Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beautifying Complications: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande

Lately, I’ve been looking for wrist watches that can be profoundly art or literature referential. What do I mean by that?  Simply they appropriate or incorporate art or literature, pictorially or textually in their designs -- with intriguing flair and finesse. 

It's the excitement of finding parallel universes of a sort.

One of my favorite bloggers, Rebecca Doulton just gave me a perfect example of this in her recent blog post, "Skeletons,"highlighting the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande watch.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande watch

Let me step back and give you some context for this watch design.  There is currently a discussion among watch industry executives, Vacheron Constantin's CEO Juan-CarlosTorres being one, that there is a new demand among women to have watches with more complications, yet retain a distinctive femininity.  Such designs go beyond the simple C ’s of hour and minute displays to incorporate other features such as  chronographs and moon phases, etc.

Do women want their time at hand to be more complicated?  Especially if they can get such functionality through the apps on their smartphones, PDA’s, or watch “wearables?" 

Perhaps the determining factor is how are the complications made contextually appealing ? Is it through ingenious simplicity? Is it through decorative beauty or surprise?  Is it through matching  the array of complications with the wearer's lifestyle or identity?

There is no doubt that using the skeleton watch conceit, i.e. where part of the mechanism of the watch is cut away to reveal the working parts, yet not foregoing interior decoration can be a masterful answer.  This  movement exposure also allows for the fretwork to be engraved, have an overlay of gems set in filigree, and/or otherwise be embellished. 

 In the Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande Watch, a serpentine ivy leaf trellis surrounds the skeletonized architecture of the movement. The individual ivy leaves are done in semi-precious, autumnal colored stones.   

And the watch’s namesake, Brocéliande?  It comes from the legendary forest in Brittany, the once Celtic region on the Northwestern Coast of France where the Arthurian Lady of the Lake, Vivian, is storied to have trapped Merlin inside a tree trunk.

For me, the watch’s leaf trellis floating like drapery above its movement’s exposed energy is reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones’ literary painting, The Beguiling of Merlin (1870–74) where the forest backdrop will forever engulf and house Merlin and his magic. 

The Beguiling of Merlin, from the Lady Lever Art Gallery  Collection, Port Sunlight, UK. Image from [Public Domain]

An art work anchored in the universe of  literature finding concurrent expression in Roger Dubuis' universe of  Brocéliande time. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Baselworld 2015 Standout: RSW’s Wonderland 2

It’s almost here!  Baselworld 2015, the longest running premier event for the watch and jewellery industry begins on March 19th.  It’s a paradise for exhibiting companies–all 1,500 of them showcasing themselves to 150,000 attendees and 4,000 journalists.

RAMA Watch SA , the company behind the brand RSW will be there debuting a new addition to its “Jewellery in Motion” Collection, the Wonderland 2.  In just three words, this timepiece is a

Simply Elegant Standout.

RSW Wonderland 2. Image courtesy of RAMA Watch SA (Sven  Henriksen)

As many of my readers know, my passion is discovering and then sharing wristwatches that have an iconic quality. They exemplify classic forms with innovative elegance and simplicity. They can be modern or vintage, simple or complicated.  They must first visually resonate as works of artful craft and then as technical wonders. So it is with Wonderland 2 which embodies both gravitas and grace in one design.

Simply put, the RSW Wonderland 2 gives us a flawless, flowing inseparability of a circular case rimmed with diamonds interlacing with complementary, oval-shaped diamond elements.   Twelve o’clock and six o’clock are forever rimmed with opulence.

As RSW’s Baselworld 2015 News describes it, “The circle symbolism is the wedding ring and stands for a promise or fidelity, unity.”  My take is that the theme of rings and softly rounded shapes which first drew me to the brand in July 2014  is a newly inspired interpretation of the brand’s faithfulness to the fluidity of time and the promise time offers to all of us.

One’s Wonderland 2 can be customized with various diamond counts and dial facings including black, champagne, rose, white and silver. The design pictured has a Mother of Pearl dial facing with 8 diamonds (0.06 ct) replacing the 1, 5, 7 and 11 o’clock indices.

The case choices include stainless steel, yellow PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), or pink PVD.  All of these choices essentially mean that the case, crown, bezel etc. wear is reduced and the beauty of the finish preserved. 

Finally, the case can be banded by a Milanese Bracelet, a mesh strap design named after the Italian city of Milan, where they were first created in the 19th Century.  Prefer, an alternative? A royal satin strap is also available.

Want your own RSW Wonderland 2? RAMA Watches will be offering it through its online store, Tempus La Boutique following Baselworld 2015’s close on March 26th.