Easter The Easter Surprise
Choosing the right watch for a good time.
Exchanging gifts is a phenomenon normally associated with Christmas, but Easter has its gifting traditions as well. One of the most extravagant and compelling tales of gift-giving in modern history is the story of the Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs. Tsar Alexander III began the Romanov family tradition in 1885 by presenting his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna, with a golden egg made by the famed jewellers of St Petersburg, Fabergé. Inside the egg was concealed a miniature hand-sculpted golden hen. Subsequent Imperial Easter Eggs evolved in sophistication and artistry, hiding ingenious mechanical surprises, resulting in some of the most beautiful objets d’art ever made.
Begin your own tradition with this selection of Easter-themed timepieces. You don’t even need someone to gift them to — you deserve a well-timed surprise at least once a year.
Breguet Reine de Naples
Reines de Naples 8967 © Breguet
The egg is a potent symbol of fertility that has been associated with this time of year since pagan times — it celebrates the cycle of life and the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The Breguet Reine de Naples has its origins in a wristwatch (now lost to history) that was created for Caroline Murat, the sister of Napoléon Bonaparte. In line with its complex historical background, its iconic oval shape has accommodated complications from chiming mechanisms to the phase of the moon. On a more fundamental level, Caroline Murat’s watch is said to be the first wristwatch ever made — the egg that gestated the shape of modern watches.
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre
Chronomètre FB1.3 © Ferdinand Berthoud
Closely related to the theme of fertility is that of rebirth, a theme that has become increasingly associated with Easter since beginning of the Christian Era. The modern company Ferdinand Berthoud was established in 2015, bringing back the name of a legendary 18th-century watchmaker. If you’re looking for messianic overtones of resurrection and triumph, the Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre provides ample quantities of it, winning the Aiguille d’or at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2016.
HYT H0 Soonow
H0 Soonow Drop Three © HYY
The entire canon of Easter traditions are a dense palimpsest overwritten by the rise and fall of religion — even the current commercial emphasis on candy confections could be read as a commentary on the 21st-century state of religion. The conflation and reinterpretation of ancient faiths and rituals create a hinterland of enigma behind Easter, not to mention its central focus on one of the deepest mysteries of the Christian creed. The HYT H0 Soonow is atypical of the rest of the HYT watches, obscuring the mechanism that drives the liquid column of time-telling fluid around the dial. Conceptually, this displaces the wearer’s attention away from the movement onto more philosophical contemplations. Not to mention the path of the liquid column around a central skull motif — metaphorically outlining the idea of the afterlife.
Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d'Ici & Heure d'Ailleurs
Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs © Van Cleef & Arpels
You can’t look far before encountering a rabbit or two during the Easter period, in illustrated if not physical form. Now, we’d never go so far as to suggest you strap on a watch with bunnies on the dial, although there are a number of them out there, thanks to the commemorative watches produced during the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. However, their joyous leaping and vigour is something we can allude to, through the medium of multiple jumping indications. The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs has not one but two jumping hour indications, on opposite ends of the dial, providing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it animation every hour.
Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100
Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs © Montblanc
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! If you love the dark, luscious theobromine-laced food of the gods, this watch is for you. If you’re still maintaining strict Lenten abstinence, the rich brown dial of this timepiece is the next best thing to indulging in a box of the best-quality Swiss-made stuff. Did we also mention that this watch has a pulsometer scale, allowing you to assess your own heartbeat should you fall prey to the temptations of a sugary treat?
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