1 Hermès, Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe
La Montre Hermès turned towards the savoir-faire of the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres a 300 year-old Parisian atelier, for the base of Buzan Fukushima’s creations. Presented in a white gold case, the Slim d’Hermès Koma Kura depicts an early representation of the Kamigamo Shrine Japanese horse races, organized once a year in Kyoto since 678 AD, underneath the hour and minute hands. The watch houses caliber H1950, the company’s new in-house ultra-thin movement.
2 Vacheron Constantin, Savoirs Enluminés
The breathtaking Savoirs Enluminés collection, based on illustrations of the Aberdeen Bestiary, introduces Caliber 1120 featuring a rare “star wheel” system. Vacheron Constantin has picked three “beasts” from the Aberdeen Bestiary, and recreated their likeness using Grand Feu enamel painting on a gold background. These include a marine seabird called the “Altion,” which symbolizes serenity, “Vultures,” for longevity, and a blue goat or “Caper,” representing exceptionally sound judgment.
3 Cartier, Rotonde Louis Cartier Panther Filigree watch
Last year, Cartier heard of a group of French monks after they successfully revived the grisaille gold paste enameling technique—an ancient craft involving the creation of a specific gold paste. Could Cartier make use of it in one of its designs? Curiosity would lead the watchmaker to the monastery, where it began a meticulous apprenticeship to safeguard the savoir-faire and pass it on to its in-house artisans. The Rotonde Heure Mystérieuse Pâte d’Or, featuring the brand’s iconic Panther, is the perfection of that centuries old technique.
4 Jaquet Droz, Petite Heure Minute Marquetry
Presented at Baselworld 2015, this watch is actually made with hundreds of pieces of quail eggs shells crushed and set by hand by a master craftsman. For years, The Petite Heure Minute collection has featured dials that have showcased the various decorative techniques. Dubbed the “quail eggshell mosaic,” the brand’s latest technique allows its artisans to create motifs in different shades from yellow to braun from a set of quail egg shells.
5 Girard-Perregaux, 1966 Chambers of Wonders Collection
Unveiled during Baselworld, the Chambers of Wonders is a set of three watches that reproduce maps of the world through the eyes of artists from three different civilizations. The Pearl of Wonders represents the Arabian Peninsula, and was created by combining painted papyrus reeds under a singular blue sodalite stone that has been hand-cut, polished and engraved. Powering the watch is caliber GP03300, an in-house automatic movement that has been beautifully decorated as well, and is visible through a sapphire case back.