Raised to the rank of 12th Art in 2012, watchmaking is a field brimming with creativity and showcasing a wide range of interactions with the classic arts of architecture, sculpture, painting, music, poetry and dance. We offer readers a fresh tribute to Hegel (the 19th century philosopher who numbered the classic arts from 1 to 6) with this selection of watches competing in the 2014 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
The 1st Art with MB&F
Through its Legacy Machines (LM), MB&F pays vibrant tribute to the history of watchmaking, and in particular to the remarkable pocket-watches of yesteryear. Fascinated by their large, gently oscillating balance-wheels, brand founder Maximilian
Büsser has chosen to highlight them through a daring architecture. The balance-wheels, which generally remain hidden on the back of the movement, are very much in the forefront here, suspended from arches perched well above the dials. The effect is especially spectacular on the LM101, presented in a 40 mm rather than a 44 diameter. Below lie two slightly domed white lacquered dials, themselves slightly raised above a mainplate featuring a sunburst motif. At the heart of the watch beats the first entirely in-house developed movement, of which the standout construction and finishes are inspired by traditional art. With its avant-garde design and rich historical concept, the
LM101 is a captivating watch in every respect.
The 2nd Art with Graff
On the MasterGraff GyroGraff Full Diamond from Graff, the innovation notably lies in the patented invisible setting technique named “Invisible Diamond Mosaic”. This approach enables an all-diamond reproduction of the characteristic sculpture of watch bezels by the House. It took more than a year to develop the system that makes it possible to line up – with no apparent supporting structure – a series of hexagonal stones framed by triangular stones. The pavé dial features two threedimensional
openings : an exclusive moon-phase indicator distinguished by a hand-sculpted rotating moon; and a symmetrically placed tourbillon defying gravity on two axes, complete with a constant-force device. Haute Joaillerie and Haute Horlogerie are thus combined to truly dazzling effect.
The 3rd Art with Hublot
Hublot clothes time in flashy colors in a series of pictorial watches inspired by an artistic movement that was all the rage in the 1970s : Pop Art. Four Big Bang models – two in steel and two in yellow gold – are lit up by the sparkle of blue topazes,
purple amethysts, pink sapphires or green tsavorites. The composite resin bezel lugs and lateral inserts, as well as the strap in alligator leather strap sewn onto rubber, match the shades of the gemstones, while the dials compose vivid palettes. The Big Bang Pop Art mechanical self-winding chronographs are designed for vibrant women unafraid to show their true colors.
The 4th Art with Bulgari
Embodying another concentrated blend of history, L’Ammiraglio del Tempo by Bulgari is first and foremost a musical watch, as immediately indicated by the treble clef appearing on the dial. This is a minute repeater model featuring a Westminster chime. While the four hammers and gongs may be admired through the dial opening, the winding system remains invisible. So as to preserve the characteristic design of the Daniel Roth line, this innovative device is concealed within one of the case lugs that may be slid from 7 to 8 o’clock to trigger the striking mechanism. L’Ammiraglio del Tempo is also distinguished by a detent escapement and a constant-force device. The rare and sophisticated detent escapement is a reminder of the historical marine chronometers boasting exemplary precision that inspired the name of the watch, which literally means “The Admiral of Time” in English.
The 5th Art with Harry Winston
In this creation by Harry Winston, diamonds form a poetic tableau composed of dainty droplets. On the sunburst satinbrushed midnight blue dial of the quartz-driven Midnight
Moon Phase Diamond Drops model, the magic of gem-setting makes the brilliant-cut diamonds appear to fall like a gentle shower. The gems in the air are mounted on almost invisible chatons, and those heaped in a sparkling pool on the ground are crafted using the snow-setting technique. The moon-phase indicator set in the firmament reveals a polished moon and a sprinkling of stars standing out against a spangled varnished background. This stunning dial is framed by a generously sized
39 mm dial that shines just as brightly to complete a truly magical
The 6th Art with Chopard
Chopard plays a comparably dazzling card in presenting the first Happy Sport equipped with a L.U.C movement bearing the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. While the brand has been making diamonds dance around its watch dials for almost
40 years, the ballet had never yet been performed on an Haute Horlogerie timepiece. The new Happy Sport Tourbillon Joaillerie is driven by a tourbillon movement with a nine-day power reserve, L.U.C Caliber 02.16-L , specifically designed for this line. To celebrate the event, the creation is adorned in a multitude of diamonds: brilliant-cut gems on the case snow-set on the dial, trapeze-cut on the bezel, baguette- and briolette-cut on the crown – while not forgetting the moving stones whirling in
complete freedom between two sapphire crystals.