Five Watches with Unique Dials that Celebrate Nature

These stunning recent launches showcase a garden in bloom, sport colourful dials made from recycled plastics, and more
Five Watches with Unique Dials that Celebrate Nature
April 25, 2024
Five Watches with Unique Dials that Celebrate Nature

Be it flawless replication of the texture of glaciers, artistic renditions of gardens dotted with blooming flowers or creatively unique presentations of creatures of the wild, watch faces have never been a stranger to the idea of showcasing exquisite craftsmanship by drawing inspiration from nature. We took a look at recent launches (plenty from the recently concluded Watches and Wonders) to curate a list of our favourite new timepieces with nature-inspired dials. 

Cartier’s Animal Jewellery Watches

Unveiled at Watches and Wonders this year, this opulent collection honours the panther, tiger, crocodile and zebra. While each of the mesmerising models are stunning in their own way, the one with the crocodile intrigued us the most. The crocodile curved around the dial adds a surreal touch, and the exquisite detailing—be it the spikes on the creature’s body or the bright green emerald eye—highlight Cartier’s excellent craftsmanship. The graded enamel, elevated by the use of sapphires and diamonds, amplifies the magnificence of the crocodile’s silhouette. 

There are three iterations available: a white gold model with a bracelet bedecked with tourmalines, sapphires, emeralds, brilliant-cut diamonds; a white gold model with a navy blue alligator strap; and a white gold model with an iridescent purple calfskin strap.

Oris Aquis Date Upcycle

Oris has always been a champion of sustainability, and this pair of Aquis Date Upcycle models, launched at Watches and Wonders, is a shining example. In terms of visuals, the dials instantly draw attention. While they may not have been inspired directly by flora and fauna, they spotlight a more intrinsic connection with nature and its conservation.

The colourful dials are made from recycled plastic bottles, turning waste into stunning timepieces, functioning as a stark reminder that not all hope is lost in the face of a global plastic crisis. The process by which the PET plastics are recycled means that no two dials are alike; every reference will therefore sport unique colours and patterns. While the 36.5mm models offer brighter dial options, the 41.5mm pieces’ dials have a slightly more muted colour palette.

Grand Seiko SLGH021 Genbi Valley

Grand Seiko’s expertise in crafting stunning dials while borrowing inspiration from Japan’s natural scenery is rather well known. This recently launched model—that depicts the grand scenery of Japan’s Genbi Valley—is a testament to the brand’s dial-making prowess. 

Genbi Valley, reputed for its lush, verdant foliage, is located mid-stream on the Iwai River in Iwate Prefecture, which is where Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches are manufactured. The unique moulded pattern on the dial in an appealing light-green hue evokes the tranquil spirit of the picturesque Valley and its unique allure. Cased in stainless steel and sized at 40mm, the timepiece is a limited edition of 1000.

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Date 0 Oxygen

Staying true to the mountaineering spirit that remains the core essence of Montblanc, this new timepiece—part of the brand’s Watches and Wonders novelties this year—sports a sfumato green glacier pattern dial. It’s inspired by the deep green colour of the emerald icebergs or “jade bergs”, and the texture is reminiscent of the surface of glaciers.

The timepiece is housed in a 41mm stainless steel case, totally devoid of oxygen, with a fixed black ceramic bezel with luminescent cardinal points. The engraved caseback pays homage to Montblanc’s mountaineering ethos: it features the special “Spirit of Exploration” engraving.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Brise d’Été

Poetic and enchanting, this timepiece (unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2024) is a celebration of nature and its state of constant renewal. Sized at 38mm, the watch comes to life as a blooming garden where white- and yellow-gold butterflies simultaneously tell time and flutter off between the enamel flowers with the help of an on-demand animation module.The enamelling techniques showcased on the dial—including plique-à-jour, champlevé and vallonné—heighten the visual experience. The miniature painting reveals the meticulous attention to detail and adds yet another layer to the one-of-a-kind creative feat. The flowers are dynamic too, swaying gracefully as the butterflies remain aflutter. When the animation ends, the butterflies return to their initial position to indicate the time

Image credits: respective brands