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Valentine's Day Valentine’s Day re-imagined, through watches
Love is all around us ! By celebrating iconic couples, watchmaking will make you feel it from your fingers to your toes.
So here we are: Valentine’s Day has come around again, like a bad penny. This “holiday” never fails to plunge us into a reverie of romance and hope, or a pit of despair. But don’t worry, wherever you fall on the spectrum of sentiment, this article has you covered. We’ll show how the watch industry could reimagine Valentine’s Day, by associating different watches with various iconic couples who are known for their passion, their friendship or, in some cases, their somewhat complicated relationships.
Jack and Rose wearing Jaquet Droz
“Some watches tell time. Others tell a story.” Jaquet Droz’s famous slogan is a perfect fit for Jack and Rose (their names even sound similar...). For Jack, we have the Grande Seconde Skelet-One in ceramic, whose transparent dial provides an unimpeded view of the technical workings of the skeleton movement inside. Indeed, it’s Jack’s complete lack of filters and disregard for convention that captures the heart of the charming and intelligent Rose, represented by the Lady 8 Flower in pink gold, set with 249 diamonds. This watch, as charming as a piece of jewellery in its own right, features on the top dial a lotus flower – an apt symbol for Rose herself, with her desperate need for freedom – which opens at the press of a pusher, revealing gold petals with a rotating diamond in their centre. On the lower dial, further aesthetic complexity is provided by two gold hands set against a mother-of-pearl dial with engraved floral motifs. Put these two watches together, and you see the contrast between Jack’s strength and directness, and Rose’s delicacy and refinement.
Grande Skelet-ONE Ceramic & Lady 8 Flower Rose Gold © Jaquet Droz
Cleopatra and Caesar: Ti amo, Ti amo, Ti
But this fervent and pure love is not quite what we find in the Cleopatra – Caesar duo, made universally famous by the torrid love scene set to the voice of Umberto Tozzi. When we think about Cleopatra and Caesar, one brand tends to spring to mind. Yes, it’s.... (drum roll please)... Bulgari, of course. For Cleo, what could be more fitting than a hand-wound Serpenti Seddutori Tourbillon Rose Gold 103257, with an oval dial in the shape of a snake’s head, symbolising the goddess and protectress reigning over Egypt. Its rose gold case paved with snow-set brilliant-cut diamonds mirrors her sensuality and represents her absolute power. The tourbillon, which makes this the most prestigious model in the Serpenti collection, further accentuates the complexity of the Egyptian queen. For her lover, the Emperor Julius Caesar, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Rose Gold 103279 will do the trick. Powerful, strong and charismatic – this model, with its hand-wound mechanical calibre BVL362, is the very image of the Roman general, politician and writer. Shhhh... Just listen to the minute repeater, which marks out the rhythm of the eloquent speeches given by this great orator. With this model on his wrist, you wonder whether his rapt audience would be more impressed by the magnificence of the timepiece on his wrist, or by the distinguished Emperor himself.
Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon Rose Gold 103257 & Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in Sandblasted Rose Gold 103279 © Bulgari
Leon and Matilda: Love across the generations
In addition to these inspiring tales of passionate romance, watches can also throw the spotlight on a different kind of relationship, such as this one taken from Luc Besson’s masterpiece, Leon. On the wrist of Leon, the fearless hitman, we should really put a Richard Mille RM 016 Extra Flat, the flattest model in this exceptional collection, which is guaranteed to supply the discretion required in his dealings with the criminal underworld. With its distinctive identity and impressive presence, this model driven by the RMAS7 automatic skeletonised movement features a variable geometry system, which means that the inertia of the rotor can adapt itself effortlessly to the violent, frenetic and unpredictable activities that make up Leon’s day to day. Matilda, on the other hand, needs a RM 71-01 Tourbillon Automatic Talisman, which weighs just 8 grams. Sweet and innocent, just like the delicately diamond-set and sand-brushed two-part dial, this watch is the ideal talisman for the defenceless 12-year-old, who finds herself orphaned overnight. Richard Mille also has the benefit of a partnership with the actress Natalie Portman, who made her film debut in the role of Matilda.
RM 016 Automatic Winding Extra Flat & RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman © Richard Mille
Asterix and Obelix: The dynamic duo
Asterix: “Well, we need to make a start, but how?”
Obelix: “We could tell people about our adventures? They might pay us to listen to them?” (Asterix and the Cauldron). In addition to the passionate love between two people, love is also about our feelings for friends and family. Asterix and Obelix are a good example. To equip Asterix, the diminutive hero of the ready wit and keen intelligence, we need look no further than the hand-wound Urwerk AMC in steel. In keeping with his undying devotion to faithful companion Obelix – the bon viveur with a bottomless appetite for wild boar and picking fights – this watch has the unusual attribute of being adjusted via “sympathy” with its... generously proportioned 35kg base unit. I trust the analogy is clear. The AMC project, well known in the watchmaking world as the latest, greatest hybrid timekeeping system, pairs up the AMC with its own clock, the Atomolith, via a self-correcting mechanical oscillator. This mobile mechanical component adapts to and cooperates with the base. Synchronisation with the atomic clock, when connected, occurs via a system that regulates the mechanical oscillator chronometrically, thus cancelling out any time gap between the two devices.
The AMC Project - AMC Watch & Atomic Master Clock © Urwerk
Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker: Dark against Light
And finally, why not look at one of the many possible combinations of love and hate – the two polar opposite emotions that sometimes attract. I suggest you observe the very essence of this ambiguous relationship through Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the one a Jedi knight and the other a dark Sith Lord. The automatic Zenith El Primero Revival A384, based on a 1969 model from the company archives, reflects the vintage/retro ambiance of the Star Wars saga. With an original 37 mm case diameter, like its predecessor, the model we have chosen for Luke is “El Primero”, the first, just like the boy singled out by a Jedi prophecy to bring peace to the galactic empire. Darth Vader, who defies his son in a duel, naturally deserves a Defy El Primero 21 Carbon with an imposing 44 mm diameter. On his death, the watch’s deep black band, held in place by a solid double folding buckle made of black carbon and titanium, can easily be removed, taking Anakin Skywalker back to the forces of Light.
Defy El Primero 21 Carbon & El Primero A384 Revival © Zenith
In conclusion – whether you identify with any of these couples, or you’re all alone this Friday the 14th, you’d do well to banish all negativity from your vocabulary, sit up straight in your chair and celebrate love in all its forms. And, rather than embarking upon a fruitless quest for that perfect Tinder date, or resigning yourself to an evening watching Bridget Jones in the company of a family-sized tub of caramel ice-cream, why not join me in raising a glass of champagne to... love.
Oh, I almost forgot. Cheers!
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