— On the ground or in the air, real or imaginary, even heavenly, animals from all over the world make noteworthy appearances in the natural setting of Baselworld.
It’s a classic approach. A large number of brands are opting to launch replica watches with dials adorned with furry or feathered creatures. In the bestiary at Baselworld, anything goes. Allusion, figuration, transmutation: everything becomes possible provided it is approached with a graceful or even humorous touch.
Blancpain joins the ranks of brands playing with animal themes and for its first attempt, it has picked a creature that isn’t one… Ganesh, a god with the head of an elephant, is one of the key Hindu deities. This richly detailed creation, with its damascened, oxidised and engraved Shakudo dial, is a true talisman.
The contribution of one or more artistic crafts represents one of the must-have features of these animal-themed dials. Harry Winston has added an extra technique to the repertoire and the Premier Precious Butterfly models are adorned not with butterfly wings but with their pigments. All that remains is the pattern and the colour.
Still in the realm of butterflies but this time in a mobile interpretation, the ruby-studded Lepidoptera of the Disco Butterfly by Graff both spin as well as revolving around the dial when the watch is set in motion.
And remaining in the world of wings, Chanel continues its exploration of its founder’s heritage with the Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel series. Inspired by a lacquer screen that belonged to Coco Chanel, the cheap replica watches depicts two Japanese-style wading birds made of gold and finely cut precious stones against an onyx background.
On the same aquatic note, Patek Philippe’s birds are somewhat more peaceful. Two swans, a white and a black, paddle on a background of champlevé enamel.
Less realistic, and in fact truly dreamlike, Hermès has designed a new kind of Pegasus. A cross between a zebra and a bird in champlevé enamel, this creature adorns the dial of a one-of-a-kind creation such as the brand is accustomed to crafting, framed by a Cape Cod case.
Smaller, closer to the ground and a whole lot cuter, a Chopard hedgehog provides a reminder that the watchmaking menagerie is conducive to the most unexpected games. This ‘secret’ Swiss replica watches with its moonstone spikes conceals a timepiece in the shape of a baby hedgehog. Time is replete with the promise of happiness.