Bird Watching In Switzerland; Craftsmen Spread Their Wings
Who has not dreamed of learning to fly and soaring the skies with our fine-feathered friends? Symbolizing love, freedom and peace, birds have fascinated us since the beginning of time. Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and Jaquet Droz pay tribute to their beauty and cheer with these three exceptional timepieces that will have you preening your plumes and chirping with joy.
Harry Winston shows off the rare craft of “plumasserie” or feather artistry with its Midnight Feathers Automatic 42mm. Practiced around the world to convey power, virility and valiance, still found in the hats of certain full-dress uniforms, the art consists of selecting just the right sections of feathers to ensure shimmering tones and intense colours before being smoothed, flattened, trimmed and inserted into a design, resulting in a three-dimensional aspect.
Seen through a sapphire crystal, the dial of this timepiece is adorned with brown and black marquetry made from domestic goose feathers, complemented by a 42.5 mm 18K rose gold case with matching pin buckle on a brown alligator strap. Sapphire case-back. Mechanical automatic winding movement with skeleton oscillating weight, circular graining, Côtes de Genève and beveled bridges. Limited edition of 50 pieces.
The Lady Arpels Cardinal Carmin unites miniature feather art – a first for Van Cleef & Arpels – with the traditional skills of engraving, hard stone marquetry, and stone-setting. Here again, the dial shimmers with natural plumage, with each feather selected for its specific color and texture. Hard stone marquetry in the background further accentuates the three-dimensional effect, as the crimson-feathered cardinal appears to soar above mountains and valleys of jade, variscite and blood jasper, with a blue sky of larimar, while a diamond-set river flows below. The dial is surrounded by a yellow gold 38 mm case, with diamond-set bezel and crown, while the gold case back is engraved with a bird motif. Completed with alligator bracelet and yellow gold pin buckle set with diamonds. Manual-winding mechanical movement. Limited edition of 22 pieces.
With its 47 mm 18K white or red gold case and modern, pared-down aesthetics featuring black anthracite and transparent elements, this “Charming Bird” timepiece from Jaquet Droz seems, at first, more impressive than “charming”. A light-capturing dome-shaped sapphire crystal reveals a mechanism with miniaturized sapphire tubes and carbon pistons, a sapphire crystal dial at 12 o’clock with platinum Roman numerals and blued stainless steel hours and minutes hands, and a bird nestled snugly within the case.
Upon looking more closely we see the bird’s engraved feathers, head and exquisitely delicate tail with tiny strokes of color, and the charm starts to operate. And when we learn that the pistons pump air, store it and produce sounds, and we push on the button at 2 o’clock to activate the three cam automaton mechanism, we see our little bird come to life, rotating, opening and closing its beak, and flapping its wings and tail while we hear the three notes of its wonderfully sweet whistle.
And here, we succumb, totally, to the charm of this Charming Bird. Hand-made black alligator strap with gold prestige folding clasp. Hand-winding mechanical automaton movement and push-button triggering mechanism. Sapphire whistle system. The watch is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber Jaquet Droz 615, boasting a power reserve 38 hours. Limited numbered series of 28 pieces.
Photo Credit: Haute Time. Follow Haute Time on Instagram to catch all of the new releases as they happen.