The high-end watch brand wrote on its verified Instagram account, “Christophe Claret, thanks the artist Xuân Lam for allowing us to graciously use the original painting ‘Hai Ba Trung’.”

Lam personally affirmed the correction with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday, saying that the new Instagram post came as a result of his and his lawyer’s over-month-long legal efforts to address the issue and email exchanges with Christophe Claret.

The Vietnamese artist explained that he received a final email from Christophe Claret, assuring him that they would rectify the previously inaccurate information.

Earlier, Christophe Claret silently deleted two previous posts advertising the controversial watch design on LinkedIn and Facebook that did not give Lam credit even after he emailed the brand, highlighting the company’s infringement of copyright regarding his ‘Hai Ba Trung’ and ‘Thien Ha Thai Binh’ paintings featured on the new timepiece.

Lam’s email was sent one week after plagiarism allegations arose over the 37-year-old luxury watchmaker’s design boasting a painting of Hai Ba Trung, or the Trung Sisters, two Vietnamese heroines from the first century.

The controversial design comes from the ‘Legend’ collection, which was created to honor significant historical figures around the world while skillfully combining contemporary technology with traditional culture. 

The Swiss watch company stated that the miniature painting of the Trung Sisters astride two elephants on the upper portion of the dial was “handmade by artist André Martinez.”

Its advertisement caused people to question whether the painting was created by Martinez or simply replicated in miniature on the watch face.

Many Vietnamese artists asserted that the painting showcased on the watch face combined elements from the two aforementioned ‘Hai Ba Trung’ and ‘Thien Ha Thai Binh’ artworks by Lam.

Vietnamese artist Xuan Lam poses for a photo with his ‘Thien ha thai binh’ painting (L). Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese artist Xuan Lam poses for a photo with his ‘Thien Ha Thai Binh’ painting (L). Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

For timing comparison, Lam displayed the artworks at an exhibition in 2019.

Meanwhile, Christophe Claret unveiled the first design in the ‘Legend’ collection bearing the image of the French Emperor Napoleon in May 2021, before introducing the next five models featuring Jimmu Tenno, the first emperor of Japan, Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire, King Ibn Saud, founder of Saudi Arabia, the warrior Amir Timur of Uzbekistan, and Sheikh Zayed, the first president of the UAE, in June 2022, according to Vietnamese tech website tinhte.vn.

The uncertified Facebook and LinkedIn pages of the Swiss watchmaker just released the ‘Hai Ba Trung’ design on May 26 and 30, respectively.

Although Christophe Claret’s new Instagram post lacks a formal apology, Lam expressed temporary satisfaction with the watchmaker’s resolution of the case as the company had to acknowledge his copyright claim. 

Lam hopes that his case will serve as a positive example, inspiring individuals and organizations to courageously stand up for the protection of copyright and intellectual property rights, particularly in cases involving foreign entities.

He expressed his desire to bring closure to the case in order to channel his energy toward more productive endeavors. 

Lam is preparing to pursue a master’s degree in painting in the United States, supported by a prestigious Fulbright scholarship awarded by the U.S. government.

Born in 1962 in Switzerland, Christophe Claret is a skilled craftsman in the field of mechanical watchmaking. 

In 1986, he established his eponymous watchmaking workshop in the Swiss city of Le Locle. 

Meanwhile, André Martinez, a painter hailing from Barcelona, Spain, relocated to Le Locle. 

Renowned for his precise painting methods on metal dials, Martinez frequently collaborates with Claret.

Xuan Lam, born in 1993, completed his studies at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts and has gained fame for his unique artistic approach. 

He revitalizes Vietnamese traditional folk paintings Dong Ho and Hang Trong, and those from north-central Nghe An Province by infusing them with a contemporary artistic style. 

Lam’s compositions breathe new life into folk art, appealing to modern esthetics. 

His artworks transcend gallery spaces, making their way into the lives of young people through various mediums like fashion, books, and postcards.