A gem, both figuratively and literally, glistens in the heart of Geneva. Mosaïque II, an exemplar of Genevan high craftsmanship, is Stéphane Barbier-Mueller‘s passionate ode to the city’s time-honored watchmaking traditions. Crafted alongside François-Paul Journe, the acclaimed master of independent Haute Horlogerie, this timepiece is a canvas of semi-precious stones, dancing to the rhythm of a mechanical heartbeat by F.P.Journe.
Only Watch 2023 was given a treat when Mosaïque II was presented, reviving the magic of its predecessor from Only Watch 2017. Eric Giroud, the Geneva-based maestro, took the helm of design, ensuring that this new iteration would shimmer with even more complexity and brilliance. Far from an ornamental trinket, every element of Mosaïque II embodies the dedication and craftsmanship of over 1,000 hours of meticulous labor.
This majestic watch subtly navigates the boundaries of art and engineering. Delicate stones – jade, blood jasper, nephrite jade, carnelian, and opal – were chosen not just for their radiant hues but also for their unique attributes. The challenge? Mastering the complexities of three-dimensional cutting, understanding the stones’ individual behaviors, and achieving a polish that can only be termed ‘perfection’. The champlevé technique illuminates this watch’s design, with petite troughs meticulously carved into its metal components to house each precious stone.
Nestled within this ornate exterior is the soul of the timepiece, a movement by François-Paul Journe. Reserved primarily for his own masterpieces, the hand-wound mechanical caliber 1304, resonating with the essence of the revered Chronomètre Souverain, makes a rare appearance in the Barbier-Mueller watch. This collaboration stands testament to the respect and admiration the watchmaking community has for Stéphane Barbier-Mueller’s vision.
Caliber 1304, with its svelte 4mm profile, is an exemplar of chronometric tradition. It boasts an 18-carat rose gold plate and ensures an unyielding force to its escapement for an impressive span of fifty-six hours, thanks to its twin barrels.
Behind this watch is a legacy and a story. Stéphane Barbier-Mueller’s profound connection to watchmaking can be traced back to his family lineage. Inspired by his art collecting parents and driven by his own fascination with gold and history, Barbier-Mueller’s journey from an antique coin collector to the creator of a masterpiece inspired by the ancient art of mosaic is nothing short of poetic.
Technical aficionados would marvel at the Mosaïque II’s specifics: A PT950 platinum case with a diameter of 41 mm, beautifully complemented by a hardstone mosaic dial, and showcasing the Lotus Flower motif. The core of this beauty, the F.P.Journe 1304 movement, is hand-wound and crafted in 18K rose gold. Its meticulous detailing, like the polished screw heads, chamfered slots, and the Barbier-Mueller ‘Sphynx’ engraved deployant clasp, underscores the brand’s commitment to perfection.
“A watch does more than just tell time. It tells a story, carries a legacy, and in the case of Mosaïque II, it’s a tale of passion, art, and unparalleled craftsmanship.” – an unnamed connoisseur of timepieces once remarked.
Indeed, Barbier-Mueller‘s Mosaïque II is not just a watch for Only Watch 2023; it’s a celebration of Geneva’s watchmaking heritage, an emblem of high craftsmanship, and most importantly, a timeless work of art.
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