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Something magical happens when high-quality watchmaking and precious stones come together

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon • 6 min read
Something magical happens when high-quality watchmaking and precious stones come together
Something magical happens when high-quality watchmaking and precious stones come together
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Cartier

The Clash [Un]limited collection is a window into the world of how beads, picot studs, clou carrés and mobility come together to form an elegant timepiece. The designs are a throwback to the 1930s, a time when Jeanne Toussaint was the Director of Fine Jewellery for Cartier. Her creations have been nothing but daring, and she will always be remembered for designing for duchesses, moguls and maharajahs. For the Clash [Un]limited watch, past and present are fused together in chromatic contrasts to emphasise the geometric motifs by alternating brushed and satin-finish gold. Later, the yellow or rose gold with violet gold are combined to create a new shade of gold in tones of shimmering violet.

Released in limited numbers, the Clash [Un]limited watch is available in diamond-paved yellow gold, rose gold and white gold. It is also available in black and white with onyx, black spinels, obsidian and diamonds, or in different colours with coral, black spinels, chrysoprase, tsavorites and diamonds.

Rose gold 750/1,000 case.

Rose and violet gold 750/1,000 bracelet.

See also: Mechanical beauties

Silvered sunray dial, rose-finish steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal.

Case dimensions: 18.4mm x 32.8mm, thickness 8.1mm.

See also: Four exceptional timepieces

Rose gold 750/1,000 case set with 20 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 0.48 carats, spinels, coral and chrysoprase.

Rose gold 750/1,000 bracelet set with 603 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 9.23 carats, spinels, tsavorites, coral and chrysoprase.

Rose gold 750/1,000 dial set with 71 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 0.39 carats, tsavorite.

Rose-finish steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal.

Case dimensions: 18.4mm x 32.7mm, thickness 8.1mm.

Small model, quartz movement. Case in yellow gold 750/1,000.

For more lifestyle, arts and fashion trends, click here for Options Section

Yellow and violet gold 750/1,000 bracelet.

Silvered sunray dial, golden-finish steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal.

Case dimensions: 18.4mm x 32.8mm, thickness 8.1mm.

Rhodium-finish white gold 750/1,000 case set with 28 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 0.73 carats, spinels and obsidian.

Rhodium-finish white gold 750/1,000 bracelet set with 603 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 9.23 carats, spinels and obsidian.

Rhodium-finish white gold 750/1,000 dial set with 71 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 0.39 carats, spinel.

Rhodium-finish steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal.

Case dimensions: 18.4mm x 32.7mm, thickness 8.1mm.

Rhodium-finish white gold 750/1,000 case set with 58 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 0.97 carats.

Rhodium-finish white gold 750/1,000 bracelet set with 192 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 2.89 carats.

Silvered sunray dial, rhodium-finish steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal.

Case dimensions: 18.4mm x 32.8mm, thickness 8.1mm.

Jaeger-LeCoultre
Three Rendez-Vous Sonatina “Peaceful Nature” series pays homage to Asia’s artistic tradition of depicting the natural world. The timepieces combine three decorative crafts that Jaeger-LeCoultre has mastered through the Métiers Rares (Rare Handcrafts) atelier: miniature painting, lacquer work and gem-setting. Each of these dials has been brought to life by the artisan that begins with the layering of gradient colour to create a background. Next, in a manner similar to oil painting on canvas but on a microscopic scale, the detailed image is formed, one tiny brushstroke at a time — a process that takes about 35–40 hours to complete. Finally, multiple layers of translucent lacquer are applied to seal the completed painting in a lustrous and everlasting coat.
Set on the edge of the diamond-studded dial is a delicate golden star that marks the time of a special rendezvous or meeting, which can be moved into position by a second crown set in the side of the case. When the time comes, a single strike on a gong concealed within the watch mechanism releases a melodious chime to remind the owner of her appointment. The timepiece is powered by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Manufacture Calibre 735, a self-winding movement with a chiming complication and night-day indicator developed especially for the Sonatina.

Vacheron Constantin
The Traditionnelle moon phase watch is entirely paved with diamonds and the dial is draped in a snow-setting technique, according to which 548 round-cut diamonds in 10 different diameters are randomly placed to achieve an effect that seems to melt into the light. In addition to the paving technique, the additional challenge is to successfully bypass the moon phase, follow the curve of the power-reserve indication and integrate the white gold hour markers. The small seconds counter features 38 diamonds rimmed by 24 stones to enhance legibility. The Prong setting extends to 225 round-cut diamonds totalling approximately 4.8 carats and adorning the bezel, case middle, lugs and crown.
To give the design depth, the designers enhance the discipline of the prong setting with that of the snow setting with two blue touches to represent night. A tinted mother-of-pearl inlay serves as a 40-hour power-reserve indicator, while the moon phases — standing out on a star-studded disc and in the same gold hue as the case with an opaline finish — appear through an aperture between eight and nine o'clock. Watch gets its heartbeat with the in-house 1410 AS movement, the moon phases are based on 29-day, 12-hour and 45-minute lunar cycles, incorporated into the mechanism in the form of a 135-tooth wheel

Bell & Ross
With the launch of the BR 01 Laughing Skull watch, Bell & Ross steps into the world of automaton which is a mechanism designed to automatically follow a sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions. In the case of this watch, the skull’s mandible is animated during winding. To create it, the brand developed the BR-CAL.206: a calibre entirely produced by the manufacturer that is also skull-shaped, to fit the mechanism.
The four bones and the four bridges secure the main plate to the case and form a single assembly floating in the centre of the watch. A challenge as the bezel is set with 104 diamonds (1.032 carats) and with the case added the watch has 394 diamonds (2.891 carats)
The 46mm case is decorated with a “Clous de Paris” finish.
The skull on the dial is made from metal appliqué, which has been embossed to create a relief pattern; a process used to mint coins or make medals. As a bonus, the skeleton work gives the impression that the skull is floating weightless in the centre of the case. The sword-shaped hands are similar to those on the earlier Skull collections, but on this model, they are skeletonized and coated in SuperLuminova.

Jacob & Co
It is springtime all year round with the Fleurs De Jardin timepiece that took more than a year to create. Women will love the 11 brilliant flowers made of kite-shaped amethyst, pink and icy blue sapphires, tsavorites, citrines, and orange garnets while rubies rotate counter-clockwise around a mother-of-pearl dial. Within this lies the legendary timepiece workmanship that Jacob & Co is famous for — such as the vertical Astronomia movement with three arms, which makes a full revolution in ten minutes around the central axis, a flying tourbillon and the patented Differential Gears System that allows the time display to maintain the 12/6 o’clock position regardless of where it is in the rotation. In addition, the flying tourbillon cage rotates on itself once every sixty seconds, as does the rose gold and blue lacquered globe.

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