During Baselworld 2018, it was impossible not to notice the proliferation of jewellery watches from the finest luxury houses, and how these brands have interpreted the trends in the watch and jewellery markets into their showpieces for the largest watch exhibition in the world.
Chopard introduced their ‘L’Heure du Diamant’ watches, which are as much a work of jewellery art as they are timepieces. The exclusive collection is comprised of only three pieces; all of which feature a show-stopping Australian opal as a dial. On all three models the white gold bezel is studded with brilliant cut diamonds. The most precious version extends its diamond setting along the bracelet, enhanced by two larger colourless diamonds placed at both 6 and 12 o’clock on the bezel.
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Harry Winston’s sporty ‘Ocean Collection’, and to commemorate this occasion the house welcomed five new watches, including the ‘Ocean Moon Phase’ women’s watch. Three different sizes of brilliant cut diamonds are set on the dial to mimic the effect of bubbles rising to the surface of water. The design of this timepiece was intended to pay homage to the relationship between the Moon and the sea, and has been interpreted through creating a ‘sunrise’ pink and ‘sea’ blue mother-of-pearl dial. The natural material has been delicately hand painted using the method of colour gradation, in order to intensify the opalescence of the material.
The ‘Mademoiselle Privé’ jewellery watch collection introduced by the House of Chanel showcases Gabrielle Chanel’s signature motifs, and reflects the objects she loved to surround herself with. For Baselworld 2018, Chanel chose to present a ‘Mademoiselle Privé’ watch fitted with a fine watchmaking movement: the ‘Calibre 2.1 Camélia Skeleton’. The design of the watch dial is at once a geometric representation of the famed Camelia flower symbol, as well as an example of the superior internal mechanics that Chanel automatic watches are equipped with. Chanel have developed this piece in Switzerland with the finest watch makers and designers, elevating their high jewellery watch creations to ‘Métiers d’Art’ in their own right. The 'Calibre 2.1 Camelia Skeleton' is available with a fully diamond-pavéd dial or a partially pavéd Camelia flower and black onyx dial.
Bvlgari launched ‘Lvcea Skeleton’ at this year’s Baselworld: a playful addition to the iconic Italian brand’s growing family of watches. The ‘Lvcea Skeleton’ is not just a mechanical masterpiece that allows the wearer to admire the watches’ mechanism, it is the first skeleton watch in Bvlgari history that takes the letters of the watchmaker’s logo and makes them integral to the design. The Italian brand also states proudly that the ‘Lvcea Skeleton’ is the only skeletonized watch on the market made expressly for women.
In terms of design, Bvlgari's timepiece could not be any more different to de Grisogono’s bold gem-studded ‘Cascata’. The Italian brand’s latest cocktail watch is embellished with 148 snow set diamonds on the dial, and a further 72 oval-cut stones on the bezel - totalling over 30 carats of diamonds. The seamless design of the ‘Cascata’ timepiece demanded almost 100 hours of re-cutting for the oval bezel stones alone, whereas the setting took more than 70 hours. The new model is available in three variations: white gold and colourless diamonds, white gold with emeralds on top and diamonds below, and pink gold with amethysts above and rubies beneath. In the centre of the clasp sits a 1 carat rose cut diamond framed by a pavé setting.
The selection of luxury watches presented by jewellery brands at Baselworld 2018 proves the desire for a wide range of bejewelled designs to satisfy a multitude of tastes and style preferences. Next, I will share more discoveries of fantastical jewellery watches presented at this year’s Baselworld…