artists in the "decorative art" section are called craftsmen. So I will call everybody a craftsman. I will try to answer as to who is an artist first and as to what makes a piece of art afterwards:
- I do not consider everything that brings an emotion to be called art: Art brings emotions, but things that bring emotions are not necessarily art.
- The primary purpose of decorative arts is not to bring an emotion, but to make something appealing within the current context of what is appealing (is finding something beautiful an emotion? I don't know). A beautiful chair, a beautiful basket ... ("Fine arts" is more intended to produce an emotion.).
Like I said, I will call everybody a craftsman.
"Watchmakers" do different things: people who make useful objects, however finelly finished, are not artists (eg: FP Journe, Breguet, ...). These people make the necessary objects to make the watch work. Without them the watch would not be functional.
The people who make objects look more beautiful are artists: engravers, enamelers, etc... The primary purpose of what they do is to make something look beautiful. Are these people really "watchmakers"?
It is not impossible for some watchmakers to do everything: make a watch, engrave it, enamel it, etc... However, you would be very hard pressed to find one of these people.
So my answer to this conundrum is to define two types of people:
- the craftsman-watchmaker actually makes a watch. He is not an artist.
- the craftsman-artist who makes the watch look beautiful is an artist, he is not a watchmaker.
As to the final object, it is much more difficult to answer that: the fine line comes from "when is an object beautiful, and when does it become a piece of art?". hmmm...
I have seen art that is worse that what goes down the toilet, yet is called art. Anyway.
When does the talent of the artist(s) make an object more a piece of art than a functional object? (example: when is a watch "a watch with some engravings/paintings/sculpture" and when is it "an engraving/painting/sculpture with a watch attached to it"?).
Some small table clocks are clearly a piece of art with a watch attached to it. Some jewelry peices are also in this category of an exquisite piece of jewelry with a watch attached to it.
What was the primary intended purpose of the object: to be a showcase for the artists' talents or to be a time-giving device.
In the example of "Les Masques" and others, definitely more of a showcase of talents.
Urwerk? hmmm, not in my opinion. Just watches with very cool designs.