Prehistoric materials – A piece of history


For watch fans and collectors, the notion of exclusivity is important. Having a watch that nobody else has is both a source of personal pride and in some cases a guarantee that your watch will always have a higher value than the standard model. The extra costs for the brand itself, however, may be limited just to the one-off production of a special dial or a special engraving on the case back. If you’re looking for an alternative to a unique piece that nevertheless has a touch of the unusual and gives you ultimate bragging rights, why not consider brands that are going to great lengths to source the most unusual materials on (and off) the planet for use in their products.

Rocks from the beginnings of time

A number of brands have already used meteorite fragments to produce dials, including Jaquet Droz, Parmigiani and Corum. But Louis Moinet, a brand that draws much inspiration from the world of astronomy, goes one better with its Sideralis Evo model. This watch has the only double tourbillon in the world that powers a special complication, driving counter-rotating discs on the same dial. The lower disc depicts the Moon, Mars and Mercury using fragments of rock from outer space, the oldest of which from Sahara 99555, also known as the “Rosetta Stone”, is a staggering 4,566,200,000 years old!


Petrified wood is the next big thing
The movement powering the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon watch is the CO 016. It’s an automatic movement which is based on a micro-rotor for twisting. The micro-rotor includes the Corum key in 18k red gold. Power reserve is a really respectable 72 hours, and also the motion beats at 3Hz. All things considered, the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon is a fairly odd watch. However, Corum’s boldness to go against the grain and its almost reckless attitude toward layout also makes it rather cool, especially for watch lovers who love a few quirkiness and individualism. The fact that it’s a exceptional piece is just the cherry on the cake. The Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon watch is priced at 103,000 Swiss francs (around US $100,500). Corum may not be the first manufacturer that pops into your mind while browsing for a quirky piece, but the launch of the new Corum Bubble watches warrants their name being on the list of brands to take into account. The daring, totally cohesive solution to the look of the modern classic guarantees that this iteration of the Corum Bubble will polarise opinion in the race for wrist space as it did upon its début. It is certainly not for everybody, but there’s more to this creation of bubbles than meets the eye. In the following article, I will be taking a brief look at three distinct models, all of which are confined to just 350 pieces each. The Corum Bubble Sphere2, the Corum Bubble Drop, and the Corum Bubble Paiste possess arrived.The Corum Bubble watch was first released at Baselworld, way back in the year 2000. Although just fifteen years has passed since then, the landscape of the luxury watch market has changed beyond recognition. The initial Bubble was 44mm wide, which made it an outlier in those days. Along with this, the layout was fairly uncommon. Watch collectors weren’t quite so used to risks as they are now, but still, the Corum Bubble found favour amongst a committed demographic. It will be interesting to see how the re-release of the Corum Bubble is composed by a consumer base that is much savvier than it had been in the turn of the century. With nothing in the way of a drawback to pique interest, the Corum Bubble watches lean heavily on design.

As luxury brands constantly search for new inspiration the artistic crafts have been reinvented over and over again as craftsmen search for new materials to cut up and stick back together in different forms of marquetry. In recent years we have seen wood marquetry, feather marquetry and even eggshell marquetry. For its latest watch winder model, however, RDI Charles Kaeser goes a step further by using petrified wood that is 225 million years old!

This rock was created as entire forests were preserved as fossils, keeping a unique combination of metals and minerals that give it a distinct colour and pattern. It serves as the decoration on a unique piece in the RDI “Mémoire” collection that weights in at a solid 3 kilos with its soft-black metal columns and open front. The RDI Mémoire watch winder runs on 2 AA batteries or mains electricity and offers a variety of winding programmes to suit any mechanical watch movement. This unique piece is available for CHF 6,500.


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