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Frederique Constant brings Philippine art into the world of luxury watches with Dex Fernandez

Published Apr 25, 2022 9:00 am

Frederique Constant has partnered with Filipino artist Dex Fernandez to bring Philippine art into the world of luxury watches through its “Passion Collection.”

The Swiss watchmaker presents five remarkable timepieces with unique hand-painted dials, which will be sold from May 4 to 11 at the “Wear Your HeART” private online auction.

“This is the first time we commissioned an artwork for our timepiece so we are very excited about this project,” says Niels Eggerding, managing director of Frederique Constant.

With the brand’s in-house production process and hands-on craftsmanship, it always strives to make luxury Swiss timepieces accessible. The partnership with Fernandez is the brand’s entry into the world of one-off timepieces.

Fernandez is best known for his street art character, “Garapata (tick).” It has appeared on walls across the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan. He has also joined exhibits in New York, Tokyo, Paris, and Singapore.

“They embody the Filipino character: they’re both resilient and they go everywhere,” Fernandez says. “They always look for a host. So now, the garapata found a new host in Frederique Constant.”

For the collaboration, Fernandez hand-painted his signature character onto the dial of each watch in the collection, a first for the muralist.

“It’s like telling a story in five words,” explains Fernandez adding that the paintings aren’t just for decoration. “You have to look deeper and you will see the message. Given the situation we are all in at this time, I really thought of inspiring concepts to motivate the wearer, as well as the people who will see the watch.”

The Passion Collection

The Passion Collection: 10:10, Move, Flow, Balance, Solidarity

The 10:10 position of the hands is traditionally used to show the dial’s features unhindered, but this one also reflects that happiness is a state of mind. (Starting bid: P200,000)

Move encourages the wearer to let go and be free. (Starting bid: P250,000)

Flow is all about riding the tide of time, with Garapata characters posing across the dial. (Starting bid: P250,000)

Balance reveals its message when the hour and minutes hands are perfectly aligned at 9:15 and 12:30. (Starting bid: P200,000)

The support of those around us helps us keep going. Solidarity shows this by linking “Garapata” characters together. (Starting bid: P250,000)

Living your passion

“‘Live your passion,’ has always been the brand's guiding principle,” Niels Eggerding explains. “It's the relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence that make our watches special. That's why we partnered with Dex Fernandez, an artist who understands that passion.”

“Art and watchmaking are very complimentary and very similar,” he adds. “Creating a watch is an art form. There are so many things to consider to make the final work look grand.”

Watchmaking, Eggerding says, is a precise science and pays homage to the skills of the watchmaker. “To incorporate art into the aesthetic beauty of a timepiece would only elevate its value and make the piece even more unique.”

Each watch in this five-piece collection is distinct from one another. “This is a rare opportunity to own a special object,” Fernandez says. “I hope it goes to a good collector who will enjoy the watch and the message of my work.”

But knowing the spirit of the “Garapata,” these watches are likely to head anywhere, and they’ll keep ticking as long as they have a host to wear them.

The Wear Your HeART auction for the Passion Collection will be conducted in a private online group from May 4 to 11. Registration for the auction is open until April 29.

For inquiries, call or email Nikko Tiongson at 0917-8430516 or email [email protected].

Learn more about the Passion Collection here: tempus.com.ph/passion-collection

This event is sponsored by Tempus, a retail watch concept of Wizer Industries, Inc.

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Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Frederique Constant.