Art & Timewear


richardmille 1

Poetry and enchantment


Watches aren't only devices that tell us the time, they are also fairy tales in miniature! Welcome to the world of imagination.

In the relentless advance of time, some watchmakers incite sheer wonderment. Van Cleef & Arpels is one, every year delivering its version of poetry in time, for 2014 one that has us communing with the planets. The Midnight Planetarium Poetic Complication is simply fascinating, being inspired by the 18th-century planetariums that represented the solar system and the movement of the planets in three dimensions. Equipped with a module developed by watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, it has a dial composed of aventurine discs that let us follow the course around the sun of six planets, each in a different hand-cut stone. And look, no hands – the hour is shown by a shooting star! This poetic, ludic watch also allows you to select your "lucky day" – partner's or child's birthday, wedding anniversary... – on its calendar and that precious day will be marked each year by a star meeting the earth. Hermès too has poetry in its soul, continuing its litany of imagined time with the Dressage L'Heure Masquée (masked hour) watch in which the hour hand hides beneath the minute hand, appearing only when you press the button incorporated into the crown. Then once again it disappears, along with the second time zone. How does this game of hide-and-seek work? The self-winding H1925 calibre has been equipped with an exclusive patented all-manufacture mechanism.


Time masked, whirling or imprecise
Epicureans who care not a jot for passing time are pandered to by MeisterSinger, whose single-hand models remind us of a time when humans weren't always trying to beat the clock. This year the range adds a jumping hours model, the Salthora. The dreamier among us will surely appreciate having only an imprecise idea of the time thanks to a single hand: on the dial, 144 segments represent five minutes each, so 12 segments per hour, allowing us to know the time to within a few minutes. A model supremely adapted to the "slow life" philosophy that is gaining devotees by the day. As for Richard Mille, this independent watchmaker simply astounds us with his new RM 63-01 Dizzy Hands. Inspired by the first lines of Nerval's poem Le Temps, this poetic gem invites us to fantasise and forget a moment. Touching a pushpiece sets a ballet in motion inside the case: the dial rotates anticlockwise while the hour hand turns at a different speed, transporting you out of time by a display bearing no relationship to everyday life. Once your period of suspended time – holiday, lovers' tryst, moment of escapism – is over you just activate the pushpiece again to return to normal time.