Sunday, March 27, 2016

Making Skulls a Little Less Scary - Fiona Kruger

Now those who know me would attest that when you think of Henki, your first thoughts don't turn to skeletons or skulls.  But there are skulls, and then there are skulls!  The work of Fiona Kruger belongs to the latter.
Courtesy of Fiona Kruger
This is the Celebration Skull from Fiona Kruger.  Limited to 24 pieces and assembled by hand in Switzerland.

The watches are very intriguing and the attention to detail is what you would expect from an artist of Fiona Kruger's stature.

At a fair where it seems that all you hear is:  "championing the timeless values of horology..."
or:  "our latest celebrity ambassador is..."  As a good friend of mine from Bienne puts it:  "a lot of hot air produced in the gas factory".  So it was downright refreshing to see someone really applying art and craft to what can sometimes be a fairly pedestrian endeavor - watch making.  Because if I am honest, the watches are beautiful and certainly something that I would wear (despite my admitted anxiety about the undead).  But more than just the watches themselves is the story behind them.  A young artist travels to Switzerland from Scotland to study, discovers watches, and creativity took over.

You will notice the book that Fiona Kruger is leafing through?  It is what you might call the "creation story" of her watches.  All of the sketches, the inspirations, the musings.  This "sketch book" is almost as interesting as the watches themselves.  All too often we get the glib press release, reflecting on the true spirit of Swiss watch making with time honored traditions, hairsprings crafted in secret caves, dials lacquered with the tears of Arcadian nymphs...

Courtesy of Fiona Kruger
This is something different again.  And as someone who occasionally writes about these things, these watches were a very welcome addition to BaselWorld this year.

Ms. Kruger was kind enough to indicate that she might be willing to participate in an interview and give some more background, so stay tuned!

For now, here are the pertinents for the Celebration Skull, courtesy of Fiona Kruger -

Courtesy of Fiona Kruger

Celebration Skull

Case material & colour
Stainless Steel 316N with specifically designed back opening 

Case size 
57.4 x 41.3 mm (length x width), 10.9mm thick

Sapphire (front and back) 

Colour of dial & style 

3 layered dial in stainless steel 316N with hand-painted décor in in 7 specially selected coloured lacquers and superluminova + new date feature
Layer 1: Hand-polished stainless steel with black PVD coating, hand painted lacquer and superluminova décor
Layer 2: Shotblasted stainless steel with Rhodium treatment, hand-painted lacquer and superluminova décor
Layer 3: Hand-finished with Circular graining (perlage) with Rhodium treatment, hand- painted lacquer and superluminova décor


Blued Steel 


Mechanical Automatic movement, TT738 with skeletonised and custom- black PVD coated bridges, customised oscillating mass with skeletonisation, engraving and hand-painting, and custom-made date wheel 


Steel pin buckle 


Hand-stitched calf leather 

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