Travel Watches Watchmaking is motionless travel
No need to get on a plane or go to the far end of the world to discover new places. Sometimes, discovery lies at the end of your arm.
You've been locked inside your home for weeks on end, have had to wield your ID just to get a breath of fresh air and have shelved you travel plans for the foreseeable future. No more airplanes, faraway lands, exotic destinations and changes of scenery. Our right to journey, and some plain rights too, have been sort of crushed of late. But do not despair, for there's an alternative, a diminutive, plain as day solution that can take you to a land far, far away. Behold the travel agencies you didn't know existed : watch shops.
Timepieces are small worlds unto themselves, doors leading to imaginary places, dream spaces and graphic utopias. Their dials, inspirations, design, extravagance and that of their creators have the power to take us to lands that do not always exist, yet where one can go by merely conjuring them.
First, one can find oneself in the midst of landscapes and settings lying thousands of miles away. In Lisbon with the series of Patek Philippe Azulejos unique pieces.
At the door of a Japanese temple with Blancpain's Villeret Métiers d'Art Binchōtan / Travel to Lisbon with a Calatrava Azulejos by Patek Philippe © David Chokron/WorldTempus
Deep in a forest, in the dead of night, surrounded by howling wolves with the Arceau Awoooo from Hermès. At the gates of a Shinto temple, in front of a Torii with the Blancpain Villeret Métiers d'Art Binchōtan.
Hear the call of the wild with the Arceau Awoooo by Hermès © David Chokron/Worldtempus
One can also travel beyond what's possible. Arnold&Son offer a trip to the times of their founder, as the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 reminds of that era when chronometers were helping rule the world. Mimic a James Bond scene with Urwerk's AMC, a great suitcase-like master clock that looks like it can trigger the impending nuclear strike the hero will fend off at the last minute. Travel to the heart of Paris, rue Cambon, inside Coco Chanel's home with the Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel, as their magnificent dials are reminiscent of Mme Gabrielle's lacquered folding screens.
Back to the future with the 18th century-like structures of Arnold & Son's Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 / One minute into the life of Gabrielle Chanel with a Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel © David Chokron/WorldTempus
You're swimming next to a giant pink jellyfish, somewhere along Australia's great coral reef thanks to MB&F x L'Epée's Medusa. You're taking it easy along the banks of a pond inside the Magic Lotus Automaton from Jaquet Droz, watching a Koi carp swim next to a dragonfly.
Dip your feet in the fresh waters of the Jaquet Droz pond with the Magic Lotus Automaton / Beware of the Medusa by MB&F x L'Epée © David Chokron/WorldTempus
You're rising up with a hot air balloon from the Les Aérostiers collection by Vacheron Constantin. A bit higher even when you're staring inside the small wrist planetarium that is Jacob & Co's Astronomia Clarity. Top that of with a lazy ride on the tail of a comet conjured by a diamond fairy, on the dial of the Lady Arpels Nuit Féérique by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Behold the Astronomia Clarity from Jacob & Co, a small wrist-worn planetarium © David Chokron/WorldTempus
Easy for me to say, I'll grant you. I have watches from all over coming to my wrist, shown to me in the hope I'll show them to you. I do travel for free, indeed. But the thing with watchmaking is that it allows you to become a stowaway and ride for free just like that. Just enter a watch dealer, try anything you bloody well want and become a fellow traveler. And who knows, you might just like what you see, buy the watch and become an expat...
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