With these six time­pieces cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with, or in trib­ute to, con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal artists, watch man­u­fac­tur­ers get highly per­sonal in the time-hon­ored tra­di­tion of us­ing the dial as can­vas.

WatchTime - - Table Of Contents - By Mark Bernardo

| Six time­pieces cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with, or in trib­ute to, con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal artists


Parmigiani Fleurier founder and CEO Michel Parmigiani found him­self so in­spired by the bold, ab­stract land­scapes of Ital­ian painter Mar­cello Lo Giudice that he used one of the artist’s works, “Eden Uni­verse, Eden Ocean,” as the sub­ject of a 12-piece lim­ited edi­tion, the Tonda 1950 Mar­cello Lo Giudice. Each of the 12 minia­ture painted di­als is unique, iden­ti­cally re­pro­duc­ing a dif­fer­ent por­tion of the paint­ing. The first stage of the di­als’ cre­ation is a laser en­grav­ing on the raw plate that builds tex­ture and vol­ume on the flat sur­face; this is fol­lowed by a painter adding the color pig­ments that fill out the minia­ture painted dial. The process – build­ing tex­ture first, adding color sec­ond – is the same as the one used by Lo Giudice to cre­ate his can­vases, which Michel Parmigiani de­scribes as re­mind­ing him “of how a glass prism sep­a­rates white light into its full spec­trum of col­ors, re­fract­ing them at a spe­cific an­gle.” The “sage leaf” hands are thin­ner than those of other Tonda mod­els so as to con­ceal as lit­tle of the painted di­als as pos­si­ble, while the 39-mm rose-gold case is en­graved with “Unique Piece,” the in­di­vid­ual num­ber and the names “Mar­cello” and “Michel” side by side as a sym­bol of the artis­tic col­lab­o­ra­tion. The watch is pow­ered by the self-wind­ing PF702 move­ment, with a 48-hour power re­serve, which is on dis­play through a sap­phire case­back. Parmigiani’s other notable col­lab­o­ra­tion is in ev­i­dence on the al­li­ga­tor strap, which, as on all Parmigiani watches, is made by the leather ar­ti­sans at Her­mès.


Even if you’ve never heard of Shep­ard Fairey, you’re fa­mil­iar with his work – un­less, of course, you slept through the en­tirety of the 2008 U.S. pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and the sub­se­quent two terms of Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. The iconic Obama “HOPE” poster is by far the most renowned work by the L.a.based street artist and graphic de­signer, whose “OBEY” pro­ject also in­spired an en­tire clothing line. Hublot teamed with Fairey for the most re­cent re­lease in its “Hublot Loves Art” se­ries, the Big Bang Meca-10 Shep­ard Fairey. The time­piece fea­tures the man­u­ally wound, skele­tonized HUB1201 cal­iber, two years in de­vel­op­ment and boast­ing a 10-day power re­serve, which made its de­but in the first Meca-10 model in 2016. The Shep­ard Fairey edi­tion, lim­ited to 100 pieces each in Grey Dé­cor and Blue Dé­cor ver­sions, fea­tures the artist’s Star Gear logo in the 3 o’clock aper­ture, which also re­veals a red dot when the watch is near­ing the end of its lengthy power re­serve. The 45-mm case is made of car­bon fiber with an up­per layer of Tex­al­ium adorned with a tribal flo­ral mo­tif that mim­ics Fairey’s dis­tinc­tive artis­tic style. Black com­pos­ite resin is used for the bezel lugs and lat­eral in­serts; pol­ished H-shaped screws made of mi­crob­lasted ti­ta­nium with black PVD coat­ing se­cure the bezel to the case. Fairey also pro­vides the em­bossed de­sign on the rub­ber-and­calf-leather straps. The price is $28,300.


Who bet­ter than a Rus­sian watch­maker (al­beit one who plies his trade in Ger­many) to in­ter­pret the works of Rus­sian ab­strac­tion­ist painter Wassily Kandin­sky (1866 - 1944) for the dial of a lim­it­ededi­tion watch? The dial of the Kandy Avant­garde by Alexan­der Shorokhoff is an amal­gam of mul­ti­col­ored shapes, lines and forms in­spired by those on Kandin­sky’s can­vases, framed by a soft-edged square case made of brushed and pol­ished stain­less steel and mea­sur­ing 41 mm by 41 mm. The case­back is also un­con­ven­tional in its de­sign, with three round win­dows al­low­ing a peek at the move­ment, a Swiss-made, au­to­matic ETA 2892A2 with a han­den­graved ro­tor and a 47-hour power re­serve. The use of mul­ti­ple col­ored el­e­ments even ex­tends to the dual-col­ored soft calf-leather strap. Nom­i­nated for a Ger­man De­sign Award for 2019, the Kandy Avant­garde is lim­ited to 100 pieces and priced at 2,500 eu­ros.


With 2018 mark­ing 100 years since the death of one of Switzer­land’s best­known artists, 19th-cen­tury sym­bol­ist painter Fer­di­nand Hodler (1853 1918), the Swiss watch­mak­ing mai­son Jaeger-lecoul­tre is com­mem­o­rat­ing the mile­stone with a lim­ited-edi­tion Rev­erso watch from its her­alded “Métiers Rares” work­shops, the Rev­erso Trib­ute Enamel, a trio of mod­els lim­ited to eight pieces each. Each fea­tures a stun­ning, minia­tur­ized re­pro­duc­tion of one of Hodler’s works, cre­ated by com­bin­ing in­tri­cate en­grav­ing, enam­el­ing and minia­ture paint­ing, on the re­verse-side dial of the swivel­ing case. Mean­while, the front di­als have an en­graved “wo­ven” mo­tif, achieved with the use of a cen­tury-old guil­loché ma­chine, del­i­cately ren­dered by an ex­pert ar­ti­san and then cov­ered in translu­cent grand feu enamel in a color that re­flects the pre­dom­i­nant tone of the minia­ture paint­ing on the back. Each of these enam­eled paint­ings, ren­dered on a sur­face mea­sur­ing just 3 cm by 2 cm and framed by an en­graved bor­der and the Rev­erso’s em­blem­atic gadroons, de­picts a land­scape scene from Hodler’s (and JLC’S) na­tive Switzer­land. The Art Deco-in­spired rec­tan­gu­lar case is made of white gold and mea­sures 45.5 mm by 27.4 mm in di­am­e­ter and 9.73 mm thick. The dial’s faceted, ap­plied hour mark­ers, Dauphine hands and rail­track min­utes cir­cle are other hall­mark el­e­ments of the iconic Rev­erso model. Inside the case beats a Jaeger-lecoul­tre man­u­fac­ture move­ment, the man­u­ally wound Cal­iber 822A/2. Prices are avail­able on re­quest.


With its Her­itage Ar­ti­san Coin Watch, Co­rum has pro­duced a piece that seems to be ask­ing, “Brother, can you spare the time?” The di­als, de­signed by Rus­sian-born, New York-based mas­ter en­graver Aleksey Saburov, are mod­ern takes on the De­pres­sion-era “hobo coins,” buf­falo nick­els that were carved, chis­eled and oth­er­wise man­u­ally re­worked to be­come a form of poor man’s art. Each watch will be a unique piece, prices avail­able on re­quest, with Saburov pro­duc­ing an as-yet-undis­closed num­ber of orig­i­nal dial mo­tifs, all mi­cro-en­graved onto U.S. sil­ver dol­lars and in­flu­enced by the artist’s style of “utiliz­ing pop­u­lar im­agery, le­gends, demons, [and] be­liefs… to make unique works of mi­cro art.” The watch’s 43-mm case is made of sil­ver, with a sap­phire-tipped crown and a coinedged bezel. The hour and min­utes hands are sim­ple ba­tons de­signed to ob­scure as lit­tle as pos­si­ble of the dial’s en­graved im­agery. Inside each case is the au­to­matic Cal­iber CO 082, based on the So­prod A10, with a 42-hour power re­serve, cov­ered by a solid sil­ver dol­lar case­back. (Of course, long­time fans of the Co­rum brand are aware of its his­tory with coin-dial watches, no­tably the fa­mous $20 Gold Dou­ble Ea­gle Watch from 1955.) The Her­itage Coin Watch is de­liv­ered on a denim strap, a sar­to­rial nod to the blue jeans of the work­ing class Amer­i­cans that first pop­u­lar­ized the hobo coin in the early 20th cen­tury.


Street artist Alec Mo­nop­oly, the scarf-wear­ing, paint-can-wield­ing “Art Provo­ca­teur” who takes both his pseu­do­nym and his stylis­tic hall­mark from the top-hat­ted ty­coon char­ac­ter from the fa­mous board game, has been work­ing with TAG Heuer since 2016, ap­ply­ing his graf­fiti paints to the straps of spe­cial-edi­tion watches and even de­sign­ing a cus­tom dig­i­tal face for the TAG Heuer Con­nected Watch. The first time­piece with a phys­i­cal dial de­signed by Mo­nop­oly (né Alec An­don) de­buted in 2017 – the TAG Heuer For­mula One Spe­cial Edi­tion, which brings a minia­ture rep­re­sen­ta­tion of one of Mo­nop­oly’s highly col­lectible can­vases to the Swiss brand’s most ac­ces­si­ble time­piece. Housed in a 41-mm brushed steel case with a pol­ished black ro­tat­ing bezel with 60-sec­ond scale, the watch sports a dial from which Mr. Mo­nop­oly (the char­ac­ter, not the artist), a top hat on his head and a scarf over the lower part of his face, peeks out from the dial’s cen­ter, sur­rounded by col­or­ful graf­fiti. The artist’s “ALEC” logo is en­graved on the solid case­back, un­der which beats a Swiss quartz move­ment. And even though the watch is lim­ited to just 200 pieces, you don’t have to be one of the cor­po­rate fat­cats lam­pooned in the artist’s work to pur­chase one: the For­mula One Alec Mo­nop­oly Spe­cial Edi­tion sells for just $1,250.

Mar­cello Lo Giudice’s “Eden Uni­verse, Eden Ocean” is re­pro­duced in minia­ture on the di­als of the 12piece lim­ited edi­tion. Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Mar­cello Lo Giudice

The Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Shep­ard Fairey, avail­able in Blue and Grey Dé­cor, fea­tures a flo­ral tex­tured case de­sign and a 10-day power re­serve.

The Jaeger-lecoul­tre Rev­erso Trib­ute Enamel re­pro­duces Hodler’s Swiss land­scapes in minia­ture.

The mul­ti­col­ored dial of the Alexan­der Shorokhoff Kandy Avant­garde is in­spired by the work of the Rus­sian ab­strac­tion­ist.

TAG Heuer’s For­mula One Spe­cial Edi­tion (top) has a dial cre­ated by street artist Alec Mo­nop­oly (above).

Co­rum’s Her­itage Ar­ti­san Coin Watch re­vives the “Hobo Coin” for the 21st Cen­tury.

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