But the result probably isn’t what you’d expect: Mr. Bicakci doesn’t really worry about the ease of telling time. More important, he says, is the story that each watch tells and his painstaking journey to create it.

“With many of my watches, it’s actually very challenging to read the time because there’s so much going on: within the dial, within the design carved into the sapphire glass,” he said. “So, sometimes, you don’t see the hands.”

The focus is what he calls “slow luxury.”

“I want my watches to take people’s minds away from that feeling of always being in a rush,” he said. “If you are in a rush, just look at your cellphone.”


An example would be his ornate Potamides watch ($275,000), named for the water nymphs in Greco-Roman mythology. Made of 24-karat gold, sterling silver, diamonds and what Mr. Bicakci called “very unforgiving” sapphire crystal, it features a reverse-engraved intaglio image of a dragonfly whose wings, at certain times, obscure the minute and second hands. The watch’s gem-encircled dial is surrounded by a 4-inch cuff laden with still more diamonds and styled in the shape of outstretched wings.

“It hides the time away, that’s what I care about,” he said. “To make someone forget about time.”

Mr. Bicakci knows a thing or two about time. A Turk of Armenian descent, he took more than nine years to create an 85-piece collection, a trial-and-error process documented in a large-format book, “Sevan Bicakci: The Timekeeper,” with text by Vivienne Becker, published in December by Assouline.

As with his rings, Mr. Bicakci relied on a team that included goldsmiths, stonesetters and a sculptor to complete his designs, with their Turkish motifs like pomegranates and minarets. The movements were made at the Swatch-owned ETA factory in Switzerland.

Now 46, he dropped out of school at 12 to apprentice with a relative who was a goldsmith. He opened his own workshop by the time he was 18, and now has salesrooms in Istanbul and Miami.

For years, collectors and film producers have sought out his ornate rings. Anthony Hopkins wore Bicakci jewelry in the 2017 film “Transformers: The Last Knight,” as did Cate Blanchett in “Ocean’s Eight” last year.


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