The Hummingbird

Ollivier Savéo is fascinated by the minute size and extraordinary colours of the hummingbird. Flying from flower to flower, Ollivier has depicted this bucolic universe in which the hummingbird moves in a very realistic fashion, a little art nouveau.

As “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (French Master Craftsman) in the Jewellery and Precious Metal category in 2000, Ollivier, specialist in applied arts, wanted to glorify this bird – so rapid, so particular and the only bird to fly backwards – on a dial in bas relief.

Beyond the emotion, he had to be absolutely faithful to the model, transforming the finesse of the bird and transcribing its subtlety, a task that goes far beyond pure and simple technique.
This unique piece was sculpted in bas relief in a block of wax and then cast in bronze. The creation of all the tiny details in this scale is a genuine challenge: In effect, the creation based on a photograph allows a direct comparison with the original whereby all disproportions or errors are immediately visible.
Once the dial is cut he burnishes* the darker details of the photograph in order to contrast the zones, (* An ancient technique that consists of delicately rubbing the material with an agate in order to densify it and make it shine more but not excessively), then the paint to enhance the colours.

As always, Ollivier uses a binocular loupe to perfectly recreate the details of his oeuvres well beyond a normal visual perceptiveness. The sculpting of the visual demands extreme precision since every gesture marks the malleable wax. Given that the enlargement through the binocular loupe is magnified x 20, Ollivier’s gestures have to be twenty times more precise and necessitates a technique whereby he holds his breath for the duration of every movement so as not to perturb the precision.

Technical specifications
Movement Swiss automatic mechanical – Ollivier Savéo by VMF
Functions Hours, Minutes
Case Stainless steel 316 L – Diameter 43mm x 10mm
Dial Bronze with hand-engraved Hummingbird decoration
Water-resistant 3 ATM
Crystal Anti-reflection treated sapphire
Strap brown Louisiana alligator
Buckle Pin
Unique piece