You can wear many beautiful and expensive items on your wrist, but can you wear original gallery-worthy artwork? There are many exclusive watches on the market today—A. Lange Sohne, A. Bancpain, Patek Philippe, to name just a few. The idea of wearing an original painting by a well-known artist might just be something completely different, and even more exclusive. B.R.M. Watches and automotive artist Nicholas Hunziker, have teamed up to do just that.
Time and motorsport have a kindred spirit as well. Mechanical beauty, precise engineering and 100th-of–a-second accuracy are common threads throughout motoring history. Because of the collectible nature and the “exclusive club” of motoring in anger, art has also figured well into the genre. Take all of these elements and mix them together with a painstaking process of completion and you have what could be one of the more exclusive luxury items of our times.
At the Rennsport Reunion V in Monterey last summer, two of a series of bespoke watches were introduced, combining both precision and exclusivity in one very collectible package: a co-branded effort between B.R.M. Watches and famed automotive artist Nicholas Hunziker. The plan is for Hunziker to paint unique watch faces. Imagine a hand-painted Hunziker original—which already fetches large dollars in the marketplace—on the face of a pricey, handmade Swiss Automatic Chronograph… Hunziker, already well-established, particularly in the world of Porsche, will do one-off pieces for each client.
According to Frederic Gasser, principal of B.R.M. Americas, “Giving owners the opportunity to customize the artwork featured on their original dial, the watches are fully individualized, and clients can personalize each B.R.M. machine to their specifications, selecting their preferred metals, gemstones and colors.”
Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol, along with a number of period-notable artists, painted a select group of BMWs back in the 1970s. These priceless cars are now—as always—museum pieces. Photographs of these painters slathering paint onto the Bavarian machinery almost pale in comparison to the process that Hunziker now employs to produce each watchface.
A microscope and a three-strand squirrel-hair brush—and clearly a very steady hand—allow Hunziker to create these wrist-borne masterpieces. Because of the painstaking process, and Hunziker’s other businesses which includes full-size renderings, posters and apparel, only 20 of these handcrafted beauties will be available each year with a price estimated between $35,000-$60,000.