The natural world has always been an inspiration for one-of-a-kind timepieces. From hand-painted faces showcasing remarkable feathered birds to predators sculpted into bracelet straps, nature abounds on this season’s best watches.
This season, Dior debuts a collection featuring a bee garnished with emeralds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts, tsavorite garnets and opals. Its wings are illuminated with precious stones, creating a fluttering illusion while the bee sits in a pavé white gold case. Van Cleef & Arpels’ Secret de Coccinelle watch showcases a ruby ladybird moving along a leaf fashioned out of tsavorite garnets and emeralds. The brand’s Mystery Set technique, a proprietary invisible mechanism, is on display here.
In 2017, Hermès commissioned British artist Alice Shirley to design the Into the Canadian Wild silk scarf for Canada’s 150th anniversary. Hermès Horloger then pulled inspiration from this scarf for its Arceau Into the Canadian Wild watches. The first model reveals Quebec’s emblem, the snowy owl, flying amid the Northern Lights, while the other features a polar bear with its cub in the wild.
Fabergé’s Compliquée Peacock timepiece originated from the jewel-and-crystal-embellished peacock egg made for Tsar Nicholas II in 1908. “The peacock feathers open and close as time moves steadily on, offering a whole new way to view the time,” says Fabergé’s timepiece director Aurélie Picaud. “It offers clients the beauty of a work of art on their wrist.”
Constantly seeking inspiration from nature, French fine jewelry house Cartier uses the panther, its signature animal, in many of its renowned designs. Dressed up in diamonds and black lacquer, the cat makes the timepieces it adorns iconic. “No other creature or jewel is so indissolubly and emotionally linked to the stylish women of the 20th century, the 20th-century female ideal or the Cartier legend,” explains Pierre Rainero, the brand’s director of image, style and heritage.
Chopard’s 2020 Red Carpet Collection consists of 73 haute joaillerie pieces, all dedicated to the raw beauty of nature and animals. For the brand’s co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, the natural world is an endless source of inspiration. “With the Owl Jewelry Watch, I wanted to bring to life a creature found in the natural world. But what is life without fantasy? So I added some sparkle to the owl’s eyes with a rainbow of dazzling sapphires.”