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Artistic collaborations - Wrist Art

Artistic collaborations Wrist Art

Watches become artworks as brands collaborate with some of the hottest artists

Listen to a watchmaker or a watch enthusiast talk about their favourite object, and you’ll often hear them liken the dial to a face. And an attractive face is something we can all appreciate. That’s reason enough for manufacturers to put particular effort into the dials of all their watches. They are, after all, the first thing we look at when introduced to a new timepiece.

Today’s dials have broken the classic black or white mould and are offered in a seemingly limitless range of colours, treatments and decorative finishes. Of course, watchmakers are always looking for their next trick and designers need outlets for their creativity, hence a new generation of dials is seeing the light of day.

The result of collaborations with contemporary artists – mostly street artists – these dials are not only hugely original and different to anything we’ve seen before; they transform a watch into a wearable piece of art, and at a more affordable price than you might expect.

Swatch has a collection starting at CHF 100/€85 featuring characters created by Akira Toriyama for Dragon Ball Z; the series that popularised manga in Europe and was later adapted for television by Toei Animation. At Awake, a miniature painting of Mount Fuji by Mohamed Kahouadji will set you back CHF 400/€400. Maurice Lacroix has chosen its eco-responsible Aikon #tide (€760) as the canvas for a work by Benzilla. The main colours are reprised on the case and interchangeable straps. 

Wrist Art

Dragon Ball Z, La Grande Vague Mohamed Kahouadji.Aikon #tide Benzilla © Swatch, Awake, Maurice Lacroix

Ikepod, meanwhile, worked with Tom Christopher to capture a New York street scene complete with yellow cab, for CHF 925/€890.

Wrist Art

Duopod Tom Christopher © Ikepod

Accustomed to reaching summits of excellence, the most elite manufacturers release their collaborations as limited - and in some cases very limited - editions that can become objects for speculation as much as collectables, particularly when the watch in question has iconic status: Hublot’s Classic Fusion, Bulgari’s Aluminium, Zenith’s Defy Extreme (with an El Primero movement) or Corum’s Bubble with its unique domed crystal. They are the stars of the watch world – ones to watch on the auction market – paired with the stars of the art world: the likes of Takashi Murakami, Sorayama, Aiiroh and Felipe Pantone. 

Wrist Art

Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami,Bubble Aiiroh,Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone,Sorayama © Hublot, Corum,Zenith,Bulgari



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