I know a lot of people don’t bother with watches but I still love them, both as functional objects and as beautiful accessories. Weirdly, I’ve seen hardly anyone with an Apple Watch. I’m intrigued to know what they’re like but so far I’m in the dark.
Meanwhile, the luxury watch houses are going all out, and I really do mean all out, to create stunning feats of artistic wonder with their top-end timepieces. Chanel has done it recently with its Chanel Mademoiselle Prive? Coromandel Glyptic watch. These one-off watches are crafted by hand in limited numbers using astonishing techniques (spoiler alert: they retail from £175,000).
The glyptic technique is an ancient Egyptian craft which involves engraving and carving precious stones to create an almost 3D-like hyper-real effect. On these watches, glyptic birds and flowers (inspired by Coco Chanel’s famous Coromandel screens) are cut out of mother-of-pearl, coral, turquoise, cornelian and lapis lazuli, then laid into an onyx dial. You can see some of the work in progress below – each frame takes over 100 hours work using tools developed especially for these watches. I’m getting twitchy just imagining the levels of patience and intense concentration one would need to complete just one of these. I’d quite like to watch someone else doing it though…
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl