The Lab

The Art of Moon Tattoo

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Morten Linde

Morten LINDE meeting Kristian Haagen in The Lab

Morten LINDE in The Lab

The full moon was in the sky just a few days ago. Not that I could have missed it having the Oktopus Moon Tattoo on my wrist. Our friend Kristian (see: The One and Only) called in for an in-depth review. Naturally we started by looking at the moon phase complication that we proudly developed in-house.  The 14 moon phases are in fact hand-drawn faces maturing through the cycle, each individually illustrated by award-winning tattoo artist Henning Jørgensen from Royal Tattoo.


If you refer back to our posts in 2010, you can see that we also collaborated with Henning to create the octopus drawing for the first Oktopus Tattoo’s engraving. The whole creative process was an art in itself. For the Oktopus Moon Tattoo, we have created an entirely new drawing as the watchmaking technology has advanced from 3 years ago and once again we pushed the limits of what would be possible now in Switzerland.

Henning Jorgensen creating the Oktopus Moon Tattoo drawing

State-of-the-art case making technology has allowed the engraving to be done at multiple depths (as opposed to a single depth 3 years ago). The end result is more sophisticated. The octopus drawing for the engraving comes through with varying degrees of intricacy, ever so subtly reflecting the light differently.

Tattoo Case Drawing_complete

Another challenge was to put a single drawing on the whole case with this many tiny facets. The drawing of an octopus in the sea starts in the centre of the case back extending its tentacles out to wrap around the case. Engraving all the details from such a large complex drawing into an Oktopus case yet keeping it intact was a delicate procedure. Even an 0.01mm error would jam the lines and ruin the artwork.

On top of that, certain facets are polished and not engraved to elevate visual contrasts. You can imagine the absolute precision required for the polishing to be flawless and the drawing to be perfectly carved into the case, each individually.

Kristian Haagen examining Oktopus Moon Tattoo


One more fine detail, if you look closely into the Oktopus Moon Tattoo, you can even see an engraving delicately carved into the middle of the dial. Truly, an art of horology.


M. Linde


Related Posts:
How Body Art Meets Horology  (2010)
360 Degrees of Body Art & Watchmaking  (2010)
Oktopus Tattoo: A Quick Tour Through The Lab (2010)