February 5, 2012
by Ariel Adams
You can disagree with me but I think that watches containing hand-painted dials are pretty cool. Especially when the dials depict actually masculine things like dragons. Most of these watches seem to be of flowers, fairies, or family portraits. I can dig these. Not on a daily basis, but I can dig these pretty well.
Angular Momentum is no stranger to hand-painted enamel dials. I am pretty sure that such is their current bread-and-butter. This new set called the 9 Dragons Collection has nine different watches each with a unique style of dragon on the dials. Each dial is done in a “Verre Eglomise” miniature painting, with a small opening cut into them offering a view to a time disc. Telling the time in this way is not super precise, but offers a surprisingly clear and simple way of showing the time with a disc moving along a time-indicating needle.
My favorite part of the collection is that the watches depict different types of dragon styles. There are Asiatic, European, and modern fantasy style dragons (well all dragons are fantasy.) Angular Momentum is pretty clear that these are intended to sell in the Chinese market, but I think more than just Asian consumers can enjoy these.
The dials themselves are 30mm wide and placed into 38mm wide 18k rose gold cases. There is a black onyx cabochon in the crown. Attached to the watches are black alligator straps. I have seen watches with this type of dial decoration and painting before and they are very impressive. The colors really come out and the detailing is extremely impressive.
Inside the watch is an “historical” FHF 96 manually wound mechanical movement. These are pretty basic movements and I think the collection would have been better off with automatic movements. A nice display back and well-decorated movement would be nice to see. Overall really impressive though only if you like the dragon motifs. Prices for these watches are $40,000 each.