Imagination and innovation are the two dominant themes represented by these miniature canvases, which are housed beneath sapphire glass in the form of timepieces. True works of art in their own rights, a multitude of materials were used to create these expansive scenes. From painted enamel details to the use of hard stones as figures and objects, designers pushed the boundaries of what we can expect from storytelling on such a small surface area. The watches featured below are the epitome of these works of art, creating playful mediums on which to tell the time.
Henri D’Origny’s Arceau watch is a model through which the house of Hermès shows its creativity time and time again. This year, the Arceau design entitled Les Folies du Ciel features a drawing that can only be described as an aircraft as imagined with child-like wonder. The hand-painted textured mother-of-pearl dial is a combination of engraving and animation that’s inspired by Loïc Dubigeon’s ‘Les Folies du Ciel’ silk scarf motif, designed in 1984. It is a nod to those who dared to dream that mankind could fly.
A joyful ode to the night sky, the Rendez-Vous Star by Jaeger-LeCoultre is crafted with multiple layers of sapphire crystal set with diamonds. The dial features a hand-painted moon and clouds that work in mechanical harmony to conceal and then reveal a shooting star. In fact, the shooting star appears on the dial at random moments - usually four to six times per hour. “Its unpredictability makes it even more special,” according to the brand. The Rendez-Vous Star is available in two variations - white gold or rose gold – and combines an elegant diamond pavé bezel with a more daytime appropriate alligator leather strap.
The floral dial design on the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 brings a sense of femininity and fun to this staple model. Available in three colours, silver, Azzurro blue and olive green, each petal is finished in either a sunray, matte or grained fashion to allow the flowers to spring to life depending upon the light they are viewed under. The dials are sprinkled with diamonds that vary in size and serve to anchor the centre of each floral motif, creating a sense of symmetry and order. Rolex describes these diamonds as ‘dewdrops’ as if a patch of blooms is just recovering from a rainstorm. Each colourway is paired with a different bracelet strap, including the Jubilee, President and Oyster for all you Rolex aficionados.
Not only are these timepieces lovely to look at, but they have a way of interacting with the wearer that adds a touch of excitement. There’s so much skill and finesse here that it’s hard not to be excited by what 2023 will bring!