Face Value

Watch­mak­ers re­veal their artis­tic flair through th­ese visu­ally fas­ci­nat­ing time­pieces

Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

igh com­pli­ca­tion, ac­cu­racy, pre­ci­sion—th­ese com­mon ex­pres­sions of the watch­mak­ing world take a back seat when it comes to time­pieces cre­ated pri­mar­ily for aes­thetic ap­pre­ci­a­tion. Grand feu enamel, fil­i­gree, cham­plevé, gran­u­la­tion and en­grav­ing— dec­o­ra­tive tech­niques of­ten col­lec­tively re­ferred to as métiers d’art—come to the fore in de­scrib­ing such pieces, breath­tak­ing not so much for their mind-bend­ing com­pli­ca­tions and high fre­quen­cies but for their com­pelling crafts­man­ship. Th­ese time­pieces give watch­mak­ers the chance to demon­strate a dif­fer­ent skillset, one more to do with artis­tic flair than tech­ni­cal dex­ter­ity.

Her­mès has al­ways kept the dec­o­ra­tive arts within arm’s reach when mak­ing watches. It presents 12 unique time­pieces bear­ing the work of Ja­panese painter Buzan Fukushima, one of a hand­ful of masters of the 19th-cen­tury craft of Aka-e paint­ing. Fukushima’s hand-painted in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Ja­pan’s tra­di­tional Koma Kurabe horse races grace the porce­lain di­als of the Slim d’her­mès Koma Kurabe, pro­vid­ing an apt link with Her­mès’ eques­trian her­itage.

The pink-gold dial of the Pan­ther Stone Mo­saic Tortue, from Cartier’s Mai­son des Métiers d’art divi­sion, bears a mo­saic of the brand’s iconic pan­ther cre­ated with care­fully cut and skil­fully as­sem­bled onyx, framed by an 18K-gold di­a­mond-en­crusted case. The eye of the pan­ther is a strik­ing green stone.

Hublot, ever the trail­blazer, has blended the tra­di­tional art of cham­plevé grand feu enam­elling with the pop art and cu­bist style of Brazil­ian con­tem­po­rary artist Romero Britto. The dial of the Clas­sic Fu­sion Enamel Britto takes its cues from Britto’s vi­brant art­work. Hublot’s dial­maker chose 12 “per­fect” colours from a pal­ette of 250 to re­pro­duce Britto’s psy­che­delic art within a 45mm dial. Clock­wise from left: Buzan Fukushima works on the dial of a Slim d’her­mès Koma Kurabe (below); Pan­ther Stone Mo­saic Tortue by Cartier; Clas­sic Fu­sion Enamel Britto by Hublot

BE­YOND TIMETELLING

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