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Luxury & Brands
March 02, 2017

10 Luxury Watches Made Of the Most Unusual Materials

Text by Simone Louis

In an age when wacky is wonderful, the realm of luxury watchmaking is no longer limited to merely tried and tested elements

Hublot

The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Concrete Jungle takes a more solid approach as the brand’s first ever concrete timepiece. The material makes up the bezel while the back of the watch features artwork by the famous graffiti artist Tristan Eaton, who collaborated with the watchmaker to honour New York City. On the other hand, one of the oldest textile fibres takes the spotlight with the Big Bang Linen collection, in an ultracool palette of hues. Not only is the brand using linen as a fabric, it has also managed to create an alternative to carbon fibre in watches by using linen fibres (which are handwoven by artisans) to form the case and dial!

Richard Mille

The first in the Nadal collection to feature an automatic movement, the new RM 35-02 features a novel high-tech case material called Quartz-TPT. Made up of silicon layers, each no thicker than 45 microns, it is treated with a red resin (created specifically for the brand) and layered in an automated process that changes the direction of each layer by 45 degrees. The white highlights seen in the case are undyed quartz.

Jaeger-Lecoultre

As an ode to astronomy, the Rendez-Vous Celestial reflects the colours of the sun due to an unusual choice — bordeaux aventurine. Depending on how light hits the dial, it shimmers in shades of vibrant red, mineral ochre and orange. An art deco-inspired watch with an interesting blend of textures, the Master Tourbillon Wild sees an iconic complication spring to life against a fan-like backdrop of diamonds, mother-of-pearl, genuine peacock feathers and Nimida méléagris (helmeted guinea fowl).

Frederique Constant

An elegant dress watch with a twist, the Classics Art Of Porcelain is a result of the mastery of world-renowned Hungarian porcelain manufacturer Zsolnay that teamed up with the watchmaker to craft the dials of each of the limited 188 pieces. Giving it a true bespoke appeal is the Fait Main designation above the six o’clock marker, which indicates that the dial has been formed and sanded by hand in order to reach the correct shape, thickness and shine.

Piaget

The lavish statement-making Protocole XXL Miniature Enamel combines champlevé, miniature enamel painting and hand-engraving techniques while flaunting a dial clothed in gold and silver leaf. The one-of-a-kind artwork continues on the 18-carat case, glistening under transparent enamel.

Artya

There’s a reason why this brand and its owner are considered to be one of the most creative and provocative in the industry. The Arachnophobia features an actual wolf spider and has a steel case that gets its shape and finish through a high-voltage lightning bolt, while the dial of the Werewolf holds a handmade silver bullet that is forged, engraved and rubbed with garlic in Geneva during a full moon night. To top it all, the case of the Tesla Skeleton Tourbillon is engraved using lightning from a Tesla coil, meaning no two pieces are the same. The watch comes with a cane toad skin strap because, according to an Amazonian legend, lightning cannot harm the cane toad.

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