It was a relaxing, pleasant Saturday afternoon, we met up with our long time friend in the stylish Harrods for lunch first to do some catching up. This ‘Cabinotier’ was just a small scale private exhibition, so only a few patrons were present. Did I ever mention how spoiled you can get by Japanese’s courteous and impeccable service? As usual, we were outnumbered by the staff, hosts, servers and many who just stood there to make sure you are taken care of. So after many rounds of nodding, bowing, smiling and ‘irrasshaimase’-ing, we finally got a glimpse of the display.
The Engraver Meister, Keiji Kanagawa san was doing a demonstration of his very unique engraving techniques. We are told that there are very few Meisters with his ability in Japan and Switzerland. The host directed us to the delicate details that he hand-engraved into the mechanical parts, face and case of the watch via a microscope. I noticed he always started his stroke, for example the paisley shape, from the tail with a light hand and then carved backwards to the top applying more pressure, see how beautiful the details were :
Only selected watches are eligible for engraving. Well, I know for sure they have to be hard and strong, otherwise how many watches can you afford to break while engraving? I guess it also has to be BIG, or else the Meister will go blind staring at a teensy weensy little watch 24/7, right? Hehe seriously, I think the size, surface and value of the watch would be the determining factors to warrant such precious engraving work.
My eyes were caught by the watches inside this case the moment I walked in. They are understated and yet each piece emits such distinct character.
The host explained to me that each timepiece tells a unique story – like this Pierre Kunz watch on the left is about ‘love’. It has cut outs of hearts on the dial and a serpent in the mechanical parts seen through the back signifying Adam & Eve, just exquisite.
Hehe, I have to mention that : as exquisite as these engraved watches are, I couldn’t help but get distracted by our host’s glaring diamond encrusted watch flanking before our eyes. I hope his was also part of the exhibition, see how many diamonds are on the face, the knob and even the rim of these watches, and they are big! I think you also have to hire a guard like Mr. Shin when you buy an attention-grabber like this.
Maybe it’s the excitement of seeing some beautiful timepieces, or just my eyes were blinded by the sparkles of those multitudes of diamonds; we decided to sit down, rest a little and enjoy our champagne. Look at these cute light snacks they served, I didn’t eat any though :
smoke cold cuts and olives
Bonbon on a stem
Next, I decided to check out the Franck Muller collection in display here. Remember, HRH owns several styles and colors of FM. Not sure if this is his real taste or of Ms. Hong’s. I always think Yong Joon would favor the more masculine and sporty type of watch, no?
I love this black Muller, cool!
Well, typical Franck Muller here:
See that one with multi-colored numbers, the sapphire blue is so brilliant
My friend asked me what number would I pick for the necklace? I immediately thought of 4, hehe Yon for Yonsama!
Well, all good things come to an end, this Cabinotier Exhibition has opened my eyes to the exclusive world of mechanical watch engraving. HRH always craves to experience new knowledge, wonder what kind of art or photography exhibitions he patrons while in Soho? Hope he had relaxed and enjoyed the last 10 days. Oh btw, you’d better head back to Seoul next week, ok? Yours truly will be very disappointed if she cannot breathe the same air and look at the same sky as you. Just kidding, pleae stay happy and healthy :)