As the world’s leading, and perhaps only, watch portraitist, Julie Kraulis was once a revered children’s-book author and illustrator of ‘Whimsy’s Heavy Things’ and ‘An Armadillo in Paris’, well-before she discovered the immaculate beauty of wristwatches.
Commencing her new journey with illustrations of timeless classics such as the Cartier Tank, Zenith El Primero, Patek Calatrava, and the Rolex Daytona, Julie’s refreshing newfound hobby was a pure stroke of luck, “I was doing any project that came my way and a little bit listless,” she says, “Then I came across an article about the most iconic timepieces. I’ve always been intrigued by design and what makes something timeless, so the watch was a perfect place to poke around.”
Drawing every watch on our mental wishlist, up several sizes, Julie Kraulis found that distorting scale, scope and size of a piece allows more room for detailed design admiration. Sharing her work only through Instagram, her popularity soon earned her opportunities beyond the four walls of her home, receiving enquiries from the quintessential watch and car collector, Peter Goodwin, who commissioned drawings of his favourite Rolexes – a vintage lightning-hand Milgauss, a 6200 Big Crown Submariner and a Paul Newman Daytona – for display on his garage walls.
As demand for her work continually grew, Julie was juggling an average of about eight to 12 full-size pieces a year, with a selection of her art hanging alongside Futura 2000 and Rembrandt etchings in California and Hong Kong, whilst her two-sided drawing depicting both the dial and movement of A Lange & Söhne’s Datograph adorns a wall of the brand’s boutique on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
From attending anniversary events for Omega amongst special guests which included the likes of Brian Cox, George Clooney and Buzz Aldrin, to working consistently in close collaboration with Tag Heuer, Julie Kraulis crafted the cover for the history of the Heuer Autavia, and at the end of last year produced a limited-edition print of the movement of the Monaco, sold by Phillips to commemorate the model’s 50th birthday.
While her works may never be as valuable as the real thing, Julie Kraulis has been honoured at auctions, selling out valuable prints in under an hour for a hefty price.