THE HEAVY DEVELOPMENT

We worked closely with Julien and Salvatore of the Richard Mille R&D team.

First, we selected an asymmetrical case that added extra punch. Then I started experimenting under the supervision of Laurent Paroz, head of decoration at Renaud & Papi: stencils, masking… The paints also had to be tested—how well they adhered to the titanium movement, and how much they weighed, so as not to throw the pieces out of balance or impede the tourbillon mechanism!

It took the better part of a year to perfect a process and design the necessary protection so that the gears wouldn’t get paint on them, the special tweezers for treating the pieces without touching them and microscopic letter stencils, barely visible to the naked eye, cut from incredibly thin sheets of metal. I also employed very special pens, an airbrush system that deposits paint drop by drop, like for tattoos, but with infinitely small heads, in order to apply this particular paint on the metal surfaces.

When I began doing studio work, I engaged in some deep introspection. I wanted to inflect this graphic vocabulary, to take it apart and reassemble it differently. It was a different kind of investigation from before, but always on the same basis: letters, words, colour. Except, instead of defining the letters through their contours, it’s about pushing the colour outward. Always moving outwards from within.

It’s like breathing.

A completely different sort of picture. These watches could be exhibited in a gallery alongside my canvases. Each one is an original work of contemporary art.

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