are many such structures in Italy, Greece, and Egypt, the visitors “invest” significant amounts in the economy of these countries, the welfare of which depend on them for 50%. As for money, rotating in a circle of "sellers" and "customers of time", the figure is also quite high. It is estimated that total sales of Swiss watches over a relatively short period from January to November 2011 made up about 658 million dollars (in 2010 - $ 550 million over the same period). Hong Kong became the leader in the standings in terms of the market, the second and third places went to the United States and China, respectively. Purchase of vintage watches that go under the hammer at auction for fabulous sums is considered to be a surprisingly profitable investment. The world's most complicated pocket watch
Henry Graves Supercomplication 1933 “Henry Graves Complication” from the great company Patek Philippe, created in 1933 and sold in December 1999 at Sotheby's for $ 11 million, can serve as the most striking example. Another record is the men's watch from Patek Philippe with astronomical complications (reference 1527), released in 1943, which went under the hammer for 5.7 million dollars. Such high price is due to the fact that the model was produced by Patek Philippe in only two copies by request of the Stern family. I am afraid even to imagine how much this model will cost in some time! Well, you see, it's more than a reasonable investment.
By the way, such professions as architect and watchmaker have much in common. Watchmakers are like architects after all, each of them builds his "structure", his clock showing the time and protected by that time. Creating a watch that will pass through the time and remain a true masterpiece of art and an example for future generations of artists is a great and daunting task. To be successful, a watch architect needs to create such a watch that does not show the time, but embodies it. By the way, some famous watchmakers started their careers as architects. For example, the Swiss watch company “CYROS”, founded by cousins, one of whom was Julien, an architect, is an outstanding example. This once again proves close connection between architecture of buildings and architecture of time.

Role of clocks in landscape architecture

Zeitglockenturm bellAccording to one of existing classifications, there are three types of architecture: architecture of three-dimensional structures, including houses, public buildings, such as stadiums, schools, shops, industrial buildings (factories, etc.), landscaping, associated mainly with landscapes and park spaces (gazebos, fountains, bridges), and urban planning, covering creation of new towns and villages, or renovating of existing buildings in settlements. As it often happens in a particular branch of art, all the above types of architecture have very blurred boundaries.
If we talk about the role of watches
Cazes's watch in architecture, you should pay special attention to the landscaping. This close link can be traced from back to very ancient times. First and foremost, the amazing sundial is a magnificent decoration of ancient architecture objects. The famous Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius, who lived at the time of Caesar and Augustus, described about 13 types of sundials in his famous essay "Architecture", among which he mentioned a horizontal hollow hemispherical clock, not quite typical for northern Europe, – hemisphere, based on the principle of gnomon (element, which throws a shadow). The most famous sundial in architecture is, for example, the tower clock in the Swiss city of Basel. This clock is specific for gnomon and afternoon marking that are in the meridian plane. Generally, in Switzerland, the motherland of horlogerie, architecture overlaps with the work of watchmakers, the architects of time, at each step. As for architectural "mechanics", the main attraction of Bern is the bell Zeitglockenturm, the eastern facade of which is decorated with an astronomical clock created in 1527 – 1530 by famous Swiss mechanic Kaspar Brunner. Modern "time architect" and great watchmaker Jean Cazes, a member of the Academy of Independent Watchmakers, is known as the creator of the world's largest architectural clock, called "Heart", placed on the ninth floor of Cornavin Hotel in Geneva. For designing the incomparable clock, only the pendulum of which has a length of about 30 meters, Jean Cazes entered the Guinness Book of Records. Another important decoration of Geneva landscape is the famous and beautiful flower clock, located in the English Garden. This amazing clock is made of carefully selected flower beds of about 6,500 flowers. The diameter of floral dial, which is an indispensable ornament of Genevan park architecture, is 5 meters.

flower clock, located in the English Garden

"Architectural" clock by Andy Warhol

Andy WarholMerging together, architecture"Coca-Cola green bottle" and horlogerie create something inexplicably mysterious and magnificent. These two kinds of art are characterized by the objects, which are almost timeless. First originated in the minds of watchmakers, the idea of creating clocks with images of architectural buildings is embodied today in various forms. If we look at the recent history, we can see that one of the first creators of architectural clocks was incomparable Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), who had noticed a unique philosophy and charm of such time meters. In today's world Andy Warhol is known more as an American artist, designer, and also producer, writer, collector and publisher of magazines. This legendary man is considered to be the founder of such a trend in contemporary art, like pop art or mass culture. And only a narrow circle of admirers of watchmaking know about his role in contemporary culture of creating time meters with architectural theme. Andy Warhol looked so deeply into the usual things that his masterpieces of art sometimes shocked by their simplicity and uniqueness. Some researchers believe that thanks to Andy Warhol common people were able to see the world in all its beauty and depth. That is why his works are still valued by people so high and are the best-selling works of art in the world. This is paradoxical, how the artist was able to do everyday things such brilliant works of art! Think of the "green bottle of Coca-Cola" or "Banks of Campbell Soup", which for me remains one of the most understandable and at the same time mysterious paintings in the world. I think that there’s no need to speak about the fact that Warhol's works are in the highest price range of the art market. I’ll just give some figures. For example, in 2008, his canvas "Eight Elvises" was auctioned off for $ 100 million, and in 2010, the sales of Warhol’s works crossed $ 300 million. However, let's get closer to watchmaking.

canvas "Eight Elvises"

Movado Andy Warhol Times/5 watchBeing a versatile man, artist Andy"Banks of Campbell Soup" Warhol tried himself in various fields. He was a director, publisher, sculptor, filmmaker and, most interestingly for us, he worked with the famous Swiss watch company “Movado”. As the history of the watch manufactory tells us, in 1988, Movado made a tremendous "invasion" into the world of high art, creating unique watches, designed by unique Andy Warhol. The watch “Movado Andy Warhol Times / 5”, the concept of which is designed by the American artist, has as many as five dials showing the time of five zones. Unfortunately, the artist died in 1987, unable to enjoy the success of his creation after the release of the watch in 1988. However, Warhol left an envelope with photographs of each of five dials. These are black and white photographs, which show the buildings of West Manhattan (New York), taken in a certain sequence, as if from the window of a moving car in the city. According to some researchers, two photographs are pictures of the same building, but from different angles. So, five square dials of 24 mm x 38 mm, connected to each other like a bracelet, show pictures of the American city, taken on the camera by Andy Warhol, and two contrasting red “Baton” hands. The total length of the watch-bracelet is about 220 mm. Inside the cases, made of blackened and polished stainless steel, there are five separate quartz movements of Swiss factory ETA. On the reverse side of each rectangular case an individual number and signature of Andy Warhol are engraved.
The watch “Movado Andy Warhol Times/5” was released in 1988 in an amount limited by only 250 copies. That same year, all models, designed by a legend of pop art, were sold out. The initial price of watches in 1988 was 18,500 dollars. Further, the price on these watches varied in the following range:
Four years later, in 1992, that watch went under the hammer at Antiquorum auction for a record amount - 22,590 U.S. dollars. Let me note that after 1992 the price did not rise higher.
In 1994, a collector from London purchased the legendary watch “Movado Andy Warhol Times/5” at Christie's auction for 9 042 dollars.
Later, in 1997, at Antiquorum the watch’s price was as much as 18,827 dollars, and in 1999 it fell to 8 280 dollars.

Movado Andy Warhol Times/5 watch

At the beginning of the XXI century the price on a unique model slightly decreased. Thus, at Christie's in 2001, a buyer from Geneva offered 6 407 dollars for that watch. In 2003, at Antiquorum the watch by Warhol went for 5 980 dollars, and in April 2006, it was sold in Hong Kong for 10,637 dollars. However, in October 2006, Warhol’s watch was purchased at the same Antiquorum for 8 370 dollars, and at Christie's - for 6 000 dollars.
In late 2008, one of the collectors purchased the watch by Warhol for 8 400 dollars. In May 2009, a fan of Andy Warhol from Hong Kong bought the watch with the architecture of New York at Christie's auction for 6 156 dollars, and in October at Sotheby's another fan of Warhol bought it for 8 125 dollars. At 2011, the average price on the watch at auctions Antiquorum and Sotheby's made up 6200 - 8130 dollars.
As we see, to this date, the initial price on the watch Movado Andy Warhol Times/5” has reduced three or four times, but Andy Warhol is still a legend of pop art and the whole world of art, as well as an idol and role model. In addition, the artist has become one of the first "adventurers", who came up with the brilliant idea to merge the beautiful architecture and the art of watchmaking. Later, many well-known watch companies, trying not to miss the moment, began to produce whole ranges of watches, the design of which is intertwined with architectural motifs. These are engravings of the most significant architectural buildings of the world on cases and dials, photographs of buildings, as well as special architectural lines presenting in the design of various watch models.

Collection of Panerai in honor of the world's largest cities

Luxury and attraction of time meters with decorative architectural motifs were noticed by the famous Swiss watch company with Italian roots “Officine Panerai” long ago. The manufactory created a series of exclusive models with unique engravings on back cases, portraying the individual architectural structures from around the world. The choice of a country and city for decoration of watches from Panerai was not by chance. To date, the Swiss company “Officine Panerai” has more than 20 boutiques in various cities around the world. In honor of these cities, the manufactory has developed a number of exclusive watches from the series “Boutique Edition”. By the way, each of strictly limited models is sold exclusively in a boutique of the city, to which the watch is devoted, that’s it is extremely difficult to buy the Panerai watches with architectural decoration today.
The first wristwatch of this "architectural" collection, to which I would like to draw the attention of our dear readers, is a model dedicated to Officine Panerai hometown, Florence. Initially, it was in the Italian city of Florence where the first office of the company with an incredibly rich history was situated. The men's watch “Panerai Luminor Boutique Edition Firenze PAM 411” is released in a limited edition of 200 copies. On the back of the 44-millimeter case of polished stainless steel one of the oldest and most famous architectural structures in Florence - Palazzo Vecchio, built in 1298, currently serving as a city hall, is engraved. It may seem that the black dial of this model is less interesting than the engraved back case, but this is not so. The traditionally clear dial has two central hands and an additional second dial. All markings and Arabic numerals are processed with fluorescent paint.

Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Firenze PAM 411 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Geneve PAM 419 watch backside

Since we are talking about magnificent architecture of Italy, it is worth paying attention to the following watch of Panerai, designed in honor of Geneva. This men's wrist watch “Panerai Luminor Boutique Edition Geneve PAM 419”, presented in a steel case of 44 mm diameter. The main feature of this model is the engraving of the legendary fountain Jet d'eau de Geneve, which is the main sight of the Italian city and one of the largest fountains in the world. The height of this exciting element of landscape architecture is 140 meters, and the speed - 500 liters per second.
In 2010, the Swiss watch company “Panerai” presented a few more men's watches from a special series, which focuses on the company’s boutiques located around the world. These are watches with architectural motifs of such great cultural centers as Hong Kong, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai and Taipei. All models are characterized by luminescent orange indexes on dials, brand “sandwich” cases, as well as unique engravings on back cases. In addition, all models are produced in strictly limited quantities and go on sale in boutiques of corresponding cities.
Let's start with the watches “Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Hong Kong” (reference PAM 402) and “Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Taipei” (PAM 403). Both models have identical specifications, and differ only by engravings. The men's watch, dedicated to Hong Kong, has the back case, engraved with a picture of the city financial center’s architecture. The watch “Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Taipei”, the production of which is limited by only 101 copies, is decorated with the image of the skyscraper Taipei 101, located in the capital of Taiwan. The amazing skyscraper has 101 floors, and its height is 509.2 meters with a long spire. By the way, the Taipei 101 building is the second highest in the world after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Two models described above have the following functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date display and 10-day power reserve, also second time zone (12-hr scale with am/pm indication). In the 44-millimeter steel cases the manufactory self-winding caliber P. 2003 at 25 stones is installed, and the water resistance of the case with front sapphire crystal reaches 300 meters.
Other interesting models are the men's watches “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Shanghai PAM 410” and “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Madrid PAM 408”, which also are similar in their technical specifications: the watches come "into motion" thanks to the caliber P. 2002/3, providing functions of hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve (about 8 days). The quite massive case of polished stainless steel, water resistant at 100 meters, is 45 mm in diameter. The front part is covered with thick sapphire crystal in the spirit of Panerai. However, these two models have one major difference - engravings on the back cases. Thus, the model “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Shanghai” shows a view of Shanghai, one of the largest cities in China and in the world, located in the Yangtze River delta. The back case of the watch “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Madrid”, issued in a quantity of 20 copies, is also engraved with an amazing picture - Plaza de Cibeles, where a set of marble sculptures in the neoclassical style is situated. The main attraction of this park is the famous fountains, which have become symbols of the capital of Spain, Madrid. This is these unique fountains that adorn the wrist watches from Panerai.

Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Hong Kong PAM 412 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Taipei PAM 413 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Paris PAM 414 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Tokyo PAM 415 watch backside

And finally, let’s take a look at other "architectural" model “Panerai Luminor Marina”, designed in honor of Hong Kong (PAM 412), Taipei (PAM 413), Shanghai (PAM 420), Madrid (PAM 418) and Paris (PAM 414). The watches in honor of the first four cities are characterized by engravings on the back cases, as described above, but the magnificent watch “Panerai Luminor Marina Paris” is decorated with the images of architectural construction, which every fifth inhabitant of our planet associates with Paris, the Eiffel Tower, which is the national symbol of France. According to some sources, the watch engraved with Taipei was released in a limited edition of 50 copies, the model of Hong Kong - 200 copies, with Shanghai - 150 copies, and with Madrid - 100 copies. The men's watches “Panerai Luminor Marina” in honor of the company's boutiques are fed with vital energy by the caliber OP II with manual winding and functions of hours, minutes and seconds. The caliber lives at 17 stones with a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. The power reserve is about 56 hours at fully winding. The 44-millimeter case is made of stainless steel, and the rate of water resistance reaches 300 meters.

Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Beverly Hills PAM 416 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition New York PAM 417 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Madrid PAM 418 watch backside Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition Shanghai PAM 420 watch backside

In addition to the above watches, the Italian-Swiss company “Panerai” prepared a few "surprises" for their clients from around the world: the men's wrist watches in honor of such important world centers like Dubai and Tokyo. From the point of architectural view, these models do not carry heavy loads, as opposed to the watches we have discussed previously. Besides, in order to honor the American fans, the company “Panerai” has created two models of watches “Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT”, engraved with the Statue of Liberty, towering over New York (reference PAM 407), and Beverly Hills (PAM 406), a city in the district of Los Angeles. The release of these watches is restricted only by 20 pieces. The design of such masterpieces with the architecture of a city - this is truly a brilliant idea. I think everyone wishes to buy a watch with a picture of his hometown or the place, calling only positive emotions in him. The series of "architectural" watches from Panerai, of course, is a cherished dream of any collector and fan of great architecture objects.

“Pride” of Audemars Piguet

Octavio GarciaThe Swiss watch company - Audemars Piguet - with a rich history and enormous merit in watchmaking several years ago introduced the world its "pride" - unique watches, dedicated to the greatest three countries, with images of the most remarkable things of the world architecture. All models with explicit architectural style have became a source of pride not only of the manufactory, but all the world collectors, who managed to get a great exclusive from Audemars Piguet.
The first "pride" of Audemars Piguet is the men's wristwatch from the collection of Audemars Piguet “Royal Oak” called “Pride of China”, issued in 2008. By the wristwatch “Royal Oak Pride of China” the Swiss company Audemars Piguet has made a huge step forward on the way to conquer the Chinese market and united high skills of watchmaking and centuries-old culture of China in its creation. The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China” is designed solely for the Chinese watch market. This model is characterized by a traditional octagonal bezel, as well as elements of the Chinese symbols. During the grand presentation of watches in honor of China, Mr. Octavio Garcia, the chief designer of the company “Audemars Piguet”, has demonstrated several important drawings and explained the importance of cultural symbolism that presents on the watch dials. For example, separate indexes-strokes, except Arabic numeral “8”, which, according to the Chinese worldview, symbolized good luck and happiness, were selected to indicate hours. In addition, the back case has a wonderful engraving, which shows the world-famous Great Wall, passing close to Beijing and representing a powerful symbol of eternity. By the way, I’ve read an interesting fact about this building: it turns out, when laying stone blocks of the Wall, the Chinese builders used their favorite rice porridge, adding slaked lime. Considering the length of the Great Wall of China with different branches, making up about 9 thousand kilometers, the Chinese people ventured to spend all the stocks of rice and doom themselves to a terrible famine. Speaking seriously, the Chinese motifs and unique philosophy of Audemars Piguet made an indelible impression on modern fans of manufactory. The men's watches can be bought in the Chinese company's boutiques, but even in China it wasn’t easy to get the model, as the unique wristwatches with main architectural structure of the Middle Kingdom were released in limited edition of 250 copies. We see that the cultural component of watches is great, the same can be said about the technical characteristics of the model. The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China” is a combination of different materials: stainless steel for the 39-millimeter case and bracelet, also 18-karat rose gold for the bezel, crown and vertical links of bracelet. The water resistant at 50 meters watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China” can indicate hours, minutes, seconds, Moon phases, power reserve (60 hours) and date. Within the watch there is an automatic caliber 3123, the balance of which oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China watch backside

A year later, in 2009, Audemars Piguet honored another country - Mexico, releasing the men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico” in a traditional case of “Offshore” series with octagonal bezel. The men's watch went on sale in two versions: in 100-meter waterproof case of 42-mm diameter of titanium and pink gold of 18 carats. It is almost impossible to buy the Swiss watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico”, because the series is strictly limited (titanium watches - 200 copies, gold watches - only 100 models). The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico” works on the automatic caliber 2326/2804 with chronograph function, 38-hour power reserve and hand Cotes de Geneve finishing. These wristwatches as if filled with Mexican spirit, they are devoted to the 200th anniversary of the liberation of Mexico. First of all, the chronograph dial combines white, green and red colors, also presenting on the national flag of Mexico. And the back case is engraved with a unique structure, which can be referred to one of the most important elements of landscape architecture, - the statue of the Angel of Independence, also known as EL Angel. This statue, erected in honor of the Independence of Mexico, is located in the central part of the state's capital, Mexico City.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico backside watch Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico watch backside Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico

And finally, the third “pride” of Audemars Piguet is the men’s watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina”, presented by the Swiss company in 2010 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the independence of Argentina. In fact, this watch honors the May Revolution in 1810, which became the first step towards freedom of Argentine. The concept of this model is similar to the idea of previous watches for Mexico, but, of course, has its own features and cultural elements. First of all, this is an exquisite engraving on the back case, which magically transports the viewer into beautiful Argentina, namely, to Buenos Aires. The case is provided with the image of Cabildo Hall, which was built in colonial times and used as a government building. Now it is the most important sight and monument of the past. Currently, in the Cabildo Hall there are the National Museum and the Museum of the May Revolution. The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina” was presented in two limited versions: in titanium case with steel bezel (reference 26365IS.OO.D305CR.01) and in case of pink gold of 18 carats (reference 26365OR.OO.D801CR.01). Only 100 lucky owners could buy the watch made of titanium, and the golden models are owned by 50 fans of Audemars Piguet. The automatic caliber 2326/2840 of 38-hour power reserve and balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour provides smooth operation of the watch and has the following functions: hours, minutes (hands in the center), seconds (additional dial), chronograph with the central second hand, 12 -hour and 30-minute counters, as well as tachymeter and date. Both titanium and gold models in honor of Argentina are presented in watertight cases up to 100 meters of 42 mm in diameter and 14.7 mm in thickness. The leather straps are neatly tucked under the case: the blue strap with steel buckle is attached to titanium, and the brown belt with gold buckle - to pink gold. Speaking of the wristwatch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina”, I could not resist saying about the box of this watch. This is a true work of art. The box is made of high quality wood, and its surface is varnished in pale blue color, duplicating the national flag of Argentina.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina (Ref. 26365IS.OO.D305CR.01) Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina (Ref. 26365IS.OO.D305CR.01) watch backside Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina (Ref. 26365OR.OO.D801CR.01) watch backside Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina (Ref. 26365OR.OO.D801CR.01)

Historic world architecture in Piaget Polo

The Swiss watchmaker “Piaget” is a true connoisseur of great works of art, including architecture. In order to pay tribute to the great works of world architects, the company created a number of luxury watch models with images of famous cities in the world. The manufacturer of Swiss watches has chosen the unique collection “Polo”, created in 1979 and already became a true legend. All these watches are specific by their design, in which case, bezel and bracelet are merged into a single unit, creating a unique inter-temporal harmony.

The first city admired by the Swiss company “Piaget” and by the whole world is the Italian beauty, Venice. One of the sights in Venice is an amazing clock tower, built on St. Mark's Square. This tower and its clock are of great historical importance: the Venetians have been relying on this clock for centuries, assigning dates, planning carnivals, under the arch of this tower one of the most enigmatic personalities of Italia - Giacomo Casanova - was not seen once. At the top of the Clock Tower there are bronze figures of two men, who beat every hour by hammers; a little bit below, on the facade, a winged lion statue with a book in left paw sits, symbolizing St. Mark himself, who preached Christianity in cities near the Venice lagoon in the IX century AD. In addition, the winged lion is associated by people all over the world with a magnificent symbol of Venice. A bit lower, in the tower wall niche, there is a gilded bronze statue of Madonna and Child. Now, when we’ve made a short excursion into the history of Italy, it has become clear what cultural values the Clock Tower and its clock carry.

Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice (Ref. G0A31164)

Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice (Ref. G0A31164)The Swiss watchmaker Piaget playedclock tower restoration in Venice a considerable role in preservation of that architectural monument of the past, as in the 90s of XX century it was Piaget that was honored to become an assistant for the restoration of the great Venetian Clock at St. Mark's Square. In honor of such grand event, after a 10-year restoration process, the company has designed and released a watch of amazing beauty, dedicated to one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Venice. This men's wrist watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (Reference G0A31164) is the only one of its kind. Being one of the best representatives of Haute Horlogerie, the Swiss watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (G0A31164) is characterized by noble functions, characteristic to the models of “Piaget Polo”. The in-house caliber 608R with manual winding is characterized by flying tourbillon, the carriage of which is visually separated from the main plate of the movement, hidden under the dial plate. The current hour is displayed by central disk, and the minute hand pulls the tourbillon carriage, which goes all the hour-long way at a bright blue dial together with the minute pointer. The level of “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (G0A31164) finishing fully complies with the most complicated time mechanics. The round case is made of white gold, and the dial with elegant Roman numerals is made by delightful enamel technique Grand Feu. Moreover, the additional decorative elements were manufactured separately and then attached to the dial and case. The sides of the case are decorated with splendid images of the architectural treasure of Venice - a sculpture of winged lion, placed on the Clock Tower of the Italian city. The unique watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (G0A31164), issued in 2008 in a single copy, of course, became one of the most important pieces in the treasury of happy collectors, who managed to buy that watch for quite a tidy sum.

movement of Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif watchmovement of Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif watch

Another valuable piece from enamel collection “Piaget Polo” is the watch devoted to Chinese capital Beijing. This is the exclusive men's watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing” (G0A33505). Inside the elegant gold case there is movement 608P with 70-hour power reserve and functions of hours and minutes. The carriage of flying tourbillon is fixed to the minute hand, as in previous version of "architectural" watch after Venice. The men's wrist watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing” (reference G0A33505) is produced only in three unique copies. On the dial in red enamel there is an image of Chinese Dragon with a pearl of its life. Dragon in Chinese culture is of great importance, it is a symbol of power, prosperity and wisdom. However, in terms of architecture, the sides of the round case, along which the Great Wall of China stretches, are of the greatest importance to us. Perhaps, our dear reader has noticed that this antique architectural construction of China is paid special attention by the watch companies, which decorate their watches with images of the Wall. Speaking of these watches, I should add that Piaget offers a special service to its honorable clients - an opportunity to create their own watches of their dream. That is, a collector can choose the design of his time meter, starting from precious stones and ending with enamel decoration of dial. The masters of Piaget fulfill any order, any whim of the collector.

Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing (Ref. G0A33505) Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing watch backside Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing (Ref. G0A33522)

Paris is considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. Everyone dreams to visit this city at least once in a lifetime. But you don’t have to go to France to make a travel to Paris and get inspired by its beauty – you can just buy the watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044), which was first exhibited by the Swiss manufactory at SIHH 2008. This watch preserved Swiss roots only in its extremely accurate movement, but the design of the time meter is full of architectural charm of Paris. Let's start with the "face" of the model. The black and white dial of “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044) is an interesting piece of art, it has hour and minute hands moving in an interesting way, the last of them has "shouldered" the flying tourbillon carriage, rotating around its axis per 60 seconds, and around the dial - respectively, per 60 minutes. A delightful sight! In addition, the watch dial is provided with the names of the most famous personalities who were born in Paris, inscribed by a talented master. If you turn the watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044), you can plunge into fascinating "tour" of the main architectural structures of Paris. The "tour" begins with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle, then we come to the Louvre and its glass pyramid, go through Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower, approaching the bank of the Seine. Continuing, we go in the Tuileries Garden, passing the Grand Palace and the arch of La Defense. The Swiss company “Piaget” has released only three of these masterpieces with individual numbers engraved on the back cases. Of course, the men's watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044), made of white gold, is not a model that can be worn every day. These watches carry a tremendous cultural and architectural load, and therefore they represent a tremendous value both materially and spiritually.

Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris (Ref. G0A33044) Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris (Ref. G0A33044) Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris (Ref. G0A33044) watch backside

So, our journey continues thanks to the magnificent watch company Piaget. At this time we leave Europe, swim across the ocean, and, as if by magic, find ourselves in North America, namely in the amazing American metropolis - New York City. The men's wristwatch of 2011 under the title “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York” helps us to do it. The black and white dial, made by technique of enameling Grand Feu, is decorated with figures of 12 highest skyscrapers in New York, and on the sides of the case in white gold with enamel decoration we see magnificent engraving, showing the audience an amazing architecture of the largest city in the U.S. Here you can see the legendary Statue of Liberty (at "3" hours), as well as one of the five islands of New York, the so-called historic core of the city - Manhattan with its two major bridges (at "9" hours). Inside the "wrist New York" there is still the same movement from Piaget of caliber 6080P with 27 stones and flying tourbillon, the carriage of which is taken out directly on the minute hand. The crown of this watch model is a little piece of jewelry art. It is made of white gold of 18 carats, encrusted with diamond and adorned with hand engraving. So, that was good news. Now the bad one. The men's wrist watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York” is released in only three copies, so not everyone will be able to get such a masterpiece. And as the watch is incredibly limited and amazingly beautiful, then the price is also quite high. So, to buy the Swiss watch from Piaget with the architecture of New York, you need to own a small fortune.

Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York (Ref. G0A33045) Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York (Ref. G0A33045) Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York (Ref. G0A33045)

The above collection of watches from Piaget with architectural motifs of the most famous cities in the world includes unique masterpieces of art, which are guaranteed eternal life and memory, as well as the structures, shown on these watches. Architecture on a wristwatch is incredibly delicate concept, since possessing such time meter, a person imagines the whole world in his hands, rather, on his wrist. The collectors, who managed to buy watches of Piaget architecturally oriented, of course, are grateful for the opportunity to feel like owners of the world.


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