Going Natural - Swiss Watch Gallery | Malaysia's Premier Luxury Watch Retailer
Ultra Exclusive
August 28, 2018
David Beckham By David Sims, For TUDOR
September 5, 2018

Going Natural

WHEN BRANDS TAP INTO NATURE TO CRAFT THEIR WATCHES, THE RESULTS CAN BE SIMPLY BREATH-TAKING

Advancements in watchmaking have never been restricted to just mechanical movements. Over the years, we have seen the best of watchmaking step up their game by employing new and exotic materials ditching preferred alloys like stainless steel for more exotic alloys and materials for their watches.

Although not used extensively, some watchmakers have also looked at natural materials to give their timepieces a warmer and natural appeal. The world of horology has seen its fair share of these models being introduced, and although some of the results may boggle the mind, it goes to show that when it comes to timepieces, sometimes, the sky isn’t the limit for sheer creativity.

WHEN BRANDS TAP INTO NATURE TO CRAFT THEIR WATCHES, THE RESULTS CAN BE SIMPLY BREATH-TAKING

Advancements in watchmaking have never been restricted to just mechanical movements. Over the years, we have seen the best of watchmaking step up their game by employing new and exotic materials ditching preferred alloys like stainless steel for more exotic alloys and materials for their watches.

Although not used extensively, some watchmakers have also looked at natural materials to give their timepieces a warmer and natural appeal. The world of horology has seen its fair share of these models being introduced, and although some of the results may boggle the mind, it goes to show that when it comes to timepieces, sometimes, the sky isn’t the limit for sheer creativity.

Out of this World

Trust the masters at Jaeger-LeCoultre to create a timepiece using meteorite stone. The Master Calendar crafts a dial from a piece of meteorite that reportedly fell to earth over 800,000 years ago, found in Sweden. Its rarity aside, the material is extremely hard to craft and work with, making the Master Calendar is highly unique. The timepiece sports a full calendar function and moon phase housed in a 39mm steel case.

Bronze Age

Bronze seems to be in fashion once again. The material was heavily used in diving in the 50s thanks to its resistance to salt water. As such it is not surprising to see watchmakers utilise the alloy for its dive watches. Tudor has done the same with its Heritage Black Bay Bronze, which sports a 43mm bronze-steel case. Fitted with the manufacture calibre MT5601 movement, the vintage look of the timepiece is further complemented with a retro olive-green and khaki textile strap as well as an aged brown leather strap.

Wood Work

Although renowned for their aeronautically inspired timepieces, Bell & Ross looked to the high seas for the BR 01 Instrument de Marine. Although the signature square frame of the timepiece remains, closer inspection will reveal that it is made from hardened Indian rosewood, harking back to the era where hulls and masts of vessels were made of this very material. The maritime motif is also seen in the dial of BR 01 Instrument de Marine, which is reminiscent of ships clocks of the 19th century.

Precious Porcelain

With the help of renowned skilled craftsmen from the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture, Frederique Constant produced this exquisite dress watch. The Classics Art of Porcelain features a handmade porcelain dial with printed black roman numerals, which adds a touch if finesse to an already refined design. Interestingly, the dial has been formed and sanded by hand in order to reach the correct shape, thickness and shine, which will reportedly last for decades. The 40mm timepiece is powered by the FC-302 Automatic movement.

Art of Enamel

The Protocole XXL Miniature Enamel from Piaget is a stunning work of art, and that’s not just due to the hand-painted enamel dial it sports. Enamelling goes back centuries and it’s rooted in the process of fusing layers of ground glass unto metal using fire. Piaget has utilised this ideology to great effect with the addition of gold and silver leaf to further enhance the value of the timepiece. Powered by the Piaget 830P ultra-thin hand-wound mechanical movement, the Protocole XXL Miniature Enamel also features an 18-carat case.

Rock Hard

In the mid-1980s, Tissot surprised everyone with the introduction of the RockWatch, a watch made entirely out of natural stone. The ranged featured a range of granite and stones sourced from various mountainous areas around the world including alpine granite from Switzerland,  alabaster from Brazil and rhodonite from Australia to name a few. Each model featured a natural stone case milled on both sides for the dial and quartz movement. The range was succeeded by the WoodWatch, which featured cases made with exotic timbers just a few years later.

Out of this World

Trust the masters at Jaeger-LeCoultre to create a timepiece using meteorite stone. The Master Calendar crafts a dial from a piece of meteorite that reportedly fell to earth over 800,000 years ago, found in Sweden. Its rarity aside, the material is extremely hard to craft and work with, making the Master Calendar is highly unique. The timepiece sports a full calendar function and moon phase housed in a 39mm steel case.

Bronze Age

Bronze seems to be in fashion once again. The material was heavily used in diving in the 50s thanks to its resistance to salt water. As such it is not surprising to see watchmakers utilise the alloy for its dive watches. Tudor has done the same with its Heritage Black Bay Bronze, which sports a 43mm bronze-steel case. Fitted with the manufacture calibre MT5601 movement, the vintage look of the timepiece is further complemented with a retro olive-green and khaki textile strap as well as an aged brown leather strap.

Wood Work

Although renowned for their aeronautically inspired timepieces, Bell & Ross looked to the high seas for the BR 01 Instrument de Marine. Although the signature square frame of the timepiece remains, closer inspection will reveal that it is made from hardened Indian rosewood, harking back to the era where hulls and masts of vessels were made of this very material. The maritime motif is also seen in the dial of BR 01 Instrument de Marine, which is reminiscent of ships clocks of the 19th century.

Precious Porcelain

With the help of renowned skilled craftsmen from the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture, Frederique Constant produced this exquisite dress watch. The Classics Art of Porcelain features a handmade porcelain dial with printed black roman numerals, which adds a touch if finesse to an already refined design. Interestingly, the dial has been formed and sanded by hand in order to reach the correct shape, thickness and shine, which will reportedly last for decades. The 40mm timepiece is powered by the FC-302 Automatic movement.

Art of Enamel

The Protocole XXL Miniature Enamel from Piaget is a stunning work of art, and that’s not just due to the hand-painted enamel dial it sports. Enamelling goes back centuries and it’s rooted in the process of fusing layers of ground glass unto metal using fire. Piaget has utilised this ideology to great effect with the addition of gold and silver leaf to further enhance the value of the timepiece. Powered by the Piaget 830P ultra-thin hand-wound mechanical movement, the Protocole XXL Miniature Enamel also features an 18-carat case.

Rock Hard

In the mid-1980s, Tissot surprised everyone with the introduction of the RockWatch, a watch made entirely out of natural stone. The ranged featured a range of granite and stones sourced from various mountainous areas around the world including alpine granite from Switzerland,  alabaster from Brazil and rhodonite from Australia to name a few. Each model featured a natural stone case milled on both sides for the dial and quartz movement. The range was succeeded by the WoodWatch, which featured cases made with exotic timbers just a few years later.