For all the familiar sectors of watch design inspiration—automotive, nautical and military among the most recognizable—art makes for an underutilized arena. With his new limited edition collection, “watch tailor” Alexandre Meerson taps into the potential of pop art. Meerson‘s luxuriant made-to-order Altitude Première Pop’Art Watches employ the vibrancy of the art movement—incorporating eye-catching shapes and colors to great effect. And, as with other timepieces from the brand, customization plays an important role. Handcrafted in Switzerland, the 41mm automatic watches vary based on decisions of the buyer, who can choose between six original dial pop art-inspired designs and two premium case materials.
“Challenging the rules of a conservative world can only be achieved with strong values and ethos,” Meerson explains to CH. “Of the pop art movement, I admire this freedom that intrigues and fascinates. It is apparently effortless, almost childish and yet… meaningful and deeply rebellious. Below this cheeky ambivalence, there is integrity and boldness, backed by uncompromising rigor and craft.” He adds that these are the values upon which he founded his brand.
One unique piece (commissioned by a private collector) would initiate Meerson’s pursuit of this limited edition line. Meerson is often asked to design bespoke pieces, and one buyer sought out a companion wristwatch for his Roy Lichtenstein painting, known as “Cirl in the Mirror” (1964). After months of development, and a process that involved hand-painting dots on a mirror-surface dial, the watch (above) was completed.
From it, Meerson began to envision the Pop’Art pieces. The collection will only be produced in 2019, and limited to 100 numbered wristwatches. They retail starting at $25,000 for mirror-polished titanium and $40,000 in solid gold. Each comes with the option for a made-to-measure strap and personal engraving. And, of course, inside all of them is a manufacture automatic AM-4808 movement by Vaucher, Fleurier.
Images courtesy of Alexandre Meerson