Watch personalisation Personal and confidential
The joys and magic of custom-made timepieces.
It is well-known that women switch moods like they change dresses, that they change their minds as often as their handbags, and that they have as many pairs of shoes as there are occasions to wear them. Changeable? Just a teeny bit! While fashions come and go, popping up and subsiding here and there, certain items become obsolete while others stubbornly withstand the passing of the seasons. Their secret? Custom-made design and the option of instant transformations. There are many watchmakers who have understood how important it is to hop on the fashion bandwagon in this respect. From the ultimate luxury of bespoke designs to the simple freedom of transforming a watch to match an outfit, whim or mood, feminine watchmaking is exploring whole new horizons. A uniquely personal touch that offers an appealing way of thumbing a dainty nose at the passing of time.
One of the first Fine Watchmaking Maisons to have revisited the concept of custom-made was the venerable Vacheron Constantin with its Atelier des Cabinotiers. It is hard to imagine anything more personalised than this very special department in which, on request, a dedicated team goes as far as developing watches that are truly unique in terms of their movement and their exterior elements. But this service remains the preserve of a handful of collectors and wealthy connoisseurs. This is undoubtedly a question that relates to the thickness of one’s wallet but also to the time one is prepared to wait, as this type of little foible requires months, maybe years, of work!
For all those seeking somewhat more reasonable personalisation of their watch, it’s time to head for the Jaquet Droz workshops which have for a long time nurtured the philosophy of uniqueness through superb variations of custom-made dials. Enameling, miniature painting, paillonage, sculpture, engraving, mineral ornamentation with stones such as aventurine, jasper, lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, onyx and ruby heart are all options allowing one’s imagination to run riot. A miniature painting of your children, an engraving of the man in your life, a sculpture of your favorite animal, an inscribed motto? Jaquet Droz is open to all suggestions within the bounds of decency.
There are a thousand ways of making your watch a unique, strictly personal item. And Jaeger-LeCoultre also takes the option of transforming a timepiece very seriously, as confirmed by the recent creation of the Atelier Reverso. In both Duoface and Duetto versions, this watch with twin faces can be modeled according to the wishes of the person buying it. The Atelier Reverso could thus be compared to a tailor’s workshop. With the seamstress, one selects the fabric, the cut and the color of one’s next evening dress. With Jaeger-LeCoultre, one defines the face of the watch according to a large range of dials made of stone or adorned with an ivy motif. Pale pink, dark blue, magnetic gray, red, brown : the vast color palette can also be further enhanced by gemset hour- markers. A sure means of adding extra sparkle to personalization !
A well-kept secret
The spark of tailor-made, intensely personalized inspiration also lights up the Marguerite watch by Christophe Claret. While the watchmaker from Le Locle appeals to the inner romantic of the most naively sentimental amongst us in this fairytale of time staging two butterflies, the real surprise appears a little later. Like the diary of a Bridget Jones-like watch fan, a second dial appears by pressing a push-piece at 2 o’clock to reveal a secret message that Christophe Claret offers to personalize. Instead of the generic “He loves me not”, all sorts of mantras can be envisaged. Ideas ? “I am in love with my yoga lecturer” or “I hate dogs” or “My watch till death do us part” or “Last night a DJ saved my life”, etc. Once again, anything goes.
The same is true for TAG Heuer, which is playing the in card of personalizing its connected watches. The menu includes a dial bearing the effigy of golfer Jessica Korda, or another with the girliest DJs on the planet, the Nervo sisters. Personalized watches thus reflect every aspect of life, reconnecting us with that which forms an integral part of our lives. They are infused with that intensely individual something extra that makes all the difference.
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