For watch fans and collectors, the notion of exclusivity is important. Having a watch that nobody else has is both a source of personal pride and in some cases a guarantee that your watch will always have a higher value than the standard model. The extra costs for the brand itself, however, may be limited just to the one-off production of a special dial or a special engraving on the case back. If you’re looking for an alternative to a unique piece that nevertheless has a touch of the unusual and gives you ultimate bragging rights, why not consider brands that are going to great lengths to source the most unusual materials on (and off) the planet for use in their products.
Rocks from the beginnings of time
A number of brands have already used meteorite fragments to produce dials, including Jaquet Droz, Parmigiani and Corum. But Louis Moinet, a brand that draws much inspiration from the world of astronomy, goes one better with its Sideralis Evo model. This watch has the only double tourbillon in the world that powers a special complication, driving counter-rotating discs on the same dial. The lower disc depicts the Moon, Mars and Mercury using fragments of rock from outer space, the oldest of which from Sahara 99555, also known as the “Rosetta Stone”, is a staggering 4,566,200,000 years old!
Petrified wood is the next big thing
As luxury brands constantly search for new inspiration the artistic crafts have been reinvented over and over again as craftsmen search for new materials to cut up and stick back together in different forms of marquetry. In recent years we have seen wood marquetry, feather marquetry and even eggshell marquetry. For its latest watch winder model, however, RDI Charles Kaeser goes a step further by using petrified wood that is 225 million years old!
This rock was created as entire forests were preserved as fossils, keeping a unique combination of metals and minerals that give it a distinct colour and pattern. It serves as the decoration on a unique piece in the RDI “Mémoire” collection that weights in at a solid 3 kilos with its soft-black metal columns and open front. The RDI Mémoire watch winder runs on 2 AA batteries or mains electricity and offers a variety of winding programmes to suit any mechanical watch movement. This unique piece is available for CHF 6,500.
Find a selection of RDI watch winders in our new WT-Shop
It works especially well when put behind the magnifying lens of the Corum Bubble watches. The cymbal placed within the PVD-coated black instance is a good contrast. The Corum Bubble Paiste watch does not boast the Super-LumiNova of those Op-art watches, but it will adhere to an attractively muted bi-colour plot of black and brass as a result.The Corum Bubble Op-art watches are powered with the CO082 automated movement, which functions at 28,800vph, and has a power reserve of 42 hours. The Corum Bubble Paiste employs the CO110, which has exactly the same 25.6mm measurement and technical specifications as the CO082. Ah, for a collector. These days, there are any number of items you may get yourself into thanks to the broad range of the net. Want to begin amassing golden-age comics? Begin your search on the internet. How about something more esoteric, state, vintage safety razors. Again, head online. Of course, the more established items, such as coins and stamps, have places on the web you can go to. If you would like to start blending these collections, however, then it gets a bit more tricky. For 50 decades now, coin collectors have experienced a very prominent watch that they could aspire to collect from Corum. Since we are now at that golden anniversary, it should not be a surprise that we now have the Corum Coin Watch 50th Anniversary model.