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Wearable Art: 8 Watches for Maximalists

Minimalism may be in, but watchmakers will always take pride in showing off their artistry through visually striking pieces. From hand engraving and sculpting to unique jewelry settings and enamel art, artisans apply all kinds of techniques to turn timepieces into wearable works of art. These are the watches for people who aren’t afraid to make a statement.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Knights of the Round Table III

 

Arthurian legend meets 21st century art in this stunning piece from Roger Dubuis. King Arthur’s valiant knights come to life as pink-gold low poly figurines who point their glistening swords at an Avalon-inspired table sculpted from solid blue enamel blocks. This scene is framed by an imposing pink-gold case with a fluted bezel.

The Excalibur Knights of the Round Table III houses a self-winding Calibre RD 821 with a 48-hour power reserve.

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Celestial

 

 

Astrology lovers and New Age romantics will love this timepiece, which features a celestial map tracking the constellations’ movements across a hand-painted lapis lazuli sky. Its deep blue and purple hues take inspiration from the aurora borealis, and are complemented by a bezel set with gorgeous sapphires and diamonds. A star running along the circumference of the dial acts as a rendez-vous indicator—just use the crown to set it to the appointed hour of your meeting.

The Rendez-Vous Celestial runs on a Jaeger-LeCoultre 809/1 automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve.

 

 

Patek Philippe 5077/101 “Birds and Clouds”

 

Birds take flight against a backdrop of white gold clouds and a blue lacquer sky in this piece from Patek Philippe’s latest Rare Handcrafts collection. A guilloché sunburst radiating from 6 o’clock adds depth to the dial, while hand-engraved feathers adorn rose gold dauphin hands. Diamond indices complement the bejeweled bezel and lugs.

One can admire the caliber 240 ultra-thin self-winding movement through the sapphire-crystal case back. The movement has a power reserve of at least 48 hours.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in Everose Gold

The Rolex “Rainbow” Daytona has been much coveted since it was revealed at Baselworld 2018. Apart from its eye-catching sapphire-encrusted bezel, its dial features 11 baguette-cut sapphire hour markers to match. Its lugs and crown guard are set with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds as well, and its case and bracelet are made of 18 ct Everose gold. We particularly like the unique finish on the pink gold crystal chronograph counters.

Like any other Rolex, this timepiece isn’t just about looks: its Oyster case is guaranteed waterproof up to 100 meters or 330 feet, ands its winding crown is fitted with a Triplock triple waterproofness system. The Rainbow Daytona runs on a Calibre 4130 self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with a 72-hour power reserve.

 

 

Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art Les Aerostiers Bagnols 1785

 

Long before the Wright Brothers invented the first successful airplane, the people of France dreamed of flight. Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Aérostiers collection celebrates five historical hot air balloon flights undertaken in France in the 1780s. Our favorite? The Bagnols 1785, which features an ornate hot air balloon hand-engraved and microsculpted from yellow and white gold. It appears to float against a whimsical plique-à-jour enamel dial in various shades of blue.

Its disc displays include hours, minutes, day of the week, and date, all run by the self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2460 G4/1. It has approximately 40 hours of power reserve and is water resistant to 3 bar or 30 meters.

 

 

Hublot Big Bang Mr. Brainwash

 

Not all maximalist watches need to be covered in glittering jewels. In 2015, street artist Mr. Brainwash (also known as Thierry Guetta) worked his magic on a Hublot Big Bang Unico 45, resulting in an acrylic paint-splattered timepiece that was literally a wearable work of art. Needless to say, we don’t recommend you do the same to your watches.

Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage


Nothing says maximalist like a cuff watch that looks like it could cut you. The third and final piece in Audemars Piguet’s Haute Joaillerie trilogy, Diamond Outrage is for the fabulous woman who is not to be messed with. Its bracelet is adorned with striking diamond-encrusted spikes of varying sizes, resulting in an explosion of glittering stalactites on the wrist.

Its quartz movement is housed in an 18-carat white gold bracelet entirely set with diamonds, with a mirror polished dial and blackened gold hands.

 

 

Breguet Be Crazy

 

As the house that created the very first wristwatch for the Queen of Naples in 1810, and counted Marie Antoinette, Empress Josephine, and Queen Victoria among its clientele, it’s no surprise that Breguet continues to produce watches fit for royalty. Case in point: the Breguet Be Crazy wrist watch, which features over 70 carats of baguette diamonds. Here’s the breakdown: Over 1,000 mobile diamonds set into the caseband, 57 diamonds in the flange, 133 diamonds in the dial, and over 200 diamonds set into the bracelet.

The case, dial, and bracelet are made of 18-carat white gold. With such an impressive watch, Breguet could easily have gotten away with using a quartz movement. However, the Be Crazy watch houses a self-winding Breguet Cal. 586/1, which has a 38-hour power reserve and can be viewed through a sapphire-crystal caseback.

 

 

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