Watches are meant to exhibit certain characteristics, consistent with its wearer. A watch can be loud and boisterous, or calm and subtle. The innate beauty of a watch is that the tried and true analogy of apples and oranges is an almost tangible entity every single timepiece. Enter the ideology of Heure Raffinée with its introductory series, the Eternal Collection.
The process that Heure Raffinée has utilised to create its Eternal Collection was to model its watches around the revolutionary Baroque artistic movement. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque movement spread its influence across Europe and gave birth to some incredible art and architecture. In an effort to capture the opulence of the Baroque movement, the founder of Heure Raffinée, Karsten Toh, worked to focus on two fundamental elements in the design of the Eternal Collection.
The first was to exude a sense of refinement and sophistication by emulating the unique aspects of Baroque art into the watches. And the second was to evoke a sense of awe, of interest and of reverence with each of the watches. Thus, Karsten Toh sought the expertise of Master Engraver Weldon Lister, a 3rd generation artisan with over 40 years of hand-engraving experience, himself bringing many works of art to life. It was with Weldon Lister’s help that Heure Raffinée was able to create something as dramatic, as theatrical and as artistic as the Eternal Collection.
Categorically unique and featuring a very intricate, very ornate aesthetic, Heure Raffinée’s Eternal Collection sees two super decorative watches introduced in its first crowd-funding campaign. Measuring 42mm across and 11.80mm in depth, the two models of the Eternal Collection embody the artistic tenets that Heure Raffinée has modelled itself around. The stainless steel model features a creamy white dial, a deep black leather band and overly subtle yet casual look. The rose gold plated model also features a white dial with a black leather band, however this model is slightly more noticeable and does have a lot more presence than its quieter variant.
Both models feature an open heart design in the dial with thanks to the use of a Miyota 90S5 automatic movement, keeping things nice and animated. The contrast between being able to see the beating heart of the movement coupled with the decorative look of the Baroque-inspired case is wonderfully intriguing. Both models have a custom rotor in their respective metals, too.
Karsten Toh quoted the following which I feel perfectly sums up the Eternal Collection: ““As times change, the main reason to own a watch, especially a mechanical watch, isn’t to keep accurate time. Watches are fundamentally used as a means of personal expression of who we are. Hence, the Eternal Collection is made to be bold, sophisticated and refined, all on a delicate equilibrium. These qualities are then expressed through the user.”
Encapsulating history into a watch is by no means an easy feat, but I feel that Heure Raffinée has done a tremendous job in creating something unique, something beautiful and something with historical value. The Eternal Collection exemplifies beauty and grandeur but doesn’t go as far as to be look tacky. And that is a very fine line as we all know.
Heure Raffinée Eternal Collection timepieces will be available on Kickstarter from 15th July 2019 onwards.