Few things in the world of luxury watchmaking can match a boutique brand for sheer exclusivity, and of course nothing is rarer than a one-off design. When both of these elements are combined, the resulting watch has the potential to become something truly special. No strangers to the art of the bespoke timepiece, Slovakian atelier Molnar Fabry has attempted to capture this magic with its latest release. The unique Lady Art Skeleton blends over 500 hours of hand-crafting, 100 precious stones, and a true legend among movements: the Frederic Piguet 21.
The hand-wound Frederic Piguet 21 is one of the longest-lived movements ever produced, remaining in continuous production from 1925 until today, and it remains among the thinnest ever designed. (In fact, the F. Piguet 21 was the thinnest movement on Earth for 21 years, from its inception until the introduction of the Audemars Piguet 2003 in 1946.) The entire assembly measures in at only 1.73mm in depth. Given Molnar Fabry’s usual modus operandi, though, using an ultra-thin historic movement wasn’t enough. The team has skeletonized and finished the entire movement by hand in a baroque filigree pattern and then plated it in black rhodium. The labor-intensive process leaves spaces on the main plate no thicker than two sheets of paper, while maintaining structural rigidity. The movement’s performance is impressively modern, as well, with a 42-hour power reserve.
While the dial of the Lady Art Skeleton is, of course, skeletonized, the blued titanium outer ring surrounding the movement on the dial is filigreed to match, while picking up the vibrant blue tones of the jewel-encrusted case. This ornate patterning is matched with a surprisingly conservative set of pink-gold spade hands, which are the only spot on the watch left undecorated.
While elementally simple in form and concept, the 37.3mm pink gold case of the Molnar Fabry Lady Art Skeleton is as ostentatiously decorated as the rest of the watch. The extremely thin Frederic Piguet 21 measures in at only 5.6mm-thick, allowing nearly every visible surface of the case to be covered in 96 individually set sapphires. The bezel, lugs, and even the crown are dripping with the sparkling blue stones, contrasted with four diamonds set at 3,6, 9, and 12 o’clock on the bezel as highlights.
The brilliant texture and color of the case are accented by the Lady Art Skeleton’s strap, a handmade tapering blue stingray leather piece with an equally handmade pink-gold buckle.
All in all, this piece stands as a stunning example of the creativity and artisanship of this tiny Slovakian atelier. Only one example of the Molnar Fabry Lady Art Skeleton will be made, and the single collector who purchases this unique work will pay $37,145 for the privilege of owning it. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.