Art Piece 1 (2013)
The first wristwatch with integrated micro-sculpture
Price: More than US$1.5 million
Imagine a creation so small that it can literally pass through the eye of a needle. Then pair it with Greubel Forsey’s iconic Double Tourbillon 30°, another work of micromechanics with its one-minute cage inclined at 30 degrees rotating within a second exterior four-minute cage. The result is the one-of-a-kind Art Piece 1, a collaboration between the independent watchmaker and English artist, Willard Wigan, who makes the world’s smallest sculptures. Known for making nano art under a microscope, Wigan crafts scenes and figurines — everything from Cinderella and the Statue of Liberty, to Michelangelo’s David — from gold, hair or diamonds inside the eye of a needle. His creations require enormous amounts of time and are so small that he has learnt to control his breath to sculpt between his heartbeats. The Art Piece 1 incorporates a built-in opticalgrade microscope — the watchmaker’s most challenging technical contribution to this design — which enables the owner to admire Wigan’s tiny figure mounted inside: A threemasted sailing ship called Golden Sails, whose hull and sails were crafted from extremely thinned gold. Upping the challenge, the watchmaker also endeavoured to ensure there would be enough natural light filtering through to view the artwork without artificial illumination. With two small hands discreetly displaying the time behind a silvered shutter only when a pusher is pressed, the motivation behind the watch is undoubtedly artistic.