A multitude of talented artisans turn to nature for inspiration and the modern Haute Horlogerie is no different. Last year we have seen an animal-inspired trend to grow, amplify and mature into something absolutely incredible. Below is a selection of latest luxury timepieces created by the top Swiss watchmakers.
In true Boucheron style , the latest watches reveal the depth and expertise of the company’s craftsmanship. The beautifully enamelled faces of these watches show ancient designs brought brilliantly up to date, alongside exotic depictions of animals such as elephants, crocodiles and flamingos. The colours and beauty of these designs make them highly sought after by watch collectors today, so prepare to be inspired.
Birds gently resting on delicate branches form the picturesque dial of Piaget‘s Limelight Garden Party watch. The beautiful diamond-set dial in a white-gold case, also set with brilliant-cut diamonds, and a diamond-set buckle make this the perfect choice for women. The birds themselves turn on the branches with every movement of the wearer’s wrist.
In this gem-set version, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel depicts cranes perching delicately on the engraved silver dial, crafted using a translucen guilloche enameling technique. Like a trompe l’oeil painting, it highlights every detail of the motif with infinite precision.
During the Enlightenment, the realism of the singing birds invented by Jaquet Droz amazed the royal courts of Europe. Today, the watchmaker had drawn on its heritage to release three limited edition models that are masterpieces of stunning decorative art. In the latest interpretation, the singing birds are shown to their best advantage on an ivory Grand Feu enamelled disc, which the artist uses as a canvas to reveal his talent for this ancient art.
Mira‘s Fée Céleste is an interpretation of feminine watchmaking with three models in diamond-set steel or pink gold. Inspired by an article on swans read by one of the Mira designers. The article spoke of the romance of the swans or ‘love birds’ as they are sometimes called, for once the swans have become a couple they will never leave each other. The result is a stunning watch depicting the gorgeous curved and bejewelled image of a bird floating gracefully on the dark lake of the dial waiting for her partner to arrive.
Hublot‘s Big Bang Leopard makes a much-acclaimed return and fits seamlessly into the genre-mixing trend, which is seeing a merging of daytime and evening dress codes. This model is set to take centre stage and win over the ultra-fashionable – it’s out with the femme fatale leopard-print look and in with this new take , which is wild yet refined.
Designed to satisfy the discerning connoisseur, especially those in the Oriental markets, Zennetti‘s Regent Dragon stands out for its remarkable features. It displays superb finishing details on the dial, case, back case and clasp, and the sinuous gold bas-relief dragon is applied on the dial as well as being engraved on the back case. Available in both gentlemen’s and ladies’ versions.
East meets West in these exquisite LUC XP Urushi timepieces crafted by Chopard using Urushi, the ancestral Japanese are of lacquering. Supervised by Kiichiro Masumura and designed, painted and adorned with gold dust by the Yamada Heiando Company, an official supplier to the Emperor of Japan, these works represent the five basic elements of the universe according to the ancient philosophy of Chinese natural science.
In 2011 Cartier presented six new animal creations – a magical menagerie that showcases the unusual union of artisanal skills and watchmaking expertise. Artistic crafts that enrich an compliment each other provide new realms of creativity. In these watches, Cartier proves that true craftsmanship is a beautiful sight. Shown above is the stunning Tortue XL yellow gold jaguar motif, with its hypnotic eyes.
The design and inspiration for this Richard Mille creation are fully grounded in the eternal themes of nature, Gaia, the Earth Mother, and the passage of time. The coupled serpents are ruby, emerald and diamond encrusted, but there are several other versions available, encrusted in precious, semi-precious or engraved stones.
Skies of turquoise enamel, waves and clouds in mother-of-pearl, animals with coats of diamonds, flowers of rubies, leaves of emeralds – the most precious materials ennoble high-precision movements, giving time a poetic dimensions that is unique to Van Cleef & Aprels. These exceptional watches from the Poetic Complications Collection truly tell us their stories in an extraordinary way.
The Ulysse Nardin Ladies Caprice Panda in 18ct white gold takes its inspiration from the bear beloved for its distinctive beauty and serene magnetism. A symbol of strength and resilience, the gentle giant is known as a creature of mystery and mystique. Depicted in plethora of black and white diamonds on a brilliant white background, a mother panda and her cub feast on a bamboo – can it get any cuter?