Introducing The Handmade Edit: The Finest Watchmaking Craft

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Introducing The Handmade Edit: The Finest Watchmaking Craft

Words by Mr Chris Hall | Photography by Baker & Evans | Styling by Ms Sophie Hardcastle

2 December 2022


Andersen Geneve

New to MR PORTER, Andersen Geneve is one of the most highly respected independent watchmakers in Switzerland, with 40 years of experience as a standalone brand. Founder Mr Svend Andersen preceded that with almost a decade at Patek Philippe, where he worked extensively on its Mr Louis Cottier-derived world timers – a complication which is close to his heart and that has been a key part of Andersen Geneve’s world ever since it began.

This reference has been created exclusively for MR PORTER, and stands out for its central gold section with a wave-like guilloché pattern, a hallmark of the brand’s decorative style. The world-time complication is a faithful homage to Cottier’s designs of the 1940s, with a 24-hour ring and a world city to match with each.

The second, also exclusive models, is a “jumping hours” piece. The principle of the jumping hours complication – removing the hour hand to instead display the hours in a window at 12 o’clock that “jumps” instantly from one to the next – permits a watchmaker to completely redesign the dial space. In this example, Andersen Geneve has allowed its hand-turned guilloché work to take centre stage, with an intricate geometric pattern running the full width of the dial. A relatively discreet hand at six o’clock indicates the minutes; the whole arrangement might take a bit of getting used to, but you will never tire of having reasons to look at this incredible dial as it catches the light.



Launched at Watches and Wonders in April, this collection of Cartier’s Tank Chinoise celebrates the iconic design’s 100th anniversary. The Chinoise debuted as interest in East Asian crafts boomed in the aftermath of WWI, and was distinguished from other Tank designs by the thick horizontal bars which frame the dial. Inspired by the porticos of city gates, they lend the Tank an architectural quality.

For 2022, the case has been redesigned to emphasise them further, juxtaposing brushed and polished surfaces to add texture to the classic shape. Each watch is produced in a limited edition of 150 pieces.


Gerald Charles

The Gerald Charles Maestro takes its case shape from a model by legendary watch designer Mr Gérald Genta (who founded the brand in 2000). Today, it has evolved into a thoroughly contemporary timepiece, with an anthracite-coated skeletonised movement providing the perfect contrast to the shimmering exterior of the case and bezel.

There are 66 baguette-cut emeralds set into a white-gold bezel, which blends seamlessly into the medical-grade stainless steel case for the ideal blend of luxury and practicality. The rich green of the emeralds is echoed in the rubber strap, a common feature on Gerald Charles watches that emphasises the everyday wearability of such a rare watch (it also retains the 100m water resistance found on all Maestro watches). Only 10 pieces will be made.


H. Moser & Cie.

Today, H. Moser & Cie. is known and respected for its contemporary – often genre-breaking – contribution to fine watchmaking. But at the close of the 19th century, it was one of the most sought-after names in Tsarist Russia, and this Heritage watch draws on pocket watch designs of that period, produced for the Russian market.

Unusually for a wristwatch, the full-hunter case has been retained: every surface is hand-engraved and enamelled in a rich translucent blue. The pattern draws the eye to the ring of brilliant-cut diamonds at the centre. Open the spring-loaded case and the inner dial presents a perfect contrast: a clean white enamel dial with a hand-finished tourbillon at six o’clock. The caseback also opens to reveal a traditionally finished automatic in-house calibre.


Hermès Timepieces

Taking its inspiration from the biodiversity of Singapore – whose name means “lion city” in Sanskrit – this watch is one of four designs created by Hermès Timepieces in collaboration with British artist Ms Alice Shirley.

Each dial is hand-painted and fired in a kiln, before Shirley’s affecting image of a lion emerging from jungle foliage is painstakingly picked out in gold threads thinner than a human hair. This involves drilling thousands of microscopic holes, each of which is filled with a dot of molten gold before being joined up with the thread to form the overall image.

It is a sensational work of contemporary art and craft that plays with light and reflection while paying homage to one of nature’s most majestic creatures.



Mr Ferdinand Hodler is one of Switzerland’s best-known 19th-century artists. His work spanned styles and subjects, but he is perhaps most commonly associated with his realist landscapes, which often drew on the natural beauty and symmetry of the Swiss Alps and lakes. On the centenary of his death, in 2018, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a series of three commemorative limited editions, each of which featured a reproduction of a Hodler landscape, painted by hand onto the reverse of the watch case.

This particular watch has a section of the 1918 work Lake Geneva with Mont Blanc in the morning light on its caseback, providing the owner with his or her own personal masterpiece to admire. Even the main dial of the watch is a treat to behold, decorated with a diamond-weave guilloché pattern covered in grey flinqué enamel.



The wide, thin case of the Piaget Vintage Inspiration is dominated by a single shape, uninterrupted by lugs or even a protruding crown. This curved cushion oblong, emphasised by the concentric steps that lead in towards the sapphire crystal, frames the dial within like a piece of 20th-century art – no surprise, perhaps, that the watch is based on one worn by Mr Andy Warhol in the late 1970s.

The dials themselves are the stars of the show. Green malachite and blue lapis lazuli are paired with the white and rose-gold cases, each piece of stone carefully cut and polished to a unique finish. The third piece allows the case to come to the fore, with a glossy black dial that shows the simplicity of a classic dress watch. For the first time, this trio is available to purchase as a complete set, exclusive to MR PORTER.