Horological precision with the beauty of fine art. There are however multiple forms of artistic craftsmanship one can find in watches. The watches that qualify in the artistic category of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG 2023) should demonstrating exceptional mastery of one or several artistic techniques such as enamelling, lacquering, engraving, guilloché (engine-turning), skeleton-working, etc.
Here are the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG 2023) academy’s nominations for the artistic watch of the year.
1. LOUIS MOINET – SAVANNA TOURBILLON TIGER
An 81-piece micro-painted jigsaw puzzle dial: A premiere in fine-arts watchmaking. The dial is a veritable miniature puzzle, created by a virtuosic micro-painter who flawlessly portrayed a regal tiger with bewitching features. Each SAVANNA TOURBILLON is a work of art that demands the kind of rare and valuable skills mastered only by very few craftsmen.
The eighty-one pieces of the puzzle interlock on four levels. Because of this complexity, the painter must take apart the puzzle and patiently paint the edge of each piece. After that, the pieces must be meticulously reassembled to form a perfectly harmonious puzzle dial. This demands extreme dexterity and displays the sheer talent and exactitude of the artist at work. Watch more here
2. ANDERSEN GENÈVE – JUMPING HOURS RISING SUN EDITION
Pink gold and platinum combine to glorious effect in the new edition of ANDERSEN Genève ’s exceptional Jumping Hours watch. ANDERSEN Genève once again presents an exceptionally refined interpretation of the classic Jumping Hours complication, in a version that pairs a hand-finished platinum case with a dial of 18ct pink gold: a subtle and exceptionally beautiful combination.
3. PIAGET – ALTIPLANO MÉTIERS D’ART – UNDULATA
Subtly mixing the green, blue and iridescent hues into one hypnotic dial, the French artist Rose Saneuil created a miniature marquetry of volume, textures and colors. This meticulous piece includes several layers of wood, straw and leather, patiently assembled by hand to create a mesmerizing effect to the signature Piaget flying tourbillon manufacture movement. For this limited edition of 8 pieces in white gold and diamonds, she carefully cuts each element before incrusting them one at a time on the dial. This diligent operation requires precision and patience, as these infinitely thin materials must perfectly fit. It took her over 44 hours to create this intricate dial.
4. SARPANEVA WATCHES – NÄKKI
A wristwatch that captures the mystique of the elusive Näkki, with its captivating design and timeless allure, reminding wearers to cherish every moment before the moon’s grip takes hold.Hand-painted, multilayered steel dials featuring Swiss Super-Luminova®, inspired by Mr. Ville Tietäväinen’s artwork. The unique phases of the moon complication (29.5 days) is directly integrated into the movement.
5. VAN CLEEF & ARPELS – LADY DUO DE LIONS WATCH
The art of miniature painting, gem-setting and gold engraving combine to give life to this miniature painting of great complexity, revealing a striking relief. Several emblematic techniques are brought together here: miniature painting on white mother-of-pearl gives a realistic aspect to the clouds, while gold engraving lends a depth effect to the dial, giving the impression that the lions in volume stand out from it. A parterre set with diamonds and pink sapphires illuminates the scene. The combined craftsmanship and mastery of Van Cleef & Arpels‘ watchmaking workshops transcribe the wonders of nature onto the timepiece, like an invitation to dream.
6. RUDIS SYLVA – HYMNE D’ORIENT
Harmonious Oscillator, decorated with the legend symbols of the carp koï and lotus. Hand engraved, this unique model from Rudis Sylva features ornamentation including gold, a diamond nestled in a lotus flower, a vase from which azure water pours, a sculpted moon exhibiting faithfully rendered craters, a dark aventurine sky and a hand-decorated dial.
The koi carp, as it is commonly known, is chiselled from gold and adorned with subtly-rendered barbels. The lotus flower, which is sculpted from 5N gold, floats in translucent blue water. Its rippled leaves confer a peaceful sense of harmony to the artist’s tableau. Above this, water pours from a gold vase to symbolise the very essence of all life on Earth. The scene is set against an aventurine sky illuminated by a subtle constellation, from the dark centre of which rises the moon, complete with craters.
Read more about GPHG 2023 here