Cover Baume & Mercier's Hampton Hommage à Pierre Soulages

French artist Pierre Soulages' Outrenoir artwork interpreted as a statement timepiece

The task of miniaturising a piece of artwork to a mere few millimetres in dimensions is a fascinating one. In horology, metiers d'art (literally meaning "art and crafts") demonstrates not just the watchmakers' microscopic skill and deftness but also serves as a tool to open our eyes to the vast beauty of the art world. 

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For those who want to wear a piece of art on the wrist, Baume & Mercier's latest proposition is the one to get. It pays tribute to abstract French artist Pierre Soulages' signature Outrenoir series of black paintings. In this series, Soulages manipulated the dark tones to create textural matte and glossy effects depending on where the light hits. 

For this collab, the manufacture reached out to Musée Soulages in Rodez, France where more than 200 works by Soulages are on exhibit. Baume & Mercier identified Peinture 390 x 130 cm 17 mars 2019 as its main inspiration. The painting was donated by Soulage to the museum in 2020 in celebration of his 100th birthday.

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Using a combination of 3D technologies, brass and candia stone, the artisans succeeded rather magnificently in recreating the painting on the dial, which is being described as "black yet wreathed in light, filled with masterful contrasts".

The hands are faceted brass, sandblasted and coated in black PVD. Soulage requested for each tip to be accented with gold to emphasise the passage of time. The case is fashioned from a block of stainless steel and coated with hydrogenated amorphous carbon ions to a thickness of 2 microns to endows it with a superlative hardness of 6 Vickers. 

Powered by an automatic movement with a black oscillating weight decorated with Cotes de Geneve. the Hampton Hommage à Pierre Soulages watch is limited to 102 and produced on demand. To order, visit its official website


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