Hysek has already taken the art of skeletonisation to extremes. Now, the firm has unveiled a unique jewellery watch that also incorporates skeletonisation, thus laying the foundations for a whole new form of watchmaking art: skeletonised jewel-setting.
The Hysek manufacture has always devoted equal amounts of attention to the technical and aesthetic aspects of its craft. As one of the last remaining fully-independent Fine Watchmaking manufactures, it has asserted its own particular aesthetics ever since its earliest days; the brand has constantly made use of high-flying complications such as the tourbillon, double tourbillon, perpetual calendar, chronograph, and large date, combining them with a characteristic and imposing style.
One of the distinctive features of this Hysek style soon proved to be its new approach to skeletonisation. Not only have movement components been skeletonised to the very limits of their functional strength; the brand has revisited and redesigned the movement itself, reducing it to its lightest possible expression. Rather than merely fashioning openings and engravings, the challenge thus involves taking a fresh, in-depth look at the actual structure of each and every skeletonised movement. The result has been the birth of an ethereal breed of watchmaking, suffused with light – and timepieces that are quite simply radiant.
Jewellers spurred on by watchmakers
This skeletonisation did, however, raise another challenge when it came to jewel-setting: pavé diamond insets absorb the light rather than letting it through. And so Hysek has adapted its setting techniques. The aim is to “open up” the diamonds, restoring their absolute transparency and further heightening their sparkle. To do so, the manufacture has drawn inspiration from its work on skeletonisation. Not content with simply adjusting the way the diamonds were held in place, Hysek has decided to redesign the whole setting structure, using the same approach as that taken for its skeleton movements.
Art Jewellery, the Hysek way
The result is a concealed setting that is even more sophisticated than the traditional version: not only does it hides the supports themselves, it also leaves the lower parts of each diamond visible, allowing the light to shine unrestrainedly through the baguette diamonds, creating an iridescent sparkle that bathes the entire watch in glory – behold the IO 45 mm Skeleton Tourbillon “Joaillerie d’Art”.
To highlight this effect, Hysek has covered the dial of its creation with no fewer than three different containers holding a total of 156 baguette diamonds on three different levels, allowing the set jewels to encompass every contour of the HW14 manufacture caliber. Light shines through the sapphire caseback, illuminating the flange, diffused through the bezel, and reflecting off the diamond-covered dial – creating a dazzle of light unimpeded by the slightest obstacle.
An exceptional, unique timepiece
For the time being, the IO 45 mm Skeleton Tourbillon “Joaillerie d’Art” is a unique piece, designed to present the ‘skeletonised jewel setting’ concept. From the watchmaking point of view, Hysek has kept all the main properties of the original manufacture movement. The HW14 caliber is manual wind, dispensing with the need for an oscillating weight – another encumbrance that would have been unsuitable for the IO Skeleton Tourbillon.
The calibre has just 164 components and is fully hand-decorated. Nothing is left to chance in achieving its aesthetic balance. The barrel is located at 7 o’clock, the tourbillon at 11 o’clock. This asymmetrical layout – one of the manufacture’s iconic characteristics – makes a decisive contribution to the IO’s style here, being both unique in watchmaking and overwhelmingly distinctive. Hysek’s iconic 1, 5, 7, and 11 hour markers are all drawn on the inside flange of a bezel-set baguette diamond. The lugs (applied, as befits watchmaking of the highest standard) are also set with baguette diamonds, while the crown is set with six stones plus a seventh rose-cut stone on the tip. In all, the IO 45 mm Skeleton Tourbillon boasts a total of 17.47 carats.