Sun, 25 May 2003

Swiss watch: Designers transform adjectives into timepieces

Emmy Fitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Swiss watch designers are never short of inspiration or ideas, so it should come as little surprise that they have taken notice that wristwatches today have evolved from functional items to vanity pieces.

The Swiss designers have been able to visualize and manifest the words "glamorous", "lavish", "luxurious" and "beautiful", not to mention "young" and "trendy", in their creations for wristwatch lovers and collectors.

Just like the fashion and automotive industries, the watch industry moves and shapes trends in society. Some watchmakers make innovative breakthroughs and others experiment with artistic and surreal designs.

Designers at the Geneva-based Sarcar, one of the oldest watch companies in Switzerland, are inspired by the universe, focusing on the moon and the galaxy.

In its latest collection, Sarcar showcases Magic Moon, Moonlight, Retro, Galaxy and Opera, all of which feature lavish and vibrant designs.

Moonlight, designed by Claude Toniutti, comes in white gold with sparkling diamonds. With an impeccably engraved mother-of- pearl dial in pastel tones, the watch uses Roman indexes and boasts delicate and skillful cutting.

"The Moonlight is intricately arranged and decidedly prestigious," Nellie Gan from Veinnard Communication, which represents Sarcar in Indonesia, said in a statement.

The Retro looks classical with minimum embellishments, but the simple design contains faceted diamonds surrounding the uncomplicated circular face of the watch and marking the hours.

This style comes with a watchband of black crocodile leather or a traditionally classic design of gold links.

Sarcar, named after founder and owner Carlo Sarzano, is famous here for its luxury chronographs and precious collectible items. Its products contain solid gold and precious stones like Wesselton VVS1 diamonds, sapphires and rubies, Gan remarked.

Besides Moonlight and Retro, Opera is another unique creation. The item is a glamorous piece for refined women. It comes in white gold with a stunning white gold bracelet, topped with diamonds and optional glittering sapphires.

"The Opera is exceptionally created for elegant women," Gan commented.

If Sarcar targets established, middle-aged clients, another Swiss watch company, Leonard, with more than 100 outlets worldwide, is aiming at a younger market or those who are young at heart with its latest collection.

Leonard designs trendy watches that are suitable for daily activities, while at the same time offering a prestigious and stylish look. Some of its pieces are too fashionable, though, and really only are appropriate for special occasions.

For this season, Leonard has launched two collections: Sphere and Screen, which take their cues from basic geometric shapes; circular for Sphere and horizontally rectangular for Screen. All of the watches in the collections are water-resistant up to 50 meters.

The masculine models of Sphere feature a stainless steel or a yellow gold case, fitted with a choice of rubber or leather strap, or a matching metal bracelet. Models for women come in both yellow gold and steel, with an optional diamond setting and matching gold or steel bracelet, or with a leather or a rubber strap available in a choice of colors.

Taking its name from the 21st century's most ubiquitous technological icon, Screen appears to be a face-lift of 1930s designs.

The men's Screen designs come exclusively with a self-winding movement, while the women's designs are fitted with quartz movements. Here too, cases for both men's and women's are fashioned in stainless steel or in yellow gold. Men's dial faces are in glossy black with a satin-finished center, while the women's watches also come in fuchsia or gold-flecked brown, optionally framed with a diamond-set bezel.