Choosing a timepiece with a point of difference is a way to make a statement about your own personality. There are many aspects of a watch that can set you apart from your contemporaries, but nothing makes a statement quite as strikingly as a unique dial.
Jaquet Droz is a watchmaker that has long prided itself on creating watches that not only have exemplary technical specs, but also boast collections that have elegant and vivid dials that are worthy of being called works of art in their own right. True originals. The maison’s Relief Petite Heure Minute Tiger wristwatch is a case in point. Emanating power and masculinity, this bold creation has 18-karat white gold and opal dial, black onyx subdial with carefully hand-engraved and hand-painted 18-karat white gold tiger relief appliques.
The case (also 18-karat white gold) houses 144 baguette-cut diamonds and crown set with a diamond, with 28 jewels and 2.15 carats in total. It has a power reserve of 68 hours, is 41 mm in diameter and water resistant to 30 metres. A rolled-edge hand-made black alligator wristband completes the deal. The Relief Tiger also comes in an 18-karat red gold version.
More feminine, but still in a similar vein, is the Lady 8 Flower series. Featured next page is the iteration with the grand feu enamel dial. The 18-karat white gold case set boasts a to-die-for 114 diamonds, totalling 1.40 carats. There is a mechanical opening flower automaton movement and push-button automaton triggering mechanism. Meticulously hand-engraved petals in 18-karat white gold are prominent and there is a rotation of a briolette blue sapphire (0.24 carat) in both directions. The buckle is an 18-karat white gold folding clasp set with 47 dazzling diamonds.
Sticking with the theme of artistic horological creations with unique dials is this sublime offering from Franck Muller, in collaboration with acclaimed artist, Hom Nguyen. The two have joined forces to produce this exceptional timepiece: the Cintrée Curvex Double Mystery with Tourbillon. Nguyen is a French painter of Vietnamese origin who is famed for creating portraits in a figurative style – clearly depicted in the watchface.
In place of hands, time is shown by rotating discs with the brand’s trademark double mystery complication. Completly hand-drawn and assembled in the purest watchmaking tradition, this timepiece is equipped with a manual winding mechanical movement and boasts a power reserve of 60 hours.
Also from Frank Muller and distinctly more ladylike – but still retaining a certain degree of quirkiness – is the Vangaurd Lady Heart. Playfully replacing the numbers ‘3’ through ‘7’ with a burst of tastefully designed hearts, this watch incorporates dynamic and graceful features. The collection is a tribute to femininity, with a poignant silhouette and a poetic dial. Shown on previous page are the red and pink iterations.
This month’s offering by Roger Dubuis takes us way back in time to the days of merry old England, the Knights of the Round Table MT Gold is as playful as it is historically accurate – and a beautifully crafted timepiece to boot – with each number on the dial replaced with a mini-sculpture of one of the aforementioned knights of King Arthur’s fellowship, from Lancelot to all the others.
The main material of the dial is gold and a matching case with sapphire crystal with a special anti-reflective coating open case back with a sapphire crystal pink gold bezel with a saphhire crystal crown with Murano glass. The clasp comes with a gold cover, with titanium blades – triple folding – interchangeable with an ingenious crystal release system.
Rounding out our set of six is the Tag Heuer Monaco V4. This racey little number was made famous when it first appeared on the wrist of action-man film star Steve McQueen duirng his appearnce in the 1970 film Le Mans. This revolutionary watch features four barrels mounted on ball bearings, pinions and belts. The timepiece displays its movement through its anti-reflective sapphire glass – revealing the intricate design features within, comprising tungsten ingot, linear mass and two pairs of barrels, that are mounted in parallel and cleverly connected by belts.