In their particular case, the debate about functions and the mechanical quality of the calibers shifts entirely towards the design, the selection of the gemstones and the decorative techniques used. Glorious in their absolute uselessness, such creations remain the prerogative of the most celebrated brands. I don’t often write about feminine watches, but in a year as austere as this, a little chromatic joy cannot hurt.
La Panthère Tropicale
Cartier has a longstanding tradition when it comes to original color associations. A long time ago, such combinations seemed shocking, defying the conventions of elegance. The house simply developed its own set of rules, and with them, a new perspective on jewelry, recruiting customers from the crowned heads. La Panthère Tropicale fits perfectly into this tradition, using aquamarine, tourmaline and coral in the yellow gold setting, and thus creating a genuine color cocktail, a game of chromatic contrasts and complementarities, of transparencies and opacities. The “panthère” motif, made of diamonds and onyx, asymmetrically decorates the massive watch bracelet. The piece is part of an haute joaillerie series, which bets on gems less commonly used in such collections (kunzite, lapis-lazuli, beryl), on the huge carats of classic gems and also on the geometric design.
The Owl Timepiece
Chopard takes pride in their pioneering work towards sustainable luxury, gradually introducing responsibly sourced gold in their collections. In the beginning, the house’s approach was regarded with skepticism, and even amusement, by a part of the industry. Today, more and more big brands are concerned with sustainable luxury. In the prestigious Haute Joaillerie Red Carpet Collection, which Chopard launches every year at Cannes, there is a section called Green Carpet, consisting of pieces made of 100% ethically sourced gold and gemstones. In 2020, the collection went back to a theme which they celebrated ten years ago: nature. Among the 73 unique pieces, we find the fabulous owl watch, decorated with brilliants (7.5 carats), trapezoid-cut diamonds (1.6 carats) and colorful sapphires (4.1 carats). Together with the other pieces in the collection, this timepiece reconfirms the playful inclination of the house, Chopard being, in my opinion, the most optimistic jewelry brand ever.
La D de Dior Précieuse à Secret
Earlier this year, Dior launched a very large collection of jewelry-watches, with many different models and versions. The Dior Grand Bal Masqué watches were considered the stars of the collection, thanks to the Dior Inversé 11 ½ caliber, which places the rotor on the dial, thus opening new paths for the designer and jeweler to explore. Other noteworthy pieces in this collection are the watches with monochrome-hypnotic dials and the insectarium watches – tiny precious bestiaries. I especially liked a watch in the select tradition of dials hidden under gemstones, to keep the misleading appearance of a jewel devoid of any functionality whatsoever. I’m talking about La D de Dior Précieuse à Secret, an extremely feminine and elegant timepiece, in rose gold entirely set with diamonds (7.02 carats), with the dial hidden under a Burmese cabochon sapphire (15.5 carats).