The intimate merging of haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie leads to the creation of these scintillating watches.
English jeweller and founder of Graff, Laurence Graff, was captivated by peonies depicted in ancient paintings, engraved antiquities and references in modern culture. Inspired by the enchanting flower and its ruffled, lace-like petals, Graff’s Peony collection was born. For the Peony diamond secret watch, the maison’s designers have layered the sculpted petals at different angles to lend a subtle three-dimensionality to the timepiece. Custom-cut diamonds totalling 31 carats mimic the lustrous petals of this romantic bloom and embellish the beautifully articulated bracelet that resembles a delicate vine twirled around the wrist. A pavé diamond dial is revealed when the upper petals of the peony are gently rotated to one side.
From the Native Bloom line of Piaget’s Golden Oasis high jewellery collection is the Secret Oasis Watch. Set in 18k white gold with 1,188 scintillating brilliant-cut diamonds and 129 baguette-cut diamonds totalling 24.9 carats, the timepiece is inspired by a desert mirage with gently swaying palm trees set amid a luxuriant garden. As if frozen in the breeze, the curved naturalistic diamond fronds partially conceal the diamond pavé dial that illuminates with a special snow setting. The underside is fully openworked, which allows light to show off the stones in all their brilliant glory. Equipped with a 56P quartz movement, it is the remarkable result of 130 hours of jewellery work – the longest time spent on the construction of a Piaget high jewellery watch.
Rectangular links, a hexagonal dial, bevelled brancards: the design of the newly launched Maillon de Cartier watch showcases the maison’s mastery of rhythmic geometry. Set in 18k white gold and inlaid with diamond pavé of 486 brilliant-cut stones weighing 8.64 carats, the timepiece was designed as a jewel first by the maison’s watchmaking studios. The beauty of this ultra-feminine 16mm by 17mm quartz timekeeper all lies in the twist of the lines and in its torsion, which emphasises the perspective from which the watch dial blends. Well-rounded and opulent, the articulated bracelet’s chain links are offset and aligned on the bias. This clever interpretation allows the case and links to entwine themselves in one graphic motion.
Inspired by Bvlgari’s Roman roots and a nod to the manchettes that coiled around gladiators’ wrists in ancient times, the Serpenti Misteriosi Romani Secret Watch highlights the sensual charm of the maison’s iconic serpent with sparkling gems and a powerful design. Striking and mesmerising, the snake slithers sensually around the cuff and within it contains an unexpected twist. A special system of tiny hidden springs brings the creature to life, moving each gem composing the snake’s hexagonal scales – making this an entirely bold, new way of wearing the Serpenti. Set in 18k white gold, the conversation piece is decorated with 34 black onyx inserts, marquise- and brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 40.23 carats on the case, dial and bracelet, as well as a pair of pear-shaped emeralds weighing 0.55 carats for the snake’s eyes.
For a dazzling touch of red-carpet glamour, Harry Winston’s Precious Emerald from the High Jewelry Timepieces collection flaunts a stunning platinum bracelet set with 136 marquise-cut diamonds and 28 brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 14.95 and 0.24 carats respectively. The petite 17.5mm by 17.5mm platinum case features an elegant octagonal silhouette, a direct reference to Mr Winston’s fondness for the emerald cut. Framed by 20 brilliant-cut diamonds set on the case, the green dial is crafted in hand-painted iridescent mother-of-pearl. Adorning the case at 5 and 10 o’clock are 10 splendid marquise-cut diamonds in varying sizes that dramatically fan out in dynamic arrangements to recreate Harry Winston’s iconic Cluster motif. The gem-set bracelet twinkles with the light of 126 marquise-cut diamonds that flow from the case to the clasp. The supporting platinum structure and claws are invisible to the naked eye, allowing the endless white diamonds to dominate the scenery.
Featured in Chopard’s 2019 Red Carpet Collection that centres on love and celebrates it in all its diverse forms is this arresting jewellery watch. This fine specimen is a true testament to the superior technical know-how, impeccable craftsmanship and savoir faire of the Mains d’Art of the maison’s high jewellery workshops. The timepiece flaunts an intricate sculptural lacework pattern on a wide, finely wrought bracelet fashioned from 18k white gold. The exquisite creation is also bedecked with 60 carats of fancy-cut diamonds, as well as eight marquise-cut diamonds arranged like a wind rose on a mother-of-pearl dial. Adding the perfect finishing touches are two enthralling 4.2-carat fancy light yellow diamonds that frame the dial.
Tweed de Chanel, the French maison’s first High Jewellery collection dedicated entirely to the handwoven Scottish woollen cloth, launched earlier this year with 45 exceptional pieces. Included in the stunning repertoire is this Tweed Brodé watch, with a quartz movement, set in 18k white gold and inlaid with diamonds. Artisans in the Chanel High Jewellery workshop developed special articulation techniques that breathe life into solid gold and precious gems, while honouring the beautiful irregularity of tweed that so delighted Gabrielle Chanel. The pure lines of this openworked timepiece reinforce its graphic power. Artisans meticulously layered finely wrought chains by hand with diamonds of varying sizes and cuts, making sure to maintain the bracelet’s suppleness and comfort for the wearer. Also dotting the bracelet are quaint diamond camellia flowers, another familiar house emblem.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Whether figurative or abstract, the masterful interpretation of flowers in Van Cleef & Arpels’ repertoire of jewels reflects the maison’s unique savoir faire through fine gemstones and
three-dimensional forms. The 33mm Frivole Secrète white gold-set watch is an ode to the beauty of flora. A diamond pavé dial discreetly reveals the time, concealed by delicately pivoting corollas fully embellished with diamonds. While the timepiece with a quartz movement can be worn on a navy grosgrain bracelet, the precious bouquet can also be transformed into a pendant and worn on an accompanying white gold chain or mounted on a jewellery structure to adorn an outfit as a brooch.
Artwork: Aaron Lee