January 12, 2010
by Ariel Adams
I’ve just come up with a new saying you are all free to use. “Watches are wearable art we feel comfortable putting on because they actually do something.” It is the proverbial excuse us men need to put on something that can be arguably purely decorative. A drugstore Timex will tell the time, but is it nice enough to adorn? Arguably not in many instances. Is a very expensive and highly stylized Thomas Prescher watch merely an item to tell the time? Not in the least. Rather it is a serious hand-made piece of art with the added “justification” that it does something useful like tell the time. This my friends is why men like watches and aren’t seen typically with jewelry.
The newest addition to Swiss watch maker Thomas Prescher’s Tempusvivendi collection is the Qatar watch – a timepiece pretty much for and about Qatar. Located in the Middle East, Qatar is another oil rich nation that enjoys making the most out of desert life. See in one of the images is “The Pearl.” A partially man-made Island extension made for an expensive housing development. People like this need to show off, and are very proud of their national heritage. You might not care a lick about Qatar, but there is some place or places you do care about. Maybe Mr. Prescher will make a limited edition watch for your area.
Thomas was asked to get a bit more regional with his designs. Not sure exactly why he chose Qatar, but it inspired him to create a limited edition collection in his finest quality using the theme of the nation as a design. The Tempusvivendi collection uses two adjacent retrograde scales to display the hours and minutes. Here the design of the dial is based on Qatar’s Coat of Arms – which you can see here. Thomas was able to make the two swords be the hour and minute hands for the retrograde scales. Maybe it was the convenient layout of the coat of arms that led him to use Qatar as the base for the new watch?!
You can see the imagery of the ship, island with palm trees and water recreated faithfully in the watch. Of course it is all meticulously hand engraved in solid gold. More impressive is the rear of the watch where you can see the also hand engraved movement plate and rotor again in 18k gold. Really awe inspiring if you ask me. The movement is interesting in function. First, the hour hand is jumping. Meaning it always displays the precise hour, as opposed to being between hours. There is also another unique feature to the Tempusvivendi movements that is not obvious to the eye. A pusher in the crown makes the hands jump to their “non temporal position.” Meaning that the jump back to position seen in the picture so that they appear just like the coat of arms. Another sign that this watch is art and for a serious Qatar lover.
It goes without saying that a watch like this in made in a very high quality and hand made. The 39mm wide gold case is done in a beautiful mix of polishes. Price is high, very high, less that Mr. Prescher’s most ornate creations in the Thomas Prescher line up that are in the half million dollar range. Those are admittedly more mechanically complex, and I hear that the Tempusvivendi Qatar watch is in the $65,000 – $75,000 range.