There isn’t a single form of art that hasn’t been influenced or taken inspiration from the vibrancy of mother nature’s aesthetics. The art of fine watchmaking is guilty of this, too. Taking after the mighty oceans and the roaring jungles, some of the watchmaking expressions turn out highly elegant while others, absolutely fierce. Yet all of it, in admiration of the animal kingdom and its limitless glory. Mother nature is a muse to horology, and every once in a while, we see a true spectacle. Highlighting seven of them today, here are a few luxury watches inspired by the fierce beauty of the animal kingdom.
Let’s start off this list on an aquatic note. In early 2020, Carl F Bucherer teamed up with UK-based, Manta Trust charity over a truly special timepiece called the Black Manta edition. More so, all proceeds from the watch will be donated to the cause. On this note of sustainability and oceanic care, the textured dial also houses a silhouette of a graceful manta while the straps are crafted out of recycled PET bottles. Its case back is decorated with a stunning and detailed engravement of a manta.
The glorious Serpenti. Year-after-year since 1978, we’ve seen it shed its skin. In its earliest form, the Serpenti was designed to embody the silhouette of a snake’s body slithering and wrapping around a lady’s wrist. At first glance itself, you’ll understand its unique design – The body (strap) of the serpent loops around the wrist and is enriched in high jewellery and precious metals, while the head of the serpent would be a timepiece. In later editions, the Serpenti’s dial took after the actual shape of a serpent’s head.
VC is perhaps the most radical watchmaker of this generation and they never fail to impress us with the design innovation and the sheer complexity of their craft. One of their latest offerings, however, came with pure animal instincts – The Les Cabinotiers Mécaniques Sauvages. The 14-Day Tourbillon Lion, the Armillary Tourbillon Snake and the Mysterious Animals Tiger are our top picks from this capsule. You can read more about this here.
On a slightly chirpy note, meet the Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater. What’s cute about it, is that, when the timepiece chimes, the parent birds go into a motion of feeding the chicks. However, it’s also the same reason why it’s one of the most expensive luxury watches of all time. It boasts a complication called an automaton, It’s a sort of program which when activated, starts the pre-programmed movement. What you’re looking at, might be an 18th-century wonder, but it’s a pinnacle of watchmaking. Know more about it here.
We know, Hermès’s brand signature is highly equestrian but we couldn’t help but talk about this one. At Watches & Wonders 2021, the maison unveiled a novelty that takes after a long-lost resident of the Earth and true apex predator of its time. Aptly named ‘Arceau Pocket Aaaaaargh!’, the timepieces beats to the rhythm of Hermes Manufacture H1924 with a refined white enamel dial. The magic, however, is on the outside, the case is adorned with a tyrannosaurus composed of marquetry and leather mosaic.
Richard-Mille is no slouch when it comes to crafting exotic, bespoke dials on their luxury watches. But with the animal kingdom as today’s focus, we’d like to shift your attention to this novelty. Taking after the international symbol of peace, the RM-26 boasts a panda on its skeletal dial, who appears to be busy snacking on a few shoots. The case and crown feature hundreds of brilliant-cut diamonds. The panda too is bedazzling with diamonds and black sapphires. The baseplate of this timepiece is made out of black onyx. Limited to only 15 pieces.
Even though this timepiece made its debut at the 2017 edition of the SIHH, you can tell, it embodies Carter’s timeless aesthetic and appeal. The timepiece is such a beautiful example of enameling and marquetry in the watchmaking industry. Cased in 18K yellow gold, the dial requires a number of techniques to craft, including hand painting. This timepiece is extremely exclusive and we can see why.
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