Custom watches at another level – Augustin Matei

Augustin Matei sketch book
Augustin Matei sketch book
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It is hard to explain how can I be proud of someone and something that is not directly related to me. But I am! I am proud to be one of not so many people who know and love the work of an artist – Augustin Matei. He deserves to be known for he is a part of an endangered species – the artisans.
The idea is simple: you come with your wish or desire and he is making it real through a watch. Depending on your request you can have a mechanical or quartz movement (Swiss caliber or not), a certain case or a special engraving. The limit can only be the availability of the components, because for his imagination – the sky is the limit. And I forgot an important aspect – it’s affordable…

Concepts for new watches

It all begins on a piece of paper with a drawing. Then things get a little bit more complicated: the choice of materials (silver, aluminum, brass, slate and so on), the colours and other details like the case, the movement and the strap. The next step is the work itself.

The Maritime Collection 
     The Maritime Collection is comprised of the Admiral watches, Poseidon, Monsters of the Sea and Moby Dick. I think that this collection will continue with new designs since the sea is in the hearts of the many.
The Admiral Watches
 
The dials start from a piece of aluminium, manually engraved and then painted with enamel. Everything is hand painted and all the details make every watch unique. The watches are equipped with an Eta 6497 calibre in a steel case.
Details from the engraving process
 
The Admiral Watch No. 01
   

The Admiral Watch No. 05

 Admiral 1805 A.D.

Poseidon and Admiral Watch No. 01
The Poseidon is a hand wound watch with a micro-sculpture of the god of the sea and an ‘antique’ enamel map. The map is very beautifully painted and the sculpture would make Poseidon proud.
The Poseidon watch
Another interesting project is the Sea Monster. On this ongoing dial, the engraving is nicely detailed and the overall aspect is spectacular.
The Sea Monster watch’s drawing and dial after engraving
Filling details with enamel paint
 
The Moby Dick watch is indeed an appearance. Maybe, at the beginning, you don’t realize the visual complexity of the dial, but after you notice it, you can’t take your eyes from it. The dial is made from slate stone, manually polished from 4 mm to 0.5 mm and the whale is also sculpted from slate. The calibre is a hand wound 6497 in a steel case.
Moby Dick Watch in the hands of its creator.
The last presented design is a proposal drawing involving engraving and micro-painting.
The God of the Sea and his creatures
The Sports Collection
     This collection contains original ideas and creations dedicated to sports and to special people.
The Golf Concept
The TNT Brothers
Details on the TNT Brothers watch
The Arts and History Collection
     In this collection are presented watches that combine art and history. The best original idea is the Cave Art watch – inspired by the prehistoric cave paintings that can be found all over the world. This watch with automatic movement and gold plated steel case is absolutely gorgeous: you can feel the coldness of the cave and the fierceness of the hunters.
Cave Art – featuring a hunting scene 

The Hathor watch is inspired by the ancient Egypt art having the goddess of fertility as the main character. This watch was made with natural elements as terracotta mixed with Arabic gum, varnished with a mixture of wax and natural honey. This watch hides an ETA 6498 calibre.


Hathor  – The Egyptian fertility goddess  


The Viking


The Heritage watch dedicated to Romanian traditions

There is an interesting watch in this collection that reminds me of the medieval Paris – The Gargoyle watch. An ETA 6497 calibre sits in a black PVD steel case under a manual painted and engraved dial.

The Gargoyle watch

Music is also a part of the art collection and it is featured in this two examples: The Music and The Dreamer.
The Music watch
The Dreamer 
The Dreamer was created for a hard-rock fan and the musical notes are part from Ozzy Osbourne’s song “Dreamer”. Another special detail is the micro-sculpture made from silver. The watch comes with a steel case and an ETA 6498 calibre.
Sketches for new designs
The Hopes and Dreams collection
     Inspired by hopes, dreams and desires, this collection has some interesting timepieces with the original interpretation of the human soul. Every watch has a deep meaning for the wearer and some of the stories will remain personal, increasing the mystery around them.
The Phoenix Bird – from sketch to implementation
The Phoenix Bird during the engraving process
 
The Phoenix Bird watch


The Tree of Life


The Angel 


The Stranger in the night


The Meteorite  – lady watch with quartz movement containing a piece of a meteorite


“A meteorite’s journey” – a watch containing a meteorite piece 


“Luna” – another watch containing a meteorite piece inspired by medieval stories


From idea to the final product – a lot of work with impressive result 


The details level on Augustin Matei watches 


The Zodiac Watch

The Japanese Garden Collection
     Passionate about landscaping and martial arts, Augustin Matei created two watches, different one of the other but with the same background – Asian art.
Slate stone and micro-painting dial
The Japanese Garden watch
“Haiku” – The daily watch of Augustin Matei hiding a Swiss automatic calibre
The Wild and Free Collection
     Freedom and wilderness are the keywords for this collection. One of the greatest pieces from this collection is The Horse – metal sculpture on a slate stone base dial.
Details from the engraving process
This was the watch that made me fall in love the Augustin Matei brand and made me want to know more about it. It comes with a brushed steel, gold plated case, ETA 2824 calibre and nice blue hands.
The Horse watch by Augustin Matei
There is also another variant of this watch (with another steel case model), wilder and freer, that involves wolves and deep forests.
 
The Horse and the wolves
Another majestic animal present in Augustin Matei watches is the Stag – a wild one with ETA 6498 calibre.
The Stag – micro sculpture and Swiss calibre
The Beast – ETA 6498 and steel case
Talking with Augustin Matei, he revealed to me that he is working on a new hunting watch and he showed me a sneak peek into his ongoing work.

The Hunter – ongoing engraving

The Hunter – ongoing dial work

     I am impressed with his work. He is dedicated and determined and he wants his watches to be a piece of art that you can carry with you, not forget it in a safe or on a shelf. His watches come with a certificate of authenticity and a guarantee. He can be reached via http://www.augustinmatei.com/, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Augustin-Matei.

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