Feather watches are quite unusual, and their gorgeous dials are absolutely captivating. This rare métier d’art, plumasserie in French, includes feathers in watches in a variety of styles. The most traditional way is to set the dial with brilliantly colored feathers. Artisans select the finest feathers and cut them to create a beautiful pattern on the dial. Others implement them in a more artistic — and fragile — way by using feathers as an artistic flourish outside of the watch case. No matter the technique, each feather watch is sure to be one-of-a-kind thanks to the natural variations in feathers.
Dior Grand Bal Plume
Dior’s Grand Bal collection is the most iconic watch design featuring feathers. This collection puts the rotor that powers the movement on the front of the watch, where it twirls above the dial. Dior’s artisans decorate the rotor with different métiers d’art, including gem-setting, but the most beautiful are set with feathers. Artisans must perfectly cut each feather to fit on the rotor. The feathers fan out within a rose gold and diamond setting. This Grand Bal Plume model has turquoise jay feathers atop a white mother-of-pearl dial. As you move, the rotor will circle around the dial. It’s a mesmerizing display.
Harry Winston Premier Feathers
Harry Winston embellishes the dials of its Premier collection watches with many métiers d’art, including feathers. The 36mm watch has diamonds around the bezel and lugs, plus a feather-adorned dial. Artisans create a swirling pattern by cutting triangular-shaped pieces of feathers in a range of blue and green hues and arranging them on a black background. They seem to be in motion swirling around the dial, creating a bit of an optical illusion.
Piaget Extravagant Touch High-jewelry Watch
This sensational feather watch from Piaget is part of its Solstice high-jewelry collection and shows the daring work of its artisans. Instead of safely encasing the feathers underneath the sapphire glass, this high-jewelry masterpiece pushes the boundaries of the métier d’art by using plumes of feathers that explode from the watch. The turquoise, blue, and green feathers complement the ombré tones of the marquise-cut emeralds and sapphires that encircle the black opal dial. The gemstones get lighter in color until they fade to white diamonds. While the feathers are certainly a conversation piece, they’re not always practical, so the watch is transformable. You can remove the feathers, attach them to diamond studs, and wear them as earrings.