Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke
Leoncino Wheke

This is all packaged together in our new signature case.

Leoncino Wheke


Wheke—octopus in Māori—are highly intelligent creatures that inhabit the world's oceans. They have often been regarded as ‘monsters of the deep‘ due to the numerous stories, myths, and legends surrounding them. One of their remarkable abilities is their mastery of disguise, enabling them to blend into almost any environment and evade predators unnoticed.

In Māori mythology, wheke holds a significant role as part of the larger narrative of Kupe's discovery of Aoteraroa/New Zealand. The giant octopus, Te Wheke-o-Muturangi, was compelled to flee Hawaiiki after being caught devouring the local fishermens' catches and depriving their families of food. Kupe embarked on a pursuit of this colossal wheke across the ocean, ultimately tracking him down in the Cook Strait, situated between Te Ika-a-Māui/North Island and Te Waipounamu/South Island. Following an epic sea battle that hung in the balance, Kupe succeeded in slaying Te Wheke-o-Muturangi. In various other cultures, the octopus symbolizes intelligence, awareness, agility, altruism, and versatility.

This stunning limited edition collection are each individually hand-engraved by Christchurch, NZ artist Andrew Biggs. The highly detailed Wheke motif is deeply—and painstakingly—etched into the case top, lugs and sides. In a first for the Magrette Art Collection, the illustration extends into the first links of the integrated bracelet. The caseback continues the theme with another engraved Wheke motif including the case number.

Series is limited to only twenty (20) pieces.

Movement: Swiss Made Sellita Caliber SW200-1 automatic movement.
Case Diameter: 40mm excluding crown.
Case Finish: 316L Stainless Steel, brushed and individually hand-engraved.
Crown: Signed screw down crown.
Crystal: Sapphire (double domed), AR coating.
Dial & Hands: Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 (Old Radium colour); sandwich dial construction
Case Back: Solid with hand-engraved Wheke motif.
Water-resistance: 200M/20ATM water resistance.
Strap: Integrated quick-release bracelet, hand-engraved end-links, with signed butterfly clasp; Black quick-release leather strap with red belly and accent stitching, buckle signed with Magrette shield.


Limited Edition: Twenty (20) hand-engraved pieces only

This is all packaged together with an extra black leather strap w/ red stitching in our signature travel case.

Note: Free shipping within New Zealand

Engraved Timepieces

Like all artistic endeavours, the subject matter is open to artistic interpretation by the artist creating the design. This was true of ancient cultures as it is today.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that today we have far more research material and a wider sphere of influence to call upon than the ancients did. But both share the same common theme that has been carried on for a millennia of artisans of all cultures, and that is to create objects of outstanding beauty that can have practical and/or spiritual meaning to the society they live in.

Hand engraving is a highly refined and skilled art that has changed little in the last few centuries. The artisan cuts lines in the metal using small, sharp, steel hand tools called 'gravers' that are forced along by hand or a slight hammering action. To do this the engraver must develop an affinity with the metal they are working on whether it be steel, copper, brass or precious metals like silver and gold.

Today's engravers have the benefit of better magnification like microscopes so the work can be incredibly fine. They also have better steel gravers as some of the metals to be engraved like stainless steel are extremely tough to cut through.

Andrew Biggs - Metal Engraver for Magrette

Andrew Biggs at work.

First the design is roughly drawn out with pencil and paper and increasingly refined until the final design is reached. After that it can be drawn straight to the metal or transferred by various means to the item to be engraved. The main lines are then cut into the surface.

For more high end and sophisticated work, the background is then relived which involves the cutting away of the background to below the surface level. The background is then textured in some way to make a contrast between the surface design and the background. This texturing is an integral part of the overall design of the engraving and has to be balanced in harmony with the overall design. Too much background dominates and too little will overcrowd the work.

Finally the shading, or detail cuts are made. These tend to be lighter than the main cuts and add shadows and contrast to the overall design. It is at this stage that the personality of the work shines through. Quite often the engraver will just make it up as they go along and it is only then that they get to see the real beauty of the metal and design that lies within the engraver's imagination.

Read about our engraver, Andrew Biggs.

See more in Engraved Timepieces

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