From royal inspiration to rock ‘n’ roll hat-doffs, this year’s art-inspired collectibles are an extravagant and eclectic bunch. Here are four of our favorites.
Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Panther with Granulation
Cartier is fast emerging as a crafts revivalist, having shone the spotlight on long-forgotten art forms such as miniature mosaic and plique-à-jour paillonné enameling through its Metiers d’Art watches. Among the collection’s most captivating creations this year is this model, which features the millennia-old art of granulation.
Dating back to the third millennium BC, the technique consists of creating small balls from threads of gold, which are cut and heated over a flame. Each tiny grain of gold is then painstakingly pieced together to create the shape of the motif, which in Cartier’s case, bears the face of its mascot, the panther.
Greubel Forsey Art Piece No. 1
Collaborating with nano-sculpture artist Willard Wigard (above), who crafts minuscule models that are tinier than the eye of a needle, Greubel Forsey takes horological artisanship to another level with the Art Piece No. 1.
Still a work in progress, the watch will attempt to embed Wigard’s mini sculpture at the end of its winding stem, which can be viewed through an optical grade lens with 23-fold magnification mounted on the crown.
Complementing the feat is the brand’s famed 30° double tourbillon mechanism, which adds to the visual extravaganza with its one- and four-minute rotation on the inner and outer tourbillon cages, respectively.
Parmigiani Tonda Woodstock & Tonda Woodrock
Rock ‘n’ rolls riffs with wood marquetry in Parmigiani’s limited edition Tonda Woodstock (above) and Tonda Woodrock wristwatches. To ensure top-notch artisanship, the brand enlisted Bastien Chevalier, an internationally acclaimed marquetry artist known for incorporating contemporary designs into the traditional craft.
Brimming with color and depth, the dials of the Tonda Woodstock and Tonda Woodrock feature designs of acoustic guitars bearing the U.S. and U.K. flags, respectively, and evoke rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia with their intricate shades pieced together from over 50 pieces of dyed wood on each dial. Powering the watches are hand-wound in-house movements (PF510) with flying tourbillon and power reserve indicator.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Round Table
Outdoing itself on artistic extravagance, Roger Dubuis’ 88-piece Excalibur Round Table limited edition appears to take a leaf out of its recent medieval-themed advertisements. Celebrating the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the rose gold watch houses a Grand Feu enamel dial with 12 miniature knights sculpted in pink gold as hour markers, each flaunting incredible attention to detail. Characteristic of all Roger Dubuis timepieces, the Excalibur Round Table comes certified with the Hallmark of Geneva.