New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d’Art unique pieces

April 2024

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces

A company specialising in exceptional dials – celebrated as one of the most talented in the field of Métiers d’Art, where craftsmanship is more akin to art – is contributing to the birth of a new hyper-exclusive watch brand that will create only a few unique pieces each year.


s a purveyor to the most exclusive watch brands, Atelier Olivier Vaucher is one of the world’s leading references in Métiers d’Art as applied to watch faces – Grand Feu enamel, engraving, miniature painting, mosaics and gem-setting are all part of its repertoire, the most comprehensive in Switzerland.

Even more valuable than the individual skills are the myriad ways in which these sublime artistic crafts are combined, cementing Atelier Olivier Vaucher’s stature in this rarefied circle. Founded in 1978 by Olivier Vaucher, with his wife and artist Dominique at his side, the Atelier works tirelessly behind the scenes, creating the faces of the rarest and most sought-after timepieces in the watchmaking industry.

As the Atelier embarks on an unprecedented expansion phase, moving to new premises just a short distance from its original location in the heart of Geneva, it is nurturing the green shoot of a new venture: Taos – which will also benefit from the Atelier’s creative capabilities.

Taos is the brainchild of Olivier and Dominique Vaucher on one side, and Olivier Gaud on the other. With 46 years of experience leading the Atelier that bears his name, Olivier Vaucher had long harboured the vision and dream of creating a watch brand that utilises the full scope of his workshop’s savoir-faire and resources. Olivier and Dominique’s encounter with Olivier Gaud, coupled with their shared passion for exceptional watchmaking, ignited the spark that brought Taos to life.

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces

The outcome of their reflections, dedication, and artistry is manifested in unique pieces named Ondes (Waves), Floréal, Euphorie, Kaléidoscope, Broderie (Embroidery), and Envol (Flight). They form Taos’s inaugural collection, showcasing the Métiers d’Art as applied to horology.

Taos is a small community in the mountains of New Mexico, nestled along the Rio Grande, known since the late 1800s as an artistic colony with an eclecticism and creativity all its own. Here, Native American artists still hand-craft objects using traditional methods passed down through generations.

For over a century Taos has also evolved into a major artistic hub, drawing a diverse mix of American and international artists – some stay only a short while; others lay down permanent roots. This melding of arts and cultures has transformed Taos into a community that stands out for its uniqueness, vibrancy, and remarkable openness.

‘Taos’ is also the Greek word for peacock. Both mythical and familiar, this fascinating creature never ceases to amaze with its multifaceted beauty. Taos draws inspiration from its myriad colors. An endless palette of blue and green hues, interwoven with white and black, textured and silky – the peacock embodies the magic of polychromy and iridescence.

The peacock is elegance. In a slow, majestic stride it fans out its vast plumage, a natural masterpiece, fully aware it is the centre of admiration. Far from any such vanity, guided by the intrinsic modesty that characterises Olivier Gaud and the team at Atelier Olivier Vaucher, Taos, too, is aware its creations will draw attention. Because they are the fruit of immense effort, yet effortless in their grace. Because they are dazzling and captivating, infused with a discreet elegance, both rare and precious.

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces

Taos is ideally positioned to benefit from the expertise of Atelier Olivier Vaucher’s more than 40 collaborators, pooling the experience and expertise of over 15 distinct crafts and professions. After forty-six years of growth, maturation, deepening expertise, and continual progression towards perfection, the Atelier has become one of the most comprehensive and respected establishments of its kind. Its Geneva location has, from the outset, placed it at the epicentre of exceptional watchmaking. This recognition is a testament to the dedication and skill of those who work there.

In this environment, the artisan-craftspeople find fulfilment, support, and engaging dialogue, along with the natural cross-fertilisation that springs from the collaboration of great talents. It is in this setting that a series of uniquely original and exceptional Métiers d’Art pieces are being created today, each surpassing the last in originality and excellence.

Olivier Gaud, CEO of Taos, comments: “Bringing Taos to life with the benefit of the support and involvement of one of Geneva’s most distinguished watchmaking artisans from the very start of our journey has been an extraordinary adventure. Never has a brand been so privileged to have such a wealth of skills across the various Métiers d’Art from its inception.”

“I’ve always dreamed it would be this way,” reveals Olivier Vaucher, founder of Atelier Olivier Vaucher. “To create independently for individual collector clients, and in the process to continue pushing ahead in our research and the various forms of expression, it gives a sense of fulfilment that I fully share with Dominique and our entire team."

Olivier Vaucher dreamed it, Olivier Gaud made it a reality.

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces

Collaborating with and supporting Taos from its inception has enabled Atelier Olivier Vaucher to conceive, test, and execute bold and risky projects with complete freedom. “At the core of Taos’s DNA is the desire to highlight and honour the Métiers d’Art in their totality, and Olivier Gaud encourages us to go further, to push the boundaries, to try new techniques, and to challenge our creativity,” comments Dominique Vaucher.

Born from the imagination, hearts and fingertips of the artisans at the Atelier, the first Taos collection emerges: seven unique watches that bring the Atelier’s team effort to the forefront, each piece sparking an unparalleled capacity for wonder.

These seven timepieces not only showcase incredible craftsmanship but also affirm that the Métiers d’Art are alive, intensely vibrant, and charged with emotion.

And it is thanks to this passion, this soul that is carefully nurtured by the founders and leaders of Atelier Olivier Vaucher, that Taos can shine. It is because they are challenged and guided by Olivier Gaud, CEO of Taos, that their creations make their way to their audience. It is a collective endeavour, filled with warmth, aimed as much at the fulfilment of those who create as it is at the satisfaction of its final recipients.

Such is the ethos of Taos. A simple and joyful mix of support, approachability, respect, and protectiveness – four essential conditions for a cause that is deeply important to both Olivier Gaud and the Vauchers: the blossoming and then nurturing of talent.

Broderies d’Émail – Enamel Embroideries – lets the finesse of enamel explore new expressive territory. Hundreds of strands of molten enamel are laid out as so many segments of silk on lace. The trompe-l’oeil is perfect, the impression of depth unique, and the detail surprising.

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces

Envol Bleu and Envol Rouge – Blue Flight and Red Flight – feature engraved feathers covered in enamel, a flower-like silver-leaf paillon encircled with diamonds. Multiple layers, firings, details, and micro-engravings amplify the blooming of a delicate rosace pattern.

Floréal offers a bouquet of mother-of-pearl flowers miniature-painted in subtle shades of pink. They rest on a canvas of paillonné enamel, sprinkled with blue cloisonné enamel petals, neatly arranged in a composition highlighted by diamonds.

Kaléidoscope reveals a rhythmic alternation of hardstone mosaic pieces, arrayed in the shape of a heart around a central, raised mother-of-pearl relief.

Ondes – Waves – transcends its monochromatic appearance, harmonizing mechanics and art. The mother-of-pearl dial is engraved layer upon layer, seemingly endlessly, mirroring the patterns that adorn the movement that beats beneath it.

Taos is deeply rooted in a revered tradition, a unique culture of artistic expression, with Geneva as its vibrant heart. It is here, between the Jura Mountains and the Alps, where Lake Geneva flows into the Rhône River, that the craft of transforming a watch into a work of art, born almost four centuries ago, continues to blossom.

Building on watch movements that are in themselves exceptional, though not always from Geneva, the city has fostered and encouraged an ecosystem of specialised artisans. Enamelers. Gem setters. Lapidaries. Goldsmiths. Miniature painters. Engravers. Illuminators. These skilled artists-craftspeople have been honing their exceptional talents in the historic heart of Geneva since the mid-1600s.

They created a powerful, prosperous and influential industry that has shaped and projected a unique facet of Geneva and Switzerland’s image around the world. The historical continuity is flawless, and the tradition remains unbroken, thanks to the dedication and genius of a few artisan-craftspeople.

More important, they preserved, passed on and increased this knowledge, this savoir-faire and, most importantly, cultivated the determination to continue creating. Among these individuals are Olivier Gaud and Olivier and Dominique Vaucher. They stand as both protectors and torchbearers of the Genevan spirit of excellence in the artistic crafts that epitomise Métiers d’Art in horology.

Taos thus embraces the most daring, cutting-edge, and personally fulfilling projects imaginable by the Atelier’s artisan-craftspeople. “The work we do for Taos enables us to explore uncharted territory and engage in concrete research,” explain Olivier and Dominique Vaucher. “It’s highly motivating for our teams and it allows us to keep doing what we’ve committed to from the start: to keep pushing boundaries for the benefit of all our clients.”

And Olivier Gaud adds: “It’s even better than a research lab. The artisans of the Atelier demonstrate an extraordinary dedication to their craft, which positively impacts the creativity of all Taos designs.”

Thus, each creation emerges as a ‘one-of-a-kind’ watch, subtly marked with the Taos signature. This is because the centrepiece of this emotive vessel is concentrated within just a few square centimetres – the dial. Here, a distinct creativity unfolds, fuelled by the spirit of sharing and collaboration evident in every stage of the watch’s design and manufacturing. The mechanical movement inside? It is the reflection of each watch’s face.

Giving this creativity free rein is the shared ethos of Taos and Atelier Olivier Vaucher, marked by their supportive attitude. “There has always been a nurturing atmosphere at the Atelier,” says Dominique Vaucher. “We’re surrounded by wonderful people. Every talent is given a voice, each expressing their uniqueness and sharing their particular savoir-faire.”

Collegiality and openness are essential for individual talents to flourish, of course, but also for the creative process to take hold and lead to great creations. Dominique Vaucher continues: “It’s through dialogue that we get the best out of each technique. That’s we sustain our passion for the craft, through the ‘lifespark’ of each and every one in the team.”

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces

Each timepiece produced by Taos houses the same movement. Under the supervision of Olivier Gaud, a passionate watchmaker and the CEO of Taos, the Swiss movement manufacturer Télôs, at Taos’s express request, created the exclusive self-winding caliber VOP318. Among its many virtues, a comfortable power reserve of around 72 hours.

Its initial specification had a truly unconventional constraint: the surface of its bridges must provide the canvas for the most elaborate engraving imaginable. Thicknesses, shapes, cut-outs – every aspect was designed with the engraver’s chisel in mind as it navigating its mere millimetres in diameter. As a result, the inside of each watch offers a spectacle on a par with what can be seen on the dial side.

Delivered in their raw form, the movement’s components are individually engraved, chamfered and satin-finished by hand at Atelier Olivier Vaucher – the foundations of a network of rosettes and motifs inspired by the movement’s inner workings. The oscillating weight operates beneath the case back, and its visible part – the arms – are beveled and satin-finished by hand in the watchmaking tradition.   Engraving a single complete caliber takes between 80 and 100 hours of meticulous work by a single craftsperson, who is responsible for their piece from receipt to delivery of the fully finished piece.

Each timepiece comes in a case, 38 mm in diameter and 10 mm thick, which is made either of 18K white gold or 5N rose gold, and, depending on the dial’s theme, set with diamonds.

Its slimness enhances the watch’s elegance, complementing the dial’s aesthetics. The detailed lugs, precise angles, sloping bezel, and curved case back all combine to showcase each creation, allowing the design to first stand out and then subtly recede.

New brand Taos presents seven inaugural Métiers d'Art unique pieces


Names of the 7 models:

Taos ‘Euphorie’ – Unique Piece
Taos ‘Envol Bleu’ – Unique Piece
Taos ‘Envol Rouge’ – Unique Piece
Taos ‘Floréal’ – Unique Piece
Taos ‘Ondes’ – Unique Piece
Taos ‘Broderies’ – Unique Piece
Taos ‘Kaleidoscope’ – Unique Piece


‘Euphorie’: Red, orange and black dominant
Grand Feu paillonné enamel – overlay of paillons and enamel
Multiple layers, multiple firings

‘Envol Bleu’: Blue dominant
Hand-engraving under enamel, hand engraving on enamel, paillonné enamel, and diamond setting
Multiple layers, multiple firings

‘Envol Rouge’: Red and orange dominant at the centre
Hand engraving under enamel, hand engraving on enamel, paillonné enamel, and diamond setting
Multiple layers, multiple firings

‘Floréal’: Silver, blue and pink dominant
Email on silver-leaf paillons, cloisonné enamel, hand-engraved mother-of-pearl, miniature painting on mother-of-pearl, and gem-setting

‘Ondes’: White dominant
Engraving on mother-of-pearl on multiple layers; patterns echo the engraving on the movement

‘Broderies’: Gold and white dominant
Strands of enamel drawn and laid in floral patterns, embroidery-like, on the dial, with gem-setting

‘Kaleidoscope’: Blue and green dominant
Stone mosaic inlay, engraved mother-of-pearl center, and engraved motif in white gold

Hours and minutes indication
Gold hands; leaf-shaped, slightly curved, and mirror-polished

Case: 18K white gold (5N rose gold for ‘Euphorie’ and ‘Envol Rouge’)
Diameter: 38mm
Thickness: 10mm
‘Envol Bleu’, ‘Envol Rouge’ and ‘Floréal’: diamond-set lugs
‘Broderies’: diamond-set bezel and lugs

VOP318, developed exclusively by Télôs (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland) for Taos
Self-winding Automatic double-barrel winding shown in parallel
Exclusive Taos hand decorations by Atelier Olivier Vaucher, Geneva
Invisible oscillating weight, concealed in the case
Power reserve: approx. 72 hours
Diameter: 30.40 mm
Thickness: 4.20mm
Frequency: 4 Hz
26 rubies

Blue, chocolate, or green calfskin, alligator pattern
Hand-sewn in Geneva, visible saddle stitching
Beige nubuck leather on ‘Broderies’, visible saddle stitching
18K pin buckle, exclusive Taos design

The Europa Star Newsletter