The purpose of a watch is to tell time, sure. But there’s no edict on how to do so. You could tell the time in words or unveil it by way of a blooming bejewelled flower. You could reveal it in a series of rings or bands, or take inspiration from a historic relic. The opportunities are endless, and these watchmakers make a case for that. Bolstered by their desire to reimagine time telling, they have created timepieces that will boggle your eyes and gratify your mind. Here’s our round-up of some of the most noteworthy pieces:
Trilobe Une Folle Journée
A crazy day, inspired by the playwright behind Le Mariage de Figaro, Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais. His passion and fearlessness have found their rightful place in the Trilobe timepiece, which is the watchmaker’s third collection. For the first time, the watchmaker has introduced a completely open dial, made possible with a sapphire crystal dome. This allows the wearer to indulge in the one-of-a-kind movement supporting this timepiece. Three off-centre floating rings tell the time, displaying the seconds in the innermost ring, minutes in the middle ring and hours in the outermost ring. These rings are balanced by nine pillars and fly at 10.2 mm in height. Encased in grade 5 titanium, the watch is powered by Maison’s trademark X-Centric3 calibre, an exclusive automatic movement.
Van Cleef Lady Arpels Heures Florales
“What could be more poetic than measuring time with the opening and closing of flowers?”, asks Nicolas Bos, the president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, rather aptly. To which we say, possibly, nothing! As part of Maison’s Poetry of Time collection, Van Cleef & Arpels introduced three exclusive timepieces at Watches & Wonders 2022. These bejewelled watches are not only a feast for the eyes but also a timekeeping marvel. Take for instance the Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier. Inspired by Carl Von Linné’s floral clock, the Horologium Florae, the watch relies on the blooming and closing of 12 pink and red corollas to tell time. In an enchanting retrograde movement, every hour, the three-dimensional dial’s scenery changes. The 38 mm case is fashioned with rose gold and diamonds and features a window on the case’s side to indicate the minutes. Its springlike palette is brought to life with Van Cleef’s characteristic blue butterflies, vibrant corollas, gold branches and white mother-of-pearl clouds.
It’s as if the daily crossword of time has come to life. The QlockTwo W39 watch shot to fame for its ability to show time, not in numbers, but in words. It spells out the time on its square-shaped dial, which comes in a handful of colours, including black, copper and silver. Besides, literally, telling you the time, it also has a perpetual calendar that you can set. There’s also a seconds counter and a battery indicator. You can access each new feature by using the pusher on the case back. Encased in stainless steel, this timepiece is a noteworthy example of the myriad ways in which you can read the time. The watchmaker also offers other iterations of this timepiece, including a large wall clock.
Devon Tread 1
A tiny microprocessor dictates this futuristic watch’s movements. Using an electric drive quartz movement, the small computer controls four motors that in turn control the four criss-cross belts displaying the time. While the horizontal belt displays the hours, the vertical one shows the minutes. The microprocessor collects data from a temperature-compensated crystal and uses optical recognition to display time accurately. So much so that the timepiece boasts an accuracy of half a second per day. Powered by a lithium-polymer rechargeable cell, the watch is an avant-garde take on timekeeping. According to the watchmaker’s founder and creative director, Scott Devon, their unique patented movement is “not a design; it’s an engineering feat”. And we couldn’t agree more.
Urwerk UR-100V Time and Culture I
Launched in March 2022, this collection is a nod to timekeeping’s rich history. With its focus on 1479 Central America, it celebrates the Aztec calendar by displaying the “Sun Stone” motif on its dial. It has been engraved extremely intricately, boasting thinness of only 0.05 mm (get your magnifying glasses out!) Not only is it a visual treat, but it’s also a technical phenomenon. When the 60th-minute mark passes, the minute hand disappears and reappears as a kilometre counter. It represents the 524 km covered in 20 minutes by Mexicans. It’s the average speed of Earth’s rotation in Mexico city.
These stunning watches allow you to flex your mental muscles and go beyond the conventional methods of timekeeping. So, why wait? Go on and experience eccentric timekeeping today