Written by Viscount Yves de Contades
The Ollivier Saveo Pure Breed watch is a fusion of sculpture, watch making and fine art jewellery. It epitomises in three dimensions the beauty of these three trades in which Ollivier excels. His first love was jewellery, he was awarded “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” an extremely rare and prestigious award. His second and his speciality was watch design and movements, he worked for many of the finest Swiss watchmakers during his formative years. His third is the extremely delicate rendition of horses, cars and other natural forms in detailed miniature sculpture.
Pure Breed watch combines power, strength and emotion. The Pure Breed timepiece epitomises the harmony between the art of jewellery and watchmaking. The horse has been entirely conceived and sculpted by hand, revealing every detail of its well-chiselled head.
The mecanic movement has been completely skeletonised and engraved by hand, bringing to life this energetic race champion. This complete work of art can be admired on both sides, through the transparent sapphire case. A coat of arms is placed in the top left corner so that the customer can affix his logo, coat of arms or the Palmares (race record) of the horse in order to better personalise the watch.
Ollivier takes his inspiration from both natural sources such as horses and from man made feats of engineering such as the finest supercars and incorporates these passions into his work. He is a craftsman in the oldest tradition, mastering all the necessary skills required to develop and execute his artistic vision to the very highest level.
For the Pure Breed watch Ollivier was inspired and impressed by the tremendous strength and exceptional beauty of horses, especially race horses, which he sees as possessing extraordinary finesse and expression. The Pure Breed watch is a unique piece developed, conceived and handcrafted by Ollivier, initially inspired by the work of a well-known Omani artist who specialises in equine art, painting particularly beautiful and vivid portraits of Arabian horses.
Ollivier wanted to evoke both the animal strength and natural elegance of a thoroughbred and pay tribute to the artisanal craft of watchmaking by highlighting the hand made skeleton movement.The head of the animal serves as the artistic centre piece, a support for the movement and a clamping mechanism for the two side plates of the tube which contain all the fascinating elements in the watch. A balance of technical mastery and aesthetic harmony.
The Pure Breed watch is in essence a work of art, a three dimensional sculpture in watch form which makes it both exceptional and unique. To get the horse just right Ollivier worked from anatomical plates of the utmost detail. He wanted every muscle and every aspect of the horse to be perfect. The delicate movement is skeletonised then hand decorated and inserted it into the neck of the horse, so that the automated pendulum acts as a mechanical heart, beating out the time, much as the horse would do during an exhilarating race.
The double sided sculpture of the horse’s head is handmade in a block of wax. A brilliant quality TW / VS1 diamond is set in the bit of the horse. The eye is hand painted, with a black glaze to fix the gaze. The anatomy of the head was designed to be absolutely perfect as seen from any viewpoint and to take into account any distortion caused by the sapphire tube that encases it. The central elements of the watch also serve as reinforcement to the structure of the sapphire tube and the end plates, strengthening the entire piece so that is remarkably strong. The entire system exquisitely balanced between the four screws that hold it all together, distributing the tension very evenly.
All aspects of the watch are hand finished using a X40 loupe which means that the finish is many times more detailed than the eye can perceive, but it also means that Ollivier has to work with hand gestures that are 40 times more precise. He has to hold his breath to prevent any movement or trembling whilst performing these delicate operations.
Each hair on the horse had to be formed one by one, with a particular frequency to create a lustrous and undulating coat so that the miniature horse would convey all the beauty and nobility of the original equine model. This was vital in representing the strength and emotion that the finest horses inspire in their admirers.Ollivier had to develop his own set of tools and techniques over many years to achieve results that pleased him, focusing on the way the gold holds the light and the shape of the horse. The three dimensional aspect of the sculpture is accentuated by the contrast between the satin parts of the coat and the polished parts of the mane.
Ollivier chose a high quality automatic movement which is flat with a tiny diameter (7001) that reveals the beautiful inner working and jewels whilst still allowing sufficient space for the horse’s head. The mastery this took is quite breathtaking as the smaller the movement the more delicate it becomes. So etching and revealing the parts took extraordinary skill to achieve without distorting the bridges and turntables. This is why mechanical movements like this are rarely worked in this way.
Ollivier can also create the sculpture based on individual horses from real life or from a portrait or photograph, according to the wishes of the customer. The collection presently includes a horse in grey, black and gold. Every horse is unique, with each breed possessing its own characteristics and particular traits and Ollivier revels in making each watch utterly bespoke.
Imagine glancing at your wrist and seeing your favourite horse, winner of perhaps the Grand National, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, the Kentucky Derby or the Dubai World Cup! Or in just having the horse you loved most on your wrist, underscoring the perpetual motion beneath that reminds you of its unique grace and beauty.
Ollivier Savéo – Pure Breed Movement. Technical Specifications:
Movement: Swiss automatic movement, 10.1/2, hand worked (skeletonised and engraved)
Functions: Hours, Minutes
Case: 5N 18ct gold, 49 g
Body: 5N 18ct gold, 29 gr
Creation by Ollivier Savéo, hand engraved
Size: 44×41 mm
Water Resistance: 3ATM
Watch Crystal: Special cut antireflective sapphire
Strap: Louisiana Alligator (30mm) special cut – black color
Other models on request
External screws: 316 L Steel with PVD coating, Pink gold 18ct
Buckle 5N 18ct gold: average weight 15g
Limited Edition: 1/1; limited series to 33 unique pieces
Total 5N 18ct gold: Average weight 93g
Optional version: Crimped case: 50 dts TW/ VS, 0.91 ct
Price: 72,600.00 CHF before VAT