We invite you to meet Tamas Feher, our featured artist on the aBlogtoWatch Store. Gifted with relentless patience and dexterity, Tamas tells us how he creates his captivating horological art that, in line with our shared goals, combines outstanding quality – from drawing through digitization to print – with affordability.
aBlogtoWatch: Tamas, it’s so great to have you with us. The team was really impressed with how you have developed as an artist over the years. What kinds of artistic or technical skills are implemented in each of your works? What educational background teaches such skills, and how are these skills to be refined or adapted to fit the illustration of wristwatches?
Tamas Feher: First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the aBlogtoWatch team. It is a great honor for me. My father is a jeweler and a watchmaker in Hungary, so I have been around watches since my childhood. Funny enough, although I was lucky to see and experience countless different watches early on, it is because of my work as an artist that I grew to understand watch design on another level. How? Because I strive to accurately recreate their refined shapes, the reflections of their fine metal surfaces, and to draw everything as realistically as possible. Although I have studied art in school, it is also my oldest hobby – and that is what really matters in what I do — the years and years of practice and incremental improvement. Sometimes it’s in the gradient shading I create, sometimes it’s in the accuracy of the geometrical shapes, or the crispness of the text. These moments all add up over the years, but I’m nowhere near finished improving!
aBlogtoWatch: What is the hardest part of creating your watch illustrations? Is this just an illustrated facsimile of a photograph, or are there creative decisions that need to be made for the compositions to look as attractive as possible?
Tamas Feher: Usually, the longest part is the planning stage. I create my watch drawings with an artistic touch: I combine these iconic timepieces with key moments from their history, their intended field of use, or other sources of inspiration. These designs need weeks of research and sketching before I am to start the actual drawing part. You can’t start drawing too early because you can’t change your mind halfway through! [laughs] But I can’t say it is tiresome, because it is very satisfying and gratifying to dig deep into the history of the subject watch. I keep reading watch articles and books on watchmaking, and I do research in my free time. Once I have the idea for a drawing, I need to make many sketches to see how the concept works on paper. There are countless decisions to be made, so I tend to seek your [the aBlogtoWatch team] opinion and friends’ opinions about which option you think is better – but the ultimate decision is always mine to make.
aBlogtoWatch: The most celebrated source of value behind any luxury product is not only the pedigree of the organization behind the product but also the sheer number of trained human hours that go into such a project. What would you say is the average number of hours that go into each of these compositions? Not just the actual illustration, but also the planning and conceiving?
Tamas Feher: Naturally, I agree with that notion, although I do very much expect value even from luxury purchases. Sometimes, I think about a concept for a few months before I can draw a single line on the paper. Other times, I have the exact drawing in my mind in a day. Once this concept phase is over, I make many different versions, sketches in a small size to show me how the art will come together in the end. Once I’ve finished this part and I have settled on the final composition and style, I can start the actual drawing. This time period depends on the watch, but
it usually takes 80 to 100 hours of “desk time,” sitting over the paper and adding one stroke after another for a drawing to be completed. Watch the timelapse below for a glimpse into the work that goes into each piece.
When the artwork is finished, I need about two full days for checks and corrections, if necessary. If I am happy, the drawing is taken to an art studio lab where we digitize it with extremely high precision. Then, we perform test prints and settle on the first raw version of the final art print – representative of what watch lovers can purchase in the store.
aBlogtoWatch: What kinds of watches do you find most inspiring? What is the story of a particular piece that is your current favorite?
Tamas Feher: My favorite watches are tool watches. Divers, racing chronographs, aviation pieces (click on these links to see his artworks) are the most inspiring for me. But I do recognize that every great watch has its own story, and they all pose a new challenge for me to compose and recreate. The Heuer Carrera drawing is a good example of this. There is a genuine and powerful connection between motor racing history and Heuer, and the Carrera is one of the most iconic racing chronographs of all time. It’s just fantastic. For this Carrera drawing, I had to go through countless car interiors and dashboards for inspiration before I settled on the dashboard and wheel of the Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Tour de France (TdF). The first Berlinetta Ferrari to go with the first Carrera is a match made in heaven. Accurately recreating the dashboard, the texture of the subdials of the watch, and the texture of the old-school strap. It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.
aBlogtoWatch: What can we expect from you in the future?
Tamas Feher: There are so many artworks in the pipeline. I have a project in which I want to merge an old icon with its modern reincarnation – the first one is almost finished. I would like to make a big collection of art based on the most iconic wristwatches of all time, and I hope these works can be the foundation of this.
My aim is to exceed the customers’ expectations. That’s number one.
To have so many returning customers already is a huge justification for the work that goes into these. Because although we do try our best with our photography, to see these super nice prints in person is what really gets people hooked on horological art, in my opinion. In the long run, I hope to create a selection of art where every watch lover can find their favorite piece. At the moment, I am working on numerous new projects; over the last few years, I got into my own groove, my rhythm, and that is a tremendous privilege as an artist. In the end, I hope every watch fan around the world that has one or more pieces of my art will be happy because they have discovered a passionate tribute to the iconic timepiece they love.
aBlogtoWatch: Thank you, Tamas, for joining the aBlogtoWatch team — it’s great to have you.
Tamas Feher: Thanks again. I just can’t wait to get my horological art out there and into the hands of the global aBlogtoWatch audience.