Bovet – Château de Môtiers 40
As it gears up to celebrate its 195th anniversary, Bovet presents an innovative technique combining traditional miniature painting with the application of thin layers of luminescent material. The result is a design that is visible by both day and night. The technique suggests many creative possibilities, such as the ability to show two different designs for night and day.
The white mother-of-pearl dial of the Château de Môtiers 40 features a hand-painted butterfly in a stunning cameo of greens and blues. As the light fades, the butterfly’s wings start to glow, producing a magical visual effect. The self-winding watch comes in a 40 mm diameter red gold case with an alligator strap. Bovet will be revealing more creations using the same innovative technique.
Cvstos – Re-Belle Papillons
The Re-Belle collection from Cvstos, which is exclusively for women, combines watchmaking, artistic crafts and jewellery. Delicate butterflies – hand-painted, set with diamonds or applied – grace the mother-of-pearl dial of the Re-Belle Papillon model. The tonneau-shaped case in steel or gold encloses a mechanical movement with hour, minutes and central seconds functions, which can be viewed through the sapphire caseback. These creations are displayed on an alligator leather strap in colours to match the different dial variations.
Graff – Princess Butterfly Secret Watch
British jeweller and watchmaker Graff has unveiled a new sapphire and diamond version of the Princess Butterfly watch, which was introduced in 2016. This secret watch incorporates an innovative jewellery mechanism, where pressure on the central gems reveals a 17 mm watch face in mother-of-pearl surrounded by baguette diamonds. Graff’s master artisans have brought all their skills to bear to effortlessly transform a piece of jewellery into watch. The edges of the butterfly’s sculpted wings are accented by invisibly set baguette-cut diamonds, and their surface is paved with precious stones, intensifying the lustre of each gem.
In keeping with the design language of the rest of the collection, “T-Bar” lugs are fitted on top and bottom of this situation, where a full grain black alligator strap is affixed. Front crystal and display back are made from sapphire, the latter supplying view to the slender and striking movement, which also includes piqué detailing into the Cable in blue. Even with its slender dimensions and “T-Bar” lugs (that are known for being flimsy in different programs), the white gold instance has a remarkable amount of heft, lending itself nicely to real-world usage. While the timepiece clearly sits on the “apparel watch” end of this spectrum, I’d absolutely travel with it around the wrist – supplied I was in the First Class cabin.The watch is surprisingly comfortable on the wrist, using its heft informs you of its existence as it tucks out from beneath your cuff. Admittedly, my experience with white gold was less than fantastic. As the softest precious metal, white gold doesn’t hold up to some sort of abuse well, therefore my preference here would be for platinum. No matter with a great design that pairs a great size with hallmark historical design traits, this isn’t the kind of dress watch you forget you are wearing, and in my book it is a winner.
Jaquet Droz – « Loving Butterfly Automaton »
The dial of the Loving Butterfly Automaton is based on a design created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz 242 years ago. The tableau is brought to life by simply pressing on the crown pusher: the butterfly awakens and begins to pull the cherub in his chariot gracefully across the dial. An optical illusion using fixed and moving spokes makes the wheel of the chariot appear to turn. Jaquet Droz’ artisans and watchmakers worked hand in hand to produce this limited edition of 28 pieces. Forty elements, including the cherub’s arms and face, and the engraved feet and antennae of the butterfly, are assembled by hand. The trees, which are no more than 0.2 mm deep, are carved individually by means of a new technique that is the subject of a patent application. The exclusive automaton mechanism, for which two patents have also been registered, took three years to develop. Three barrels hand-wound from the crown supply the power necessary for the butterfly to delicately flutter its wings 300 times over the course of two minutes. The Loving Butterfly Automaton carries the chariot wheel motif over onto the rotor, which is visible through the sapphire caseback.
Van Cleef & Arpels – Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
Enchanted nature, a favourite theme of Van Cleef & Arpels, comes to life in the Lady Arpels Papillon Automate. The sophisticated automaton module animates the butterfly’s wings, which beat once or up to four times in a row, depending on the power reserve. When the watch is at rest, the butterfly is activated at irregular intervals, every two to four minutes. When the watch is being worn, the movements increase. The show is also available on demand, by pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock. Miniature painting, sculpted mother-of-pearl, gem-setting and champlevé, paillonné and plique-à-jour enamelling are the decorative arts used to bring the scene to life, all of them handled in the company’s own workshops.
Tiffany & Co. – Blue Book Collection 2017 « The Art of Life »
Tiffany & Co.’s Blue Book is something of an American institution. Its first edition was published in 1845. Since then, every year, this luxury compendium has presented a high jewellery collection made up exclusively of one-off pieces. The 2017 edition, entitled “The Art of Wild”, features 15 exceptional watches inspired by beautiful flora and fauna. Two fabulous timepieces based on the Tiffany Cocktail model feature a delicate butterfly in grand feu enamel set with 30 pink sapphires, 22 diamonds and opals inlayed into white gold using the “mille grains” technique. They both come in a white gold case measuring 25.6 x 42.0 mm set with 218 sapphires. The most luxurious model has a mother-of-pearl dial set with 160 round-cut diamonds, and a water drop link bracelet also set with precious gems.