Step into famous museums like the Louvre, and you’ll be immediately taken aback by the sheer amount of beauty and talent. More than just paintings on the wall, these are also ideas that have been bought to life with extraordinary techniques. So imagine recreating the depth and allure of a painting, but on a minuscule canvas measuring just slightly more than an inch.
This is what some of the most skilled artisans do for hundreds of hours on end to create the most stunning artistic watches on earth. Using techniques that are equally — if not more — tedious, each fusion of art and horology are unique in itself. Then there’s the many methods in which they could employ — from painting and cloisonné work, to enamelling and even embroidery.
As the mediums through which the big brands employ are constantly evolving, some even blending several together, these artistic watches are fast becoming the most sought-after for collectors, second only to haute complications. What’s extraordinary is that like the wall masterpieces at the Louvre, many of these modern pieces have roots that are centuries old, with the revered enamel work being one of the most time-honoured traditions you’ll find today. You’ll find below that these pieces require more than a skilled and steady hand; an extensive knowledge of colours, firing processes and a gut feeling honed only by experience is essential.
From a delicate silk embroidered piece to one with an enamelled imagery by Japan’s “Living National Treasure”, these are the five artistic watches with a dial that steal the limelight away from the movement.