December 8, 2009
by Ariel Adams
This is the ugliest watch case I think I have personally ever seen. What is so ironic is that the watch movement and dial itself are just fine, and totally mismatched with the watch case. This timepiece gets a “Fraggle Rock’s Finest Award” for most cartoon rock formation style watch ever. What was Andre Checa thinking when he designed this watch? He was likely watching episodes of old Jim Henson Muppet television shows or movies. I get the watch, I just don’t like it. This is another “home run” design from the radical French artist.You might remember the first quizzical creation of his that I discussed here (that he made as a piece unique for Romain Jerome).
The watch movement is made by the very well-respected Christophe Claret – a maker of highly complex and beautiful watch movement. This timepiece (that I am not sure if it has a name) has a beautifully skeletonized movement, that has a tourbillon, and just the time as functions (Claret rarely makes movements this “simple”). In addition to the high level of decoration, the inner bezel is lined with large diamonds. More diamonds can be found in other parts of the movement. Operating the manually would movement is done with a crown that looks like a piece of rock, sticking out of more rock.
Andre Checa recently displayed this watch at the Belles Montres (“Beautiful Watches?” Wow… creative name there) expo in France recently. The watch was a piece unique (of course), meaning that only one was made. I wish I had the name for it. I personally would call it “Turd Vert.” The case is meant to be a… well rock, and the strap is meant to be covered in “grass,” which is actually green-colored mink fur. Nice and animal friendly there. Way to take a nature inspired watch, and effectively make it anti-nature. Some might even call this watch a “crime against nature!” Or at least against good taste. How does Christophe Claret himself feel to have a movement of his inside this eye-sore.
The worst thing is that although the watch is constructed from fine materials, taken together they look cheap and weird. Not much better than a stage prop. A timepiece worn by some manner of Fraggle Rock royalty. As I have said before, I love to see watches like this. They are art, not really meant to be worn, and serve a purpose of evoking emotion. But as a critic in this field, I gladly take the opportunity to convey to you my opinion of this piece. The talent here is in how effectively Checa was able to ruin a perfectly nice watch in the most creative of ways possible. Why again was this timepiece shown at an exhibition called Beautiful Watches? I can’t wait to see what Checa has in store for us next.
Via World Tempus (in French).