Thursday, May 14, 2015

12 Extraordinary Watches for Bird Lovers

e listed 10 of the most incredible timepieces depicting birds. I chose one brand for each bird; although, I could have written the blog entirely on Jaquet Droz minute or Bird repeaters. Perhaps for some other time.

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater circa 2015 Cost $520,000

  The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater has to be one of the most publicized watches unveiled at Baselworld 2015 and for $520,000 this watch is designed particularly for the avid bird fan. Who else would spend a bundle to watch a mechanical mother bird feed here chick, another stretch its wings and another hatch from an egg. To fully appreciate this watch one must view the watch in action.

Van Cleef Arpels Lady Arpels Jour Nuit Oiseaux de Paradis SIHH 2015

The 2015 edition to  Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complication flock is this wonderful depiction of a Bird of Paradise.  The champlevé and cloisonné enamel creates a dial brilliant in color and form .  Blue hues, fiery oranges and  deep purple depict the vividness of an untainted forests where Birds of paradise alight among towering trees. The Bird of Paradise upon the dial displays shimmering tail feathers set with three round diamonds.  The movement powering this latest 38mm edition to Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complication collection, is a 24 hour movement which changes the scene from flower by day to a diamond moon at night.  This timepiece is limited to 22 pieces.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art L’éloge de la nature collection - Watches & Wonders 2014

Two cranes engraved upon a pink gold plate  fly over a choppy sea of guilloché ripples and translucent Grand Feu enamel. Two provide the wearer or watcher with the full effect of birds in flight, Vacheron Constantin utilized a automatic in-house 237 piece Calibre 2460 G4 movement, which displays the trailing hours and minutes as well as a jumping day and date via four apertures. The case is fashioned from 18k 5N pink gold and affixes to the wrist via an alligator leather strap.  The case back is fashioned from sapphire crystal where one may view the Hallmark of Geneva.

Angular Momentum - Flying  Bird circa 2009

 Now this watch is kind of creepy, reminds me of the last creature to escape from hellish destruction.The creature in fact is a sparrow which ,together with its foreboding backdrop, has been crafted with a Japanese Lacquering method known as Urushi. Urushi lacquer comes from the sap of a Urushi tree, which creates a natural plastic like substance. It is the Urushi Lacquer that creates the intense blackness covering the dial. 

Boucheron Hiniscus Tourbillon circa 2012

 Boucheron mechanical hand wound Hibiscus Tourbillon is  a delicate representation of a hummingbird in mid-flap alighting upon a diamond encrusted bezel attracted by a bright pink hibiscus.  Between bird and flower, a flying tourbillon incorporating a Swiss escapement lever rotates beneath fallen leaves. A flying tourbillon is only supported on one side creating the illusion that it rotating whilst suspended in mid air -  unsupported by any means. A white - almost hazy mother-of-pearl dial -like a sky masked with high cirrus clouds, sets a gentle backdrop for a scene  created from white gold, blue and pink sapphires and diamonds. A dial framed by delicate plant like swirls is placed at the 1 'o'clock position.  A gentle reminder of  Boucheron's flagship boutique at number 26  place Vendôme.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Floral Marquetry Parrot Watch - SIHH 2014

"Polly wants a cracker?" The parrot fluffing its feathers atop a signature Cartier Ballon Bleu dial is so realistic one expects it to emit a shrill squawk and pluck the cracker right out the hands of the giver. Amazingly the soft visage of feathers are crafted from real flower petals. From its face of feathers, a single emerald gleams at its eye against a shimmering backdrop of diamond paving.  Limited to 20 pieces.

MB&F / Boucheron HM3 JwlryMachineWatch - circa 2010

Without the additional owlish getup,  MB & F's HM3 closely resembles an owl or a frog. However, beneath the bejeweled clothes of Boucheron, the mechanical mastery turns into a spectacular spectacle of owlish delight.Clear sapphire crystal enable the clear display of hour and minute upon the cylinders of each eye. The eyes themselves are top with a purple cabochon and surrounded by a ring of diamonds. The owls claws and feather toughs are crafted from 18k white gold. Price $215,000
Chopard Emerald & Diamond Owl Watch- Currently Available

The eyes of an owl truly lend themselves to the face of a watch, especially when a dual timezone is on display.  Chopard ,with its love for the animal kingdom, chose to represent the great horned owl on a silver leather strap around the wrist. Graduated calibré-cut emerald surround two grey guilloché watch dial eyes within a diamond set owl face. Available at Chopard, this limited edition Owl Watch  will make your friends hoot with delight.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Grand Tourbillon Crane Enamel Watch - circa 2013
Although many watch companies have taken pride in applying miniature enamel paintings to the dial, this timepiece is Jaeger-Lecoultre's first attempt at the enamel art.  The result ,of course, is exceptional. Cranes, a symbol of longevity, nestle amongst bamboos beneath a silver foil moon and white gold  guilloché decorated dial.  A bunch of bamboo stalks are meticulously painted on the sapphire crystal creating a unique depth to the dial. An almost weightless light weight titanium alloy tourbillon cage turning at one revolution per minute. The enamel artistry is framed by a bejeweled bezel and sweeping lugs of 94 baguette cut diamonds weighing in at 8 carats.   The power house of the watch  is the iconic Calibre 978 visible via a sapphire crystal case back.  Limited edition of 8 pieces.

Christian Audigier's Graceful Bird Watch- Currently Available
Since most these watches can run you in the thousands from some of the most prestigious watch brands, I like to post a more affordable bird watch to sway the chances of getting the title of a watch snob - Gasp! Anyway back to business.  I have been monitoring Christian Audigier's watch designs for some time.  The watches and movements are ok.  Nothing to cry home about or set up news crawlers atop Times Square, but they definitely fill a nice affordable watch niche.  The watches exude a youthful energy and pizzazz. The Graceful Bird Watch dial boasts tattoo flash inspired artwork and surrounded by Swarovski Crystal. In addition, Swarovski crystal graces each hour indice. The watch is presented on a gray rubber band featuring Christian Audiger's signature trademark.    Christian Audigier  is a high profile and very prolific French fashion designer residing in the US. Price $225.00

Piaget Limelight Garden Party Watch - SIHH 2011 (Ref. G0A36169)
Piaget's Limelight Garden Party Collection is a whimsical representation of a summer eve surrounded by the chatter of friends, the clink of glasses, the gentle chatter of garden birds and a gentle breeze ruffling leaves.  The diamond encrusted birds, diamond encrusted leaves and berries the birds eat, revolve around the dial in effortless motion. The birds an their habitat are a meticulous composition of 99 brilliant cut diamonds set upon an 18 carat white gold case baring 52 brilliant cut diamonds. The entire scene sparkles against a backdrop of pure Piaget black. The watch is powered by a Piaget 56P quartz movement and secured to the wrist by a black satin strap and secured by a diamond encrusted 18 carat white gold ardillon buckle.If one has a great infinity for birds, take note, this watch is part of a large garden party motif collection of brooches necklaces and earrings.

Harry Winston Premier Feather Watch - Circa 2012
"Birds of a feather flock together"  and Harry Winston has taken this proverb to an entirely new level by perfectly placing feathers upon a dial to create a kaledescope of design and color. Harry Winston always delivers with a flourish.  With the Premier Feather Watch, unveiled at the opening of the Shanghai Pavilion boutique, Harry Winston preens perfection like an exotic male bird showing off its fine plumage to the ladies.   Working with feathers requires exceptional talent and the job goes too ... Nelly Saunier who is one of the few experts who still  practice this rare skill. With an expert touch she hand picked (not hand plucked) each feather spending  7 hours carefully and exquisitely creating the dial. In days gone by feathers were used to decorate refineries most notably the headdress of nobles and aristocrats. The feathers were cut and placed in the perfect position in order to make the best use of the feather's natural  nanostructructually organized tissue to interact with light and achieve an intriguing iridescence. Each dial is intrinsically unique and  framed by 66 brilliant cut diamonds which flow onto Harry Winston signature lugs. he Premier Feather Watch is powered by a quartz movement and water resistant to 30m.
The timepiece is bound to the wrist by a satin strap and secured with an 18k white gold or rose gold buckle set with 29 brilliant cut diamonds. 
Only 8 pieces of these feathery watches will be produced making them much coveted collectors items especially by those who have an affinity to towards fowls.

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