"Fine watchmaking" might bring to mind old, bespectacled men fussing with tiny gears in a dusty workshop. Fact: While fine watchmaking does have a rich history, it's anything but outdated. Modern craftsmen are in lockstep with avant-garde fashion designers, pushing boundaries to create fresh proportions, new materials, and never-before-seen functionality—yes, quite a bit like the edgiest looks from the runway. (And, in some cases, watches mimic their ready-to-wear big siblings with eye-watering haute couture pricing, too.)
We picked out 15 stunning pieces that mirror this season's major trends for all the timekeeping inspo you need.
For spring, designer Thom Browne channeled poolside glamour with trompe l'oeil effects for a majorly whimsical collection. Similar in spirit, Hublot summer-ready pieces combine linen and resin with matching blue topaz stones on the dial and bezel.
Big Bang Turquoise Linen, $15,700, hublot.com
Hand-painted, bright orange enamel flowers on this timepiece mirror the wild floral patterns shown by Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga—and even cooler, this convertible watch can be worn on the wrist or as a pendant, or even displayed as a table clock.
Orange "Iris" enamel miniature painting timepiece, $136,200, bovet.com
Chanel found inspiration in computers and modern technology for spring/summer '17 (even sending out a few models resembling futuristic robots), and its J12 watches totally fit the bill. The watch features the likeness of Coco herself, turned robotic and functional: Her hands point out the hours and minutes.
Mademoiselle J12, $7,200, chanel.com
Hermès won the 2017 runway with its edgy take on an otherwise neutral palette. Textured cuts and classic lines offset army green and rich tan colors in both its fashion and accessories lines.
Cape Cod Veronese Green Alligator "Bracelet de Force", $4,000, hermes.com
Something Céline's Phoebe Philo and Rolex both seem to know: Color looks best when set against stark white or solid black. Both designers' collections this year feature pops of bright, playful hues against more classic, streamlined elements for a totally multidimensional feel.
Yacht-Master 40, $65,600, rolex.com
We've certainly come to expect the unexpected from Gucci designer Alessandro Michele: Daring, animal-inspired pieces in stunning colors were his signature this year, including carved steel feline heads and rainbow watch straps. ME-OW.
Le Marche des Merveilles Secret in carved antique silver color steel with rotating tiger head, $1,960, gucci.com
Inspired by both art and architecture, Proenza Schouler's latest collection mixes bold colors and patterns in a nod towards Italian designers of the '80s and '90s. One hallmark of the look? Leopard and other animal-inspired prints, just like the eye-catching diamond pavé and black enamel Panthére de Cartier.
Panthére de Cartier Medium Model with Brilliant Cut Diamonds and Black Enamel Spots, price upon request, cartier.com
British designer J.W. Anderson is all about the sunset hues of late, set against bold tones like navy blue; Harry Winston, similarly, features fiery red against delicate diamonds.
Premier Delicate Silk Automatic 36mm, Price Upon Request, harrywinston.com
Nicolas Ghesquière's signature mixed media marked the stunning Louis Vuitton collections this year, on both the models themselves and the watch collection it has since unveiled. Rich chocolate browns and unique patterns make these pieces collectible and totally fabulous.
Tambour Brown Epi Denim Red 28, $2,500, louisvuitton.com
Maria Grazia Chiuri's first collection at Dior took on a strong feminist perspective, dotted with pink touches and sportswear moments. On the models, durable branded waistbands were visible through sheer, embroidered evening gowns; on its watches, like the Grand Bal Piéce Unique Galaxie Phoenix, embellishments like opals, and baguette-, round-, and rose-cut diamonds perfectly offset a modern metallic strap.
Grand Bal Piéce Unique Galaxie Phoenix, price upon request, dior.com
Designer Jonathan Anderson has reinvented the Spanish house of Loewe with an abstract sensibility and a contemporary selection of colors, like the taupe and brown combo seen here. Omega—famous for being the first watch on the moon—embodies a similar aesthetic with its new Speedmaster "Cappuccino," which blends a striking color palette, diamonds, and taupe leather strap with the ultra-precise movement that made the brand legendary.
Speedmaster 38 mm "Cappuccino", $9,300, omegawatches.com
The leader in contemporary avant-garde, Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons (who was recently honored at the Met Gala) plays with size, shape, and proportion against the necessity of, you know, actually using your arms. In similar style, watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre's Hybris Artistica Mystérieuse uses a rotating tourbillon set inside a turning disc to reveal the time in the most dramatic way.
Hybris Artistica Mystérieuse, $348,000, jaeger-lecoultre.com
Audemars Piguet combines fashion with wearability. It's the ultimate match to Alexander Wang's mix of urban chic and athleisure cool.
Royal Oak Offshore Diver, $19,000, audemarspiguet.com
Head-to-toe feminine florals were everywhere this season: Matching the delicate pieces on the Valentino runway is the limited-edition Charms Extraordinaire Fée Sakura watch by Van Cleef & Arpels, which features a sculpted and hand-painted mother-of-pearl dial adorned with Japanese cherry blossoms against a background of cabochonné enamel, diamonds, and pink sapphires. It's a mouthful, but it's stunning, right?
Charms Extraordinaire Fée Sakura, $67,500, vancleefarpels.com
Camo-chic best describes Ralph Lauren's new Safari Grand Date watch, complete with a epic, oversized 50mm dial (that's about the same size as an Oreo—who's hungry?); Japanese designer Junya Watanabe, himself a master of adapting the abstract, has also pushed the boundaries of proportion this year with a similar color scheme and vibe.
Safari Grand Date Camo Dial, $5,350, ralphlaurenwatches.com