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“Useless Yet Essential” $12,000 Swiss Watch Doesn’t Even Tell Time

It might look like a wristwatch at first glance, but the outrageously expensive ‘Playground Labyrinth’ doesn’t actually tell the time. Made by Swiss luxury watchmaker Hautlence, the watch doesn’t have a dial, numbers, or hands. Instead, it comes with a maze game for the wearer to play. The game apparently serves as a metaphor for ‘taking your time’ to enjoy the finer aspects of life.

Described as a ‘useless yet entirely essential object’, the ‘Playground Labyrinth’ watch is priced at a whopping 12,000 Swiss francs ($12,300) apiece. It is available in two models – 01 (rose gold) and 02 (white gold) – as a part of a limited edition collection. The strap is made of satin-finished Louisiana alligator leather, while the 18k gold maze is equipped with an extra-hard sapphire crystal ‘crown’ to stop the tiny platinum ball from escaping.

“It is a flashback to childhood where we allowed ourselves time to let our imaginations run wild and cut ourselves off from the rest of the world,” the company’s website says.

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The Mind-Blowing Wooden Wristwatches of Valerii Danevych

Valerii Danevych, a wood-crafting master from the Ukraine, has dedicated his life to making functional wrist-watches entirely out of wood, with the sole exception of a metal spring needed to propel the movement.

We’ve posted our share of unique wristwatch creations on Oddity Central, from the bombproof Kaventsmann Triggerfish Bronze A2 to the amazing wristwatch part motorcycles of Jose Geraldo Reis Pfau, but nothing quite like the wooden marvels of Valerii Danevych. Coming from a long line of cabinetmakers, the Ukrainian craftsman has always had a fascination for wood. He started making miniatures in his early school days, including an impressive 3cm guitar with human hair strings, but as he grew up and his skills improved, restoring wooden objects and creating tiny artworks just didn’t give him any satisfaction anymore. He just couldn’t get the idea of creating complicated mechanical things out of his head, so in 2005, without having any training as a watchmaker, he began working on functional wooden wristwatches. It took a while for Valerii to determine which type of woods were most suitable for the tiny parts needed, and  for him to learn the basics of watchmaking, but by 2008, he had completed his first functional wooden pocket watch.

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