DeLaneau creates the most luxurious customised watches in the world. Our watch editor, Rebecca Doulton, travels to DeLaneau’s atelier in Geneva to embark on a fascinating journey of co-creation. Shop the video: http://bit.ly/2cTqe2T
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I’m here in Geneva to embark on a journey of co-creating my very own watch. DeLaneau’s women’s watches are the ultimate in bespoke watches, renowned for their gorgeous hand-painted enamel dials. We’ve all heard about made-to-measure garments, but can you imagine being able to request every last detail of your watch? From the theme of the dial, the case, the enamel technique, the stones and even the movement?
The journey of co-creation begins with a meeting at the boutique to determine what kind of watch I’m after. I have a pretty clear idea, but, just in case, a library of art books, the expert advice of Jessica Walther and the input from the designer and artist are there to get the inspiration flowing.
A month has passed and I am back in Geneva for my second appointment. This time I’ll be choosing the details of my watch. The first stage is choosing a case. I love the rectangular Atame and Dôme cases. But what colour gemstones would I like to see in the bezel and lugs? Jessica and her team have presented some excellent design proposals, and the more I look at them the more clear I become that the Roman fresco is going to decorate my dial.
I’m here with Florence in her atelier who’s working on my dial. Florence is using a combination of enamel techniques: grand feu, grisaille and gold and silver paillonne to add flickers of light to the scene. And she admits that during much of the miniature painting process, literally on the size of a stamp, she has to hold her breath to steady her hand.
As you can imagine a watch that is made-to-measure takes time, and, unfortunately, mine isn’t ready quite yet. But I’m not going home empty-handed. Seeing my fantasies come to life has been an unforgettable experience.
If you want to know all that’s happening in the world of jewellery and watches, visit my website, www.thejewelleryeditor.com.