While attending a master’s-degree program in Switzerland, Fiona Kruger, a young Scottish design student, was given her first real exposure to watchmaking – an experience that ultimately steered her budding career in a new direction. “I had never seen people working on such a minute scale or with such precision,” she recalls. “I realized a watch doesn’t have to be round; it can be anything you want to design.” Parlaying her new perspective into a school project sponsored by Audemars Piguet, Kruger designed a highly detailed skull-shaped watch informed by her own notions of time and mortality. She decorated the watch’s elaborate dial with motifs inspired by the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico, where she had resided for a few years as a child. While the skull watch was far afield for Audemars Piguet, the design received an enthusiastic reception from the company’s then creative director, Octavio Garcia, whose praise convinced Kruger to build a full-scale prototype as a diploma project. The Celebration Skull watch ($26,170) features a hand-painted three-layer dial with details that glow in the dark.