Special Edition Watches

From Pac-man-inspired limited editions to one-off timepieces in ode to comic superheros, here's a look at some of our favourtie watches that have made the news...

Alexandros Stasinopoulos’ Ora: Always on the lookout for all things exclusive and eye catching, hot on our list is Greek designer Alexandros Stasinopoulos’ concept watch, ‘Ora’.
Stepping away from the jewelled, glitzy watches we favour, the reason we like this timepiece is for its innovative design, fun colour palette and intriguing appearance.
Alexandros draws inspiration from a simple measuring tape, weaves three of them together, and completely transforms the concept of a watch dial. While the first and second expectedly indicate the hour and minute, the third reflects the day (not date) of the week.
Additionally what’s interesting is that the designer makes no cover-ups for the internal framework of the watch. On closer look, you realise that it’s actually quite a strength of the timepiece, what with an intricate mechanism syncing this three-way confluence.
The way the watch is designed unfortunately makes possible for the maker to only produce what can be described as a floral shaped dial, but the extensive colour palette (ditch the yellow, do the black), could help man up the watch should you be interested.

More watches after the break

Roger Dubuis' Excalibur Table Ronde: Steeped in history, romance and chivalry, the legend of King Arthur and his knights has intrigued and fascinated all of us down the ages. And now Geneva watchmaker Roger Dubuis has drawn inspiration from this literary tale to create their latest timepiece - the Excalibur Table Ronde.

Renowned for their bravery, the valiant knights took their oath of allegiance to King Arthur around the famous Round Table where they swore to overcome all obstacles and achieve success in all the exciting adventures which they ended up being part of. The dial pays homage to these brave knights as it is a perfect replica of a scene from the Round Table. The hour markers are 12 solid gold figures representing the 12 heroic knights, each carrying swords which are cast by hand in gold. The figures are placed on a hand-painted enamel reproduction of an actual table that hangs in Winchester, England. The Tudor rose is shown diverging from the centre of the enamel disc in contrasting stripes.

Powered by an in-house made caliber RD822 automatic movement, it has a crocodile leather strap with a 45mm gold case. Limited to only 88 pieces, the watch will be presented at the upcoming Salon of Haute Horlogerie SIHH 2013.

RJ-Romain Jerome's Art-DNA Collection: In a first of its kind, the watchmaking maison has chosen to collaborate with internationally renowned Swiss artist John M Armleder to create the Art-DNA collection which comprises ten watches which feature a recurrent motif in John M Armleder's work: the skull.

Manuel Emch, CEO of RJ-Romain Jerome, and keen collector of contemporary art has always been an admirer of Armleder's work and has wanted to apply the principle of a unique work of art to a limited-edition watch for a long time. When the two decided to work together for the benefit of art, the result was a unique collection that has a skull engraved on the watch dials. The skull, inspired by Amerindian culture, has also featured in mural paintings and as a cut-out on a mirror. For the artist, the skull evokes a memento mori and an allegory of the passing of time, which is an appropriate subject for a timepiece. "All these watches that give the impression of looking alike are ideally suited to death, which is basically the same for everyone, but which takes place differently each time," says Armleder.

Each of these Art-DNA pieces is made of polished steel while the raised skull motif appliqué decorates the polished dials. The underside of the appliqué is lacquered with a colour revealed by a subtle play of shimmering reflections on the dial. Each piece comes in a different colour and the back of the watch is numbered and bears an engraved medallion with the artist's signature.

RJ-Romain Jerome's DeLorean DNA Watch: RJ-Romain Jerome known for the novel concept of "DNA of famous legends" has now unveiled a limited edition DeLorean DNA watch. The exciting "DNA of famous legends" concept involves creating collectibles which incorporate the DNA of the legends they are inspired by. Having created historic timepieces using specially extracted metal from the Titanic as well as the Apollo 11, the iconic DeLorean car is their latest muse.

Its distinctive looks and vibrant history in popular culture make the DeLorean an obvious source of inspiration for the company. Much like the original car, the watch is entirely brushed in stainless steel. Certain elements of the car's bodywork have also been melted down and incorporated into the watch face. Interestingly, the watch dial also features the iconic X-shaped design akin to other RJ-Romain Jerome collectibles, symbolising the effortless collaboration between the two companies. This watch also features a strap crafted out of car upholstery, and anthracite grey stitching reminiscent of the DeLorean's characteristic interiors. The hands of the watch are vastly inspired by the car's dashboard and the seconds dial is also coloured in a manner similar to the car's tail lights.

Only 81 such watches will be produced, befitting the car's year of release - 1981. The back of the watch features an engraved medallion of the DeLorean along with the number of the watch, emphasising its exclusivity.

There are only 6,500 DeLorean cars left in the world today. The DeLorean-DNA watch is thus a perfect tribute to the car which has not only given meaning to the fascinating movie franchise - Back to the Future, but has also made a lasting impression on an entire generation of popular culture.

Ralph Lauren's Bugatti Coupe Sports Watch: The newest edition to Ralph Lauren's sporting watch collection has been inspired by a rare Bugatti from the American designer's classic car collection.

The 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, of which only four were ever made, is considered one car driving enthusiasts will swear is the most beautiful pre-World War II car made. And Lauren owns one of the two that have survived. So drawing inspiration from the car's stylish interiors, the new Ralph Lauren sports watch comes with an elm burl wood ring and matte black dial. The Arabic numerals and arrow-shaped hour and minute hands are also hot new features.

Lauren has collaborated with the Richemont group - they also make Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre watches - to make this $13,200 (approx Rs 5.9 lakh) sports watch.

Devon Works' Conveyor Belt Steampunk Watch: It is interesting to see a relatively new player like Devon Works take the luxury timepiece market by storm. What has worked in the favour of this LA-based company is an advanced engineering set up and a design laboratory that most other market players would envy. The proof is in the pudding indeed, as the company rolls out an array of timepieces that have shortly and surely acquire the ‘iconic’ status, and are endorsed by the world’s most prolific watch collectors.

Make way for Tread 1 Steampunk, a watch the will intrigue you, in more ways than you can imagine. Let’s dish out the details:

• The watch is inspired by conveyor belts and motivated by the Industrial Revolution.
• The engineering techniques can be traced back to the American Aerospace Industry.
• The watch is a limited edition offering. Devon will manufacture only 150 of these timepieces, and price them at a staggering $25,000.

The conveyor belt inspiration is clearly visible, wheels, cogs, gears et al. While the bronze exterior case, screws and fittings are reminiscent of the original Tread 1, what distinctly provides a new avatar is the modern twist on the otherwise Victorian looking design. Vintage in its brass motor housing and etched indicator plate, the new age is evident to the wearer when the inner movements of the watch, so smoothly make their presence felt, before one’s eyes.

RJ-Romain Jerome's Space Invaders Watches: These limited edition watches will definitely bring back memories of the pre-Playstation/Nintendo/Xbox era of gaming.

The creatures from Space Invaders - that gaming-changing arcade shooter game developed by Taito Corp in the late 70s - have now been co-opted into the design of these stylish, if geeky, watches.

Watchmaker RJ-Romain Jerome has just produced just two 78-piece limited edition watches that feature the Space Invaders aliens on the dial. The space invaders, 3.5mm pieces, have been hand-applied and each piece is lacquered in different colours for the day, or coated with Superluminova for the night.

In keeping with the theme, the watch case takes its inspiration from the shapes of old space vessels, with ball-and-socket joints modelled to look like the 'feet' of lunar landing modules of American space ships sent to the moon. These are definitely toy watches for men.

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