Blurring the lines Between jewelry and timepiece, these four exceptional jewelry watches shine with unique shapes, unexpected features and—of course—diamonds aplenty.
Van Cleef & Arpels Dandelion secret watch
At this year’s SIHH, Van Cleef & Arpels unveiled eight high jewelry watches inspired by nature. Flowers, to be exact. From peony to myosotis, chrysanthemums to dandelions (pictured), each high jewelry watch strongly recalls the structure of each flower, enclosed with diamonds, sapphires and gold. Undoubtedly one of the highlights is the Dandelion secret watch, which is adorned with white and yellow diamonds on the strap to recreate the outline of leaves. On one side, there’s the petal with the yellow gold and yellow diamonds. On the other, the pusteblume, which is recreated as a diamond sphere, where the trembleuse technique is applied to depict the ball of seeds as it is about to take flight or blown in the wind. As a result, it will quiver delicately as you move your wrist.
Case material: Yellow gold / Dial: Yellow diamonds / Strap: White, Yellow, and Pink gold / Movement: Quartz
Bvlgari Serpenti Misteriosi Pallini
Bvlgari’s iconic Serpenti line has received an ’80s and pop makeover this year with the exciting addition of Misteriosi Pallini. Inspired by the Cultural Revolution and creative excitement of that time, the Serpenti secret watches range exists in two styles, one in cuffs—a design new to the Serpenti line and another one in bracelet that slithers around the wrist. Three styles are also available within the bracelet version, including one with emeralds and brilliant-cut diamonds in the body or the one with diamond and gold spheres (pictured). For the latter, the watch is equipped with an 18kt white gold curved case with 82 brilliant-cut diamonds. At the head, there is also 2 pear-shaped emeralds that adds a pop of color.
Case size: 40mm / Case material: White gold / Dial: White gold with brilliant-cut diamonds / Strap: Rose gold / Movement: Quartz
TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45
This variant of the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 might be a lot more utilitarian compared to the other high jewelry watches listed here, but it did set the world record for the most expensive smartwatch to date. Unveiled at this year’s SIHH fair, this unisex smartwatch comes in 18K white gold and is paved with 589 VVS baguette diamonds (78 on the bezel, 16 on the lugs and 495 on the bracelet) for a total of 23.35 carats. Other than that, the watch packs the same impressive features of TAG Heuer’s Connected Modular watch, with outstanding performance and a famously clear display. Only this time, it comes with a full on diamond upgrade.
Case size: 45mm / Case material: White gold / Dial: amoled screen / Strap: White gold / Movement: mechanical module caliber 5 / Water resistance: 100m
Chopard Red Carpet Collection
Inspired by the many travels and dreams of its creator, Chopard introduces 71 new creations for this year’s Red Carpet collection, which is unveiled each year— since 2007—at the Cannes Film Festival. This year, among those creations is the Asian-inspired secret watch in 18K white gold and titanium that features a 72-carat black opal. Mesmerizing in color and shape, the secret watch is set with carved jadeite, turquoises, onyx, pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds, brilliant-cut emeralds and brilliant-cut tanzanites. The dial features an Oriental sky and reflects the spirit of the finest Chinese lacquer, crafted with pink mother- of-pearl and chalcedony. The bracelet, meanwhile, is decked with tanzanite beads totaling 235 carats.
Case material: White gold / Dial: Pink mother-of-pearl and chalcedony / Strap: Tanzanite beads
Richard Mille 07-01 Gem-Set Black Ceramic
One couldn’t talk about high complication watches without mentioning Richard Mille, who at this year’s SIHH introduced its 07-01 line in diamonds that are set in fine grained and ultra-smooth TZP black ceramic. This kind of gem-setting is totally new to the industry due to the brittleness of ceramic. Inside, this watch packs the in-house automatic caliber CRMA2 that is visible through the front and back as well as a baseplate and bridges crafted using grade 5 titanium. Of course, the watch also houses Richard Mille’s signature rotor with variable geometry to prevent over- winding, which adapts the wearer’s activity level, either speeding up in cases where there is minimal movement or slowing down during spots of high activity.
Case size: 45.66 x 31.40 mm / Case material: TZP black ceramic and Rose gold / Dial: skeletonized, red gold set with diamonds and onyx / Strap: rubber / Movement: Calibre crma2, automatic power reserve: +/- 50hrs
Bvlgari Diva Finissima Minute Repeater
Bvlgari has transplanted its BVL 362 caliber, also known as the world’s thinnest repeater movement, into the Bvlgari Diva Finissima Minute Repeater, creating a beautiful women’s timepiece that is not only stunning, but packs one of the most complicated movements on the market at a thickness of only 3.12 mm. Before, the BVL 362 Caliber was only used at the Octo Finissimo, and now, in a relatively rare move from the watch industry, Bvlgari has set another world record for the slimmest women’s minute repeater watch. Features aside, the watch features an 18K rose gold case and brilliant-cut diamonds. The dial of the watch is crafted using the traditional Japanese technique of urushi lacquering, which involves the application of ten or so layers of plant-based lacquer over a period of a month. At each iteration, the lacquer is delicately polished with a cotton pad and stag-horn powder. To create the gold spangles, gold dust is sieved through a bamboo shoot and sprinkled across the surface of the dial.
Case size: 37 mm / Case material: 18k rose gold with brilliant-cut diamonds / Dial: Urushi lacquer / Strap: black alligator movement: bVl 362 caliber, manual / Power reserve: 64hrs / LimiteD edition: 10pcs
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon
Perhaps Audemars Piguet put it best: “Women’s watches shouldn’t be limited to ‘shrinking, pinking and adding a few diamonds.’Though precious stones have their place, watches for women are about so much more.” Enter the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon, which marks the first Royal Oak Concept model for women since the birth of the collection in 2002 and also Audemars Piguet’s first ever flying tourbillon. You heard that right, the brand released its first every flying tourbillon exclusively for the ladies— with the men’s released after, which goes to show their dedication to develop pioneering watches for women. So, haute horlogerie and haute joaillerie go hand in hand in this masterpiece. The watch is available in two versions, one with 468 brilliant-cut diamonds and the other with 200 baguette- cut diamonds as well as nine brilliant-cut ones in the movement decoration.
Case size: 38.5mm / Case material: White gold with diamonds / Dial: Open-worked, White gold with diamonds strap: White alligator movement: calibre 2951, manual power reserve: 72hrs water resistance: 20m
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium
This year, Van Cleef & Arpels launched the Lady Arpels Planétarium, a smaller version of the Planétarium for men that was introduced back in 2014. The watch is equipped with an astronomical complication that tracks the movement of the planets around the sun where each heavenly body features a different material: Pink gold for the sun, pink mother-of-pearl for Mercury, green enamel for Venus, turquoise for Earth and a diamond for the Moon, all set against a blue aventurine dial in a white gold case with diamonds. Most impressively, each planet will orbit around the watch at its exact speed in real life, with Mercury going around in 88 days, Venus in 224 days, Earth in 365 days and the Moon rotating in 29.5 days. At the case back, there is also a crescent moon with “serti neige” style diamonds and an Earth in turquoise. There are also two apertures displaying the day, month and year.
Case size: 38mm / Case material: White gold with diamonds / Dial: aventurine / Strap: Pearly alligator, square scale / Movement: valfleurier q020, automatic, fitted with a Christiaan Van der Klaauw module power reserve: 40hrs / Water resistance: 30m