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The beauty of Belgian hand-engraving - R Baptiste, Brussels


Dear readers, Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024 has just wrapped up a while ago, yet, as a fine watch collectors and connoisseurs like some of you here, we don’t get tired of pursuing and discovering new timepieces, nor limiting the options we saw in those prominent luxury watch fairs, if we can take a look with some of the ‘niche’ timepiece makers out there, you might be surprised by their intricate works-of-art, and the uniqueness of each rare timepiece they made that is truly exceptional and valuable. Today, we are taking a look with an artisanal Belgian watchmaker, R. Baptiste, and their beautifully crafted luxury timepieces.





Founded by a Belgian engraver, Mr. Roland Baptiste, in 2009, who is passionate about watches during his young age, he saw some share qualities in both watchmaking and his own engraving profession, which both requires meticulousness and precision of execution; with his uncompromising belief of not surrendering his work to the mass production nor heavily commercialized products, Roland established his own artisanal timepiece brand, setting up his own atelier in Belgium, and dedicated his work and skill to create some of the most exceptional and artistic timepieces, each one is carefully crafted by hand that homage to the savoir-faire of traditional Belgian engraving, giving much soul and imperfect beauty that derives from the genuine handwork, which it cannot be replace by the work of a modern machine.




The aesthetic of R. Baptiste’s artisanal timepieces originates from the artistic engraving work of the hunting weapons by a skilled gunsmith, think about those elegant scroll pattern from the Gothic and Baroque era, a reminiscence to the heyday of Renaissance with its elegant geometric pattern, adding the modern interpretation by this Belgian artisan, which brings his artistry into a modern world in combination of the finest craftsmanship and elegance.





Take a look with the ‘Voltaire’ timepiece for instance, a recommendation by the artisan, the delicately handcrafted dial and engravings expresses the old-world elegance, yet, with the shape of the polished stainless steel case, and the luxurious leather straps which gives a certain regal and noble mystery, with a hint of dark beauty, like a valuable family heirloom that passed down by a prestigious European family generation after generation, carrying much of the history, legacy and the arts that interprets who this wearer is coming from; it’s elegant and nostalgic, yet, it’s undoubtedly modern and luxurious.



On the other hand, the ‘Audace’ timepiece offers a bit more ‘avant garde’ feel, with its dial placed off-center to give a certain audacity and modernity, this delicate timepiece also possessed the artistic charm through the delicate and elegant engraving work, its smooth round case, as well as its delicate gold inlaying and precious stone setting, gives this unique timepiece much luxurious and dark-enigma-allure appeal.




While the delicate craft is done in Belgium, the movement of all watches by R. Baptiste are Swiss-made automatic, to ensure each timepiece performs at their best with the precision and durability thanks to the heritage and expertise of the Swiss horology.


Perhaps after this, you might start to look at Belgian crafts with a pair of fresh eyes, not just its fashion or art, but also artisanal timepiece making.



Image courtesy of R. Baptiste, Brussels.



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