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While many horologists obsess about the movement and complications housed within a watch’s casing, for most watch-lovers, it is the look of a watch that matters most. Hence the trend in the past few years for watch manufacturers to invent increasingly decorative dials. Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest watch brand, has led the way by creating what are considered some of the most elaborate and intricate watches ever made. Each of its Métiers d’art collection is not just decorated with a different and highly complicated pattern, but layered with enamel, engraved by master craftsmen and then hand-painted by fine artists. Although the trend for decorative watches is gaining momentum, it dates back more than 500 years to when watches were made using mostly brass or copper and the dials enamelled to make them look more luxurious. In the 21st century, just as in the Middle Ages, designers have realized that, while complications are beloved by aficionados, the one thing no watch-lover can resist is a pretty face.