There are a number of ways in which a watchmaker may enhance the aesthetics of a timepiece. Colours, engravings, enamel painting, movement skeletonisation, and gem setting are but a few. In recent years, luxury watchmaking has come to embrace historical métiers d’arts from not just within Europe but around the world.
Techniques like Grand Feu enamel, cloisonné and champlevé enamelling, paillonné, plique-a-jour enamelling, micro-mosaics, relief engraving, glyptic carving, cameo engraving, and many more have made appearances. Popular design motifs favoured by artisans include flora and fauna, landscapes, maps and ancient scriptures, portraits, and even modern city skylines.
Decoration, however, isn’t restricted to the watch’s dial, as evinced by Franck Muller’s Croco and Cobra watches. The case of a timepiece may play as prominent a role. These timepieces showcase the manufacture’s design audacity as well as engineering finesse because it’s one thing to dress a watch in snakeskin or alligator leather but quite another to go the whole nine yards with the material.
The scales of the reptile have extended into the case and dial of the watches in a complex process (no) thanks to the curved profile of the Vanguard case. Every last scale is aligned perfectly and flows seamlessly from the dial to the case to the strap.
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