Hiren Kumar Bose cherry picks the watches of SIHH 2017 with dials which speak volumes on the union of art and Haute Horlogerie
RONDE LOUIS CARTIER XL Flamed Gold
The depth of a rich animal palette ranging from beige to brown is contrasted with blued apple-shaped hands in this 42mm watch. Cartier has chosen to pave the bezel of this exquisite timepiece in baguette-cut diamonds, a flash of fire that brilliantly illuminates the genius of the artwork. The creature is strikingly lifelike from the top of the ears to the tip of the nose. Flamed gold is the latest technique in a repertoire of Cartier crafts that extends to Etruscan granulation, enamel granulation, and filigree work. Enriching the art of expert watchmaking with techniques borrowed from other fields, artisan craftsmen have pooled their skills to create this innovative new display of talent by Cartier and its Maison des Métiers d’Art. The outcome of such minute, delicate work is suitably impressive in this watch which runs on the Maison’s Calibre 43OMC.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN Métiers d’Art Copernicus
The Manufacture has chosen the formal simplicity of a white gold case to set the scene for the astronomical world according to Nicolas Copernicus. With its original display and spectacular decoration, this new pays tribute to one of the humankind’s greatest discoveries: heliocentrism. One dial, three different executions The Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460. They have dreamed up three dials with different interpretations of the same theme. The decoration is inspired by the graphic depictions of Andreas Cellarius, a 17th-century Dutch-German cartographer, author of the most important colourful sky map, Harmonia Macrocosmica, with its splendidly baroque style. The dials of the collection comprise two distinct parts. The oval centre bears a Sun with a glowing hand-engraved pink gold face, while the outer disc is dedicated to three decorative craft variations. Between the two, a tiny elliptical groove provides space to display orbit performed by the Earth. The latter is represented by a tiny gold disc, slightly domed and measuring barely 6.8 mm diameter, featuring a polar view of the continents based on a Lambert conic map projection. Entirely designed, developed and created by Vacheron Constantin in a three-year process, it provides the possibility of staging the fascinating view of the sky reproducing the heliocentric system. The time is displayed by two triangular peripheral hands in 4N gold – a cut-out one for the hours and a solid one for the minutes – that glide around the dial rim. These pointers are driven by large dedicated wheels positioned on the outer part of the calibre. The elliptical path of the Earth around the Sun is a key highlight of this watch, exuding a powerful presence and providing continuous information as the days go by. The first complication takes the form of the Earth that spins on its axis in a 24-hour rotation period, corresponding to a mean solar day. The second complication achieved by means of a ‘tropical’ gear train is the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun in 365.2421898 days, meaning one tropical year. An extremely precise mechanism, since the device operating this realistic motion of the Earth, requires a one-day correction only once in 8,000 years – an eternity! Twelve stylised zodiac signs are engraved around the rim of the 43 mm-diameter bezel. To ensure optimal convenience, all functions – the hours, the minutes, as well as the two motions performed by the Earth – are adjusted via the crown.
ULYSSE NARDIN Classico Rooster
Combining characteristic engineering excellence with the artistic mastery of enamelling, the Classico Rooster is a reliable timepiece of elegant beauty. In this classical depiction, the artist has perfectly captured the rooster’s natural energy. It is the centuries-old champlevé method of enamelling that brings the artist’s sketch to life. A rare art form and one mastered by very few, the champlevé technique involves the carving of cells with a chisel directly on the dial, which are then filled with enamel. Its colours come from the careful blending of different metallic oxides. The piece is then fired until the enamel melts. It is mastered in-house at Donzé Cadrans, a member of the Ulysse Nardin group of companies. The 40mm Classico Rooster, a limited edition of 88 pieces in 18-ct rose gold is powered by the self-winding UN-815 movement with its COSC certification.
URWERK UR-106 Flower Power
The UR-106 Flower Power is a happy marriage between steel and diamond, technique and gentleness, manual dexterity and mechanical precision. The 35 mm by 49.4 mm watch’s casing houses no fewer than 239 Top Wesselton quality diamonds making a total of 2.53-ct (crown included). Run a piece of fine silk over this part encrusted with diamonds and the fabric slides smoothly over the casing. Added to this decorative work on the casing is the beautiful workmanship carried out on the watch’s carousel itself. A Lotus flower acts as a pivot to the satellite indication of this UR-106. A delicate flower that houses no fewer than 30 diamonds, all adapted to fit by the expert hand of the jeweller. The only indication of this is hidden in the heart of the motif, a watch screw with a perfect finish. Three ornaments in gold and diamonds complete this bucolic picture. Each is composed of five mounted petals; they fit delicately in between the hour satellites. These three flowers are like a pause in this perpetually-moving carousel. Flowers that the watchmaker gently affixes to his mechanism, ensuring a fragile balance. This indication of the wandering hours, so dear to URWERK, consists of three satellites, each one carrying 4 indexes. One after another, they parade along the path of the minutes, showing the time in both analog and digital fashion.A phase of the moon completes the UR-106 dial.