The GREAT Britain watch is reimagined as a series of drawings by artist, Lee Yuen-Rapati

14 March, 2019

From time to time, Roger encounters a creative kindred spirit and this has led to another intriguing collaboration, this time with illustrator Lee Yuen-Rapati.

“I had been following Lee’s ‘One Hour Watch’ drawing series on Instagram for some time” explains Roger. “I was therefore pleased to meet the artist himself when I gave a talk at the Chrono 24 event at the end of 2018, and then delighted that he was enthusiastic about creating a series especially for my watches”.

Lee Yuen-Rapati is an interdisciplinary designer from Atlantic Canada and a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Typeface Design programme at the University of Reading. An avid watch enthusiast for a few years now, his One Hour Watch series - in which he creates original watch designs or illustrations in one hour or less every day - has developed an avid following on Instagram, including Roger.

Roger continues; “What really chimes for me are these miniature worlds that Lee creates within the architecture of a watch. When you’re working at such a macro scale day-in, day-out, I think any watchmaker would agree that you get drawn in to the mechanical world that you are inhabiting. To see that taken to its logical extreme is really satisfying and engaging!”

For their collaboration, the watch which was the obvious candidate for Lee’s treatment was the piece which represents place more than any other - The GREAT Britain.

Lee explains; “The creation of the GREAT Britain watch illustrations was one of the most challenging, yet entertaining experiences I've had in drawing watches. During the initial discussion Roger said it would be great to work in a similar vein to my series where watches or watch parts are turned into monumental structures or vehicles for people to explore or interact with. These drawings are a playful contrast to the often serious environment of horology, and drawing in this theme for a celebratory piece like the GREAT Britain watch fit perfectly.”

Lee Yuen-Rapati
Lee Yuen-Rapati's drawing 'The Co-axial Castle'
“The co-axial castle drawing was one of those ‘spark of inspiration’ experiences. The escapement architecture immediately became a fantastical castle complete with towers, bridges, and halls; the details practically drew themselves!”
Lee Yuen-Rapati
Lee Yuen-Rapati
Lee Yuen-Rapati

“The rally dial drawing was a more difficult challenge. I wanted to showcase the dimensionality and textural nature of the multi-piece engine turned dial, and also pay homage to the location either of Great Britain, or of the watch's birthplace: the Isle of Man. The idea to put an automotive rally on the dial certainly fit with the Isle of Man locale and it allowed for an event where people can come together for an exciting and fun time. The cherry on top was being able to draw in Roger's 1967 red Mini Cooper leading the pack!”

Instagram: Lee Yuen-Rapati -