Gucci’s debut line of high complication watches puts an impossibly fashionable spin on haute horlogerie. Maurizio Pisanu, the maison’s worldwide managing director for watches and jewellery, tells Prestige about the timepieces and Gucci’s latest calibre in an exclusive interview.
Almost 50 years later, the maison continues to design timepieces that are manufactured in the watchmaking world capital of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Assembly, diamond setting and quality control take place here, while Gucci’s Fabbrica Quadrant facility in the Canton of Ticino creates dials with a combination of technologically advanced methods and traditional craftsmanship. Gucci’s watch headquarters in Neuchâtel is where the house’s watch design know-how comes together.
To mark its centenary this year, the world’s largest luxury fashion watch producer makes its debut in high watchmaking. Why did it take the house almost five decades? Maurizio Pisanu, Gucci’s worldwide managing director for watches and jewellery, explains: “After the successful launch of our high jewellery two years ago, it was a natural step to enter the world of high watchmaking. This project started before the pandemic, however, during the months of development when the execution was taking shape, we were astonished by the accomplishments and couldn’t wait any longer to reveal them.”
Designed by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, and to be launched over the course of the year, the 33 new timepieces in four high-end lines are a fusion of the maison’s distinctively eclectic Italian style and unrivalled Swiss expertise. However, beyond the striking tourbillons, moonphase creations, jumping-hour movements and exquisite gem-set designs, it is the new calibre GG727.25 that takes pride of place.
This is Gucci’s first movement, developed and produced at its parent company Kering’s movement manufacture in La Chaux-de- Fonds. Pisanu elaborates: “Our first in-house calibre, the GG727.25, is a real technical achievement and a new milestone for Gucci. Various teams were involved in the design process, which took around a year, and we’re very proud of the result.”
Housed within the new Gucci 25H watch, the self-winding ultra-slim (only 3.7mm in height) calibre references important numerical symbols: “7” encapsulates a sense of completeness; “2” represents balance and cooperation; while “5” symbolises curiosity and freedom.
Aside from discovering the timepieces at the maison’s fine watch and jewellery boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris, they can be viewed at Gucci.com and enquiries can be made via your local Gucci client representative. Here, we discover the new creations in each collection.
Playfully named after Michele’s favourite numbers, the Gucci 25H watch with a 60-hour power reserve features sleek, sporty lines with contrasting finishes. Its slender 40mm case allows for the unisex watch to wear like a second skin on the wrist. Chic, versatile and timeless, the automatic timepiece is offered in steel and pavé diamond- set models, as well as two tourbillon variants in platinum and yellow gold. Pisanu admits to having a soft spot for the model: “The highlight for me is the Gucci 25H Tourbillon in yellow gold. We’ve always been fascinated by the tourbillon as it is such a complex piece of micro- engineering. It’s a bold and sophisticated combination with the clean, sporty design of the watch.”
Five exceptional eclectic designs make up the G-Timeless range. A nod to the Gucci Garden, the G-Timeless Dancing Bees is a compelling creation with bees that move on the dial. Presented in 40mm tourbillon versions, the model is available in white or yellow gold, with or without a diamond-set bezel on an alligator strap, as well as two high jewellery pieces on diamond-set bracelets. Additionally, the Dancing Bees automatic model is offered in a 36mm and 40mm white gold variant with a diamond-set bracelet.
Pisanu adds: “The G-Timeless Dancing Bees Tourbillon collection is a perfect combination of the savoir faire of Swiss watchmaking and the stylish Gucci flourish. It’s a remarkable technical creation with a complex mechanism, where each bee seems to dance on the dial with every movement of the wrist.”
If you love ornamental stones, there are three G-Timeless Automatic 38mm creations that feature a yellow gold case with the bee motif on a unique dial of malachite, onyx or tiger’s eye. Michele incorporated his love for celestial iconography on a trio of 40mm G-Timeless Moonphase models that flaunt diamond-set white gold bezels and mother-of-pearl dials. Lastly, the automatic G-Timeless Pavé in white gold dazzles with a dial bedecked with diamonds.
Crafted in precious materials, each Grip timepiece is fitted with a jumping hour movement module triggered to jump forward every hour to a minute disc that sweeps around through 60 minutes. This technology is creatively expressed on the new models in curved apertures on each dial, allowing a clean, legible numerical display.
Precison-cut and shaped by artisans, hardstone dials in black falcon’s eye, malachite and tiger’s eye adorn three new 38mm gold creations in yellow or white gold. Gleaming with a row of 44 baguette-cut diamonds is the fourth Grip design, made entirely in yellow gold with a brushed gold dial engraved with the house’s logo.
The 40mm Grip Sapphire boasts a futuristic vibe with a full sapphire crystal case. Four colours are offered for the edgy fifth edition in the line: clear, blue, green and pink with a transparent embossed rubber strap.
(All images: Gucci)
This story first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.