Extravagant watch designs come in every style imaginable and are some of the most visually stunning timepieces to have ever been created. Some watch brands have used skills to create what we like to term ‘Horological Art‘ where a fine timepiece becomes a visual work of art worn on the wrist.
Discover our selection of some of the world’s most extravagant watch designs!
Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 10
For the past decade, Harry Winston has been pushing both technical and aesthetic boundaries with the Histoire de Tourbillon collection, which concludes with the Histoire de Tourbillon 10, the tenth and final chapter in the story. The watch design is perfectly symmetrical and surprisingly clean – the sculptural pair of sloping bridges supporting the case mount a dial crafted from a single piece of sapphire.
Dior Grand Bal
The functional becomes beautiful in the Dior Grand Bal Plume Wild, a family of watches which celebrate, rather than conceal, the remarkable technology at their heart. The oscillating weight of the movement becomes the graceful swirl of a ball gown; here ensconced in black feathers, it creates a pleasing textural jarring against a veined blue stone.
The new Grip by Gucci looks set to enter the brand’s roster of classic pieces, which succinctly capture the zeitgeist. A restrained, retro aesthetic and functional watch design ticks here nod fondly to Gérald Genta’s famed brand of the luxury sports watch. It’s the vintage chic marriage of burgundy calfskin and gleaming yellow gold that makes this the one for us.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT
MB&F’s legendary brand of avant-garde cool is thankfully still very much evident in its very first timepiece for women. The Legacy Machine FlyingT refuses to compromise on a technicality and is the latest of creator Maximilian Büsser’s three-dimensional mechanical sculptures, featuring an eponymous 60-second flying tourbillon which hovers enigmatically over a central pillar. The result may be eye-catching, but telling the time itself is surprisingly intimate thanks to a clever angled elegant sub-dial that only the wearer can see.
Hublot Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero
Hublot’s collaboration with Marc Ferrero is the latest in a long line of prolific partnerships. The Hublot Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero depicts one of the artist’s most renowned works, ‘Lipstick’, on the dial, circled in spinels or topazes. Ferrero is renowned for amalgamating different graphic styles, and this collaboration sees precious gems fused with functional technology.
Van Cleef & Arpels Sweet Alhambra
The Van Cleef & Arpels emblem of luck translates seamlessly into other forms, too, as the cocktail-style ‘Sweet Alhambra’ watch design shows. By fitting the crown under the case, the clover silhouette remains graphically pure. This guilloché dial design, with layer upon layer of gold detailing, leads us to hope that our luck just might be about to turn.
Cartier Skeleton Dual Time Zone Tonneau
Cartier’s reputation for creating horology’s most stylish watch designs, ranging from the classic to the sublime, continues apace. A supremely elegant feat of engineering, the watch case’s elongated form required a specially curved movement so as not to alter the Tonneau’s eponymous shape. It is also ergonomically considered for a smooth fit on the wrist. In skeletonising the movement, Cartier is infusing serious mechanics with its ever-light touch.
Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel
Ulysse Nardin has created an angled, box-domed crystal to house its new Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel – crafted from synthetic sapphire, it’s a complex piece to engineer, requiring months of careful work. However, the crystal’s real purpose is to showcase the extraordinary open-worked dial beneath.
Fiona Krüger Mechanical Entropy
Chaos is a disruptive departure from the Scottish designer’s skull-shaped, mechanical watches, and, as its name suggests, embraces ideas of order and disorder via a semi-skeletonised, dial-less watch that depicts an explosion of watch parts. Limited to 40 pieces, the titanium watch comes in two finishes – black with either rhodium or gold (pictured).
A Rolex chronograph once owned by Andy Warhol is our highlight from the Christie’s Rare Watches auction held in Geneva earlier this year, which was previously sold with the rest of his watch and jewellery collection in 1988. It is easy to see why the Rolex reference 3525 appealed – marrying steel and gold, its experiments with colour would have been familiar to the King of Pop Art.
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