Computer-chip manufacturers use bonding to convey electricity; Ulysse Nardin uses it to surprise and delight. The Swiss Manufacture has released two one-of-a-kind Freak Vision Coral Bay timepieces, one version uses the bonding technique to coax thousands of 24ct gold threads into delicate patterns.
A bonding machine squeezes gold thread from each side, one thread after another, to draw a coral reef motif on the watch movement’s barrel spring bridge. Each thread is a different size, and all are tied only at the top and bottom, not in the centre.
The other Freak Vision Coral Bay model features micropainting on the hours and barrel cover. Minute details are hand-coloured using extremely fine brushes under a magnifying glass. The complexity of the motif requires approximately 20 hours of painting time.
Read part one, Ancient arts meet trends in this week’s intricate rarities, and part two, Time meets miniature art in this week’s intricate rarities, of our Artistry in Watchmaking series.