Introducing Stefan Vinogradov and His Affordable, Hand-Made Skeleton Wristwatches

Stefan Vinogradov specialises in custom-made skeleton timepieces, being able to portray practically any motif on the face of a watch.

A native of Russia’s capital city, Stefan Vinogradov began making skeleton mechanical wristwatches in 2015. Each of his watches are custom made, featuring motifs dictated by the client.

Now 28 years old, Vinogradov began his career at the Carl Faberge College in Moscow where he learnt the skills of a jeweller, which are similar to those in open-working watch movements,techniques like sawing, filing, engraving and so on. Upon graduation Vinogradov joined a Russian independent watch brand specialising in skeleton watches, where he spent seven years plying the trade of a watchmaker.

Having struck out on his own last year, Vinogradov combines both those skills with his watches. He specialises in hand-made skeleton watches, with both the dial and movement open-worked and hand-engraved. Additional decorative techniques for the watches include precious stone setting, coloured epoxy lacquer and wood inlay.

Stefan Vinogradov Star Wars watch

Stefan Vinogradov Star Wars watch 1

Vinogradov’s repertoire is versatile, ranging from the familiar to the exotic to the unusual. His past watches have been decorated with themes as diverse as Chinese dragons, Darth Vader and Yoda from Star Wars, the Colosseum in Rome, and even the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

A watch with the logo of Alfa L Service, a Russian food processing equipment manufacturer

All of his watches are hand-wound and time-only, powered by either the Unitas 6497 or 6498, both large and robust pocket watch movements. Vinogradov’s watches are primarily steel, but he also produces watch cases in titanium and gold. The watch cases are typically 41mm to 45mm.

Dedicated to the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, along with the country’s parliament and flag (the reverse of the watch is show in the opening photo)

Each order takes six to eight weeks to complete, with the average price range for a steel skeleton watch being US$3000 to US$3500. Vinogradov now produces about seven watches a year, but plans to grow his production. He can be reached via email on his Instagram.

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Event Report: Jaquet Droz Unveils the Charming Bird Automaton at Singapore’s Newly Michelin Starred Restaurant

Equipping with a tiny, singing mechanical bird, the Jaquet Droz Charming Bird was recently presented

Jaquet Droz’s most complicated wristwatch is the Charming Bird that has a tiny automaton under the sapphire bubble on the front. Essentially a small mechanical robot, the automaton takes the form of a bird that flaps its wings and sings. Inspired by singing bird boxes of the 18th century, the Charming Bird made its debut in Singapore in late July when Jaquet Droz and SJX hosted a dozen watch aficionados at Odette, a restaurant that made the inaugural Singapore Michelin Guide.

The original singing bird box was invented by automaton pioneer Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the late 1700s, with vintage examples being exceptionally collectible today (prime examples sell for millions). Operating on similar principles to its 18th century inspiration, but modern Charming Bird has been reengineered to be smaller and more robust.

The Charming Bird is entirely mechanical, with the singing bird mechanism combined with a self-winding, time-telling movement, but improved with some modern technology, including an innovative magnetic governor that works silently, similar to that found in the Breguet Tradition minute repeater. But just as in the 200-year old originals, the modern singing bird relies on tiny bellows to blow air through a whistle to create the bird’s singing – a remarkably display of micro-mechanical finesse. And in the age of social media, this centuries old technology is a star – there was not a smartphone that did not capture it in action.

The Charming Bird is perhaps the most Snapchat-worthy wristwatch on the market today

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Precision was echoed in the evening’s meal, a multi-course, French-inspired menu put together by star chef Julien Royer. Expectations for the meal were high, with the restaurant having just received two Michelin Stars the week before. Those expectations were surpassed in an evening of food, wine, and warm horological camaraderie.

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The charming Natalia Bondarenko (right), the recently appointed Brand Manager for Jaquet Droz in South-East Asia

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This was brought to you in collaboration with Jaquet Droz; SJX was co-host of the dinner 

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