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Col&MacArthur unveils the 'Da Vinci 500', a 'mirror' watch in tribute to Leonardo da Vinci
Published on 05/21/2019, 11:58 AM
A collection of 500 numbered timepieces
2 May 2019 is the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death at Amboise. To mark the occasion, watchmaker Col&MacArthur is launching its international campaign at the heart of the illustrious touring exhibition, Da Vinci, currently in Liège before travelling to Barcelona, Moscow, Japan and a whole host of other countries.
The commemorative watch boasts an intriguing design using powerful symbols that characterise the wisdom and brilliance of the iconic figure: hands that turn backwards, pictures of birds from the Codex on the Flight of Birds, and an intellectual conceptualisation encompassing references to the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequences and Vitruvian Man.
A Leonardo da Vinci watch
Col&MacArthur has chosen to create a watch that features powerful symbols that characterise the man behind the Second Renaissance.
Because Leonardo da Vinci was left-handed and wanted to avoid ink smudges, he wrote from right to left. The watch turns anticlockwise in an allusion to this particularity.
While the background face is Leonardo da Vinci's, the spiral next to it is based on the famous golden ratio. The numbers on the dial represent the Fibonacci sequence, directly linked to the golden ratio that appears in Da Vinci's works, including the Vitruvian Man.
Symbols of the Vitruvian Man are featured at 6 am, represented as a perspective drawing with a vanishing point at the centre of the dial. The perspective refers to the pioneering role Leonardo da Vinci played with his depiction of the Last Supper, completed in 1498.
The minute hand represents a spear, evoking Da Vinci's skills as a weapons engineer, while the hour hand ends in a drop of water, illustrating his passion for fluid mechanics.
While other masters during the same era became famed for their work on the new architecture, Leonardo da Vinci distinguished himself with his revolutionary attempts to conquer the air. This quest led him to spend many years studying birds and their flying techniques, compiling his observations in the Codex on the Flight of Birds, which appeared in 1505. The birds represented at 6 am are from the codex, as is the aerial screw, the precursor of the helicopter, at the centre of the Vitruvian Man.
Leonardo da Vinci's different professions are written on the watch case in Italian and backwards.
Staying true to the symbolism of the new timepiece, the number 1 watch will be offered to the city of Florence, Leonardo's birthplace, while number 500 will be offered to the Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise, the place where Da Vinci breathed his last.
This truly unique timepiece is available at the price of €449. It is also possible to request a personalized engraving on the back of the watch for an additional €46.
Founded in 2013 by Sébastien Colen, a robotics and electro-mechanical engineer, and Iain Wood, former member of the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, Col&MacArthur has been designing personalised watches for the Royal Guard for over five years under a licence granted by the British Ministry of Defence. The company has strengthened its identity by designing commemorative watches which tell unique stories.
The primary goal of founder and CEO Sébastien Colen is to preserve the memory of our ancestors: 'It is vital that we pay tribute to the great men of the past who so effectively devoted themselves to noble causes. It is important to remember where we come from as well as the high points of the history of humanity that have shaped today's society.'
Col&MacArthur's values are rooted in pride and heritage, embracing an approach where symbolism and personalized engraving guarantee a passing down from one generation to the next, as embodied by the stag, the brand's emblem, and its evocation of infinite resurrection in Celtic mythology.
When it comes to distribution, Col&MacArthur chooses not to use traditional intermediaries in the interests of maintaining an attractive price. 'Using jewellers would force us to considerably increase the prices. In the light of the research that goes into our collection timepieces, it would be difficult to offer prices that remain as attractive. And what we want is for our collection pieces to stay affordable for everyone,' explains Sébastien Colen.
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