Best Six Incredible Watches With An Artistic Touch –

Watches are not just tools for telling the time. It’s more than just that.

We appreciate this when it comes to timepieces. Frankly, by seeing it as mere devices that tell the time, many other items can replace the function of a watch. Heck, even a simple digital watch or cell phone can do the job easily.

Watches are an extension of our personality for us. It gives strangers a glimpse of what we are like as a person, whether we are loud, subtle or stylish. In addition, it is also an extension of the brand and watchmaker’s personality, especially if the watch is produced by an independent watchmaker.

On a less philosophical and direct note, watches also display the skill and dexterity of the watchmaker. Some watches may seem simple, but they are produced using age-old techniques that are incredible even today. What’s also brilliant is the fact that some of these crafts can’t even be replicated by machines, which makes these features all the more valuable and phenomenal.

Wearable art: six incredible watches with an artistic touch

In this week’s article, we’ll highlight some of these techniques and incredible artistic details featured on some of our favorite timepieces. What have we selected? Let’s find out!

Louis Erard Excellence Email Grand Feu II

We start the article with the Louis Erard Excellence Émail Grand Feu II.

Louis Erard is a brand that has caused a furore in the scene, with its incredible array of novelties and collaborations freely accessible to many collectors. The new 39mm Excellence Émail Grand Feu II, launched last month, exemplifies where the brand is fantastic fire enamel dial with a slight playful twist (with a play of red and blue, as well as some beautiful Lance-style hands). The best part? It costs CHF 3,900 (about S$5,464).

It’s really interesting to watch Louis Erard make progress in his creations, and this particular piece is definitely history in the making for the brand. fantastic fire enamel dials are usually reserved for the higher echelons of watchmaking, due to the high failure rates in dial making, which greatly increases the cost. Louis Erard certainly made a claim, now their job is to maintain the high standards and continue to impress us with his future creations.

GoS Sarek Akka

Best Six Incredible Watches With An Artistic Touch -

We then move on to something less typical of standard timepieces. Choose the GoS Sarek Akka – the brainchild of master knifesmith Johan Gustafsson and master watchmaker Patrik Sjögren.

Based in Sweden, the company offers watches that combine the two individuals’ skills in forging and watchmaking. The Sarek Akka is an example of this, where the dial is made of uncolored Damascus steel. Each dial is unique, the result of the hot forging of two different types of steel. In addition, the 43mm bezel is also engraved by master engraver Stanley Stoltz, accentuating the theme of patterns and Scandinavian traditions. Talk about artistic talents.

The Sarek is powered by a Soprod A10 movement modified with a GoS triskele rotor. The dark GoS rotor has a circular brushed finish and is fitted with an additional Damascus steel counterweight. The counterweight is finished for maximum surface contrast and high-gloss polished chamfers.

Priced at US$12,800 (about S$17,733), the GoS Sarek Akka is an interesting timepiece that focuses a lot on traditional craftsmanship. We love the brand’s unique approach to watches, and it’s sure to be a conversation piece with its unique engravings and Damascus steel dial.

Breguet Classic 7137

Best Six Incredible Watches With An Artistic Touch -

When it comes to guilloche dial, Breguet is definitely one of the brands that comes to mind. The Classique 7137 is perhaps a timepiece that allows the brand to show its mastery in this field.

Based on the historically significant Breguet No. 5 pocket watch, the 39mm Classique 7137 is a timepiece that evokes a strong sense of style and substance. It features many of the brand’s signature touches, such as Breguet hands, a coin case and complications. For us, however, the dial is the main attraction of this piece. It features a multi-textured dial, with no less than three different motor-turned motifs. For the uninitiated, a well-done guilloche dial requires the craftsman to have great dexterity and patience, among other skills. As icing on the cake, the display of the moon phase, with an adventurous background and craters on the “moon”, is also an incredible sight.

The watch is available in white gold and rose gold and costs S$57,400. If you’re looking for the ultimate men’s watch, the Breguet is an interesting option if two- or three-hand watches aren’t your thing.

Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5231

Best Six Incredible Watches With An Artistic Touch -

A complication synonymous with Patek Philippe, the World Time is a collaboration with Louis Cottier in the 1930s to use his patented method to display different time zones around the world. The Reference 5231 is one of the newest versions of this illustrious collection.

While the World Time is a functional piece, Patek Philippe had injected an element of craft into this particular reference with cloisonne enamelling. This goes beyond the art of enamelling. The process involves soldering metal wires – in this case gold – that are bent to the perimeter of a design (which in this case are the continents) and filling the partitions with vitreous enamel paste. The result is astonishing.

Driving with the ref. 5231 is the proven Caliber 240 HU, a self-winding timepiece equipped with a 22k gold microrotor. It has a minimum power reserve of 48 hours and operates at a traditional beat rate of 3 Hz. It is beautifully finished, in accordance with the standards set by the Patek Philippe Seal that carries this timepiece. The 38.5mm watch costs S$116,900, and we think this is arguably one of the finest modern World Time watches Patek Philippe has produced to date.

MB&F HM9 Flow

Best Six Incredible Watches With An Artistic Touch -

In the world of watchmaking, MB&F has certainly cemented itself as one of the celebrities for independent watchmaking.

One of the brand’s more recent creations among the timepiece collection – HM9 “Flow” – picks up where Maximilian Büsser left off before. The HM9 takes its inspiration this time from classic cars and aircraft, most notably the Mercedes-Benz W196 race car and the sleek De Havilland Venom aircraft. The end result is an organic-looking sculpture, admittedly more like a work of art than a device that tells the time. But again, that’s where MB&F offers something different from pretty much the rest of the crowd.

The titanium encased HM9 “Flow” powered by an internal manual winding movement. The timepiece also includes two fully independent balance wheels with planetary differential, as well as a vertical timing display. The HM9 “Flow” costs US$182,000 (about S$253,451), and is a good option for anyone who wants a stunning timepiece that combines both art and engineering.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Artistica – Master Gyrotourbillon I

Best Six Incredible Watches With An Artistic Touch -

We round off the article with the sublime Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Artistica – Master Gyrotourbillon I.

Known as the watchmaker’s watchmaker, Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced countless exceptional timepieces (and timepieces, of course!) over the years. Launched in 2014, the Hybris Artistica collection aims to showcase another facet of the Le Sentier brand with its expertise in integrating ancestral techniques used in watchmaking art, such as guilloche, enamelling and engraving into their timepieces.

The 43mm Master Gyrotourbillon I is arguably one of the most interesting pieces for the Hybris Artistica treatment. Combining the legendary Master Gyrotourbillon complication with the perpetual calendar, equation of time and retrograde complication with gems and inlays, the maison had taken this spectacular timepiece to a whole new level.

Despite being an 18 year old watch, the Master Gyrotourbillon is still one of the few timepieces to feature the multi-axis tourbillon. It’s a timeless piece, and it certainly deserves nothing less than this treatment. It’s priced at an eye-watering S$745,000, but again, perfection comes with a price.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve got another selection of excellent pieces this week, albeit in a higher price range (without Louis Erard, arguably). Unfortunately, artistic accents and techniques come with a price. This is why when a market disruptor like Louis Erard comes in with such beautiful timepieces at an attractive price, we really stop in our tracks and listen to what they have to offer.

But beyond that, we should also celebrate the achievements of watchmakers and craftsmen. This is the collective group of individuals who are helping humanity to preserve this ancient craft. Especially at this age, where most products are produced by machines or supported by computers, if they don’t play their part in keeping these skills alive, who will?

So it is not difficult to see why timepieces are merely devices that tell the time. It’s more than that – and these few watches have proved our point with the impeccable workmanship and techniques used. This, again, is just the tip of the iceberg of what the industry has to offer. We will be more than happy to continue this topic in the future and show everyone what the watch guild is capable of.

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