Behind every great tale comes great craftsmanship, making these timepieces more than just pretty accessories.
Piaget Limelight Gala
Piaget’s Limelight Gala is among the maison’s iconic timepieces, having been worn by style icons from Jackie Kennedy to Elizabeth Taylor, from A-list heart throb Cary Grant to the multitalented Sammy Davis Jr. It wasn’t every day that a luxury brand would be rendered as an icon for old Hollywood glamor, where even eccentric artists such as Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol were enamored with Piaget.
Much was attributed to the audacious style of Piaget’s early timepieces that sported ornamental stone in their dials. The design lent not only color but also injected new material that set the watches apart from the rest. The bracelets were thin and the design was minimal, and soon after, Piaget’s association with “beautiful people” became the haute ideal.
The Limelight Gala has been transformed and reinterpreted with many different styles, so much so that Jackie Kennedy embodied a design as her own, specifically the 18k yellow gold timepiece with a jade dial and diamond- and tourmaline-set bezel.
Today, the collection stays true to its ornate dial, full-gold bracelet and precious gemstone settings. New additions include a royal blue enamel dial that’s surrounded by a graceful arrangement of diamonds and sapphires set with the outstanding Serti Descendu technique.
(Related: Welcome to the Piaget Virtual Salon)
Franck Muller Vanguard Lady Jewel
The gemstones that we know and love are easily recognized by their main colors: Emeralds are known to be green, rubies are red, and sapphires are blue. However, gemstone colors are not all that black and white (pardon the pun), for all that is dependent on geology’s erratic nature.
Sapphires, in fact, come in a range of colors that are affected by the amount of trace elements within the mineral called corundum. Pink sapphires owe their hue to chromium, while increased amounts of iron and titanium turn sapphires blue.
With this flexible range of colorful geology, Franck Muller’s Lady Vanguard gets an exclusive update with a colorful bejeweled series that’s limited to the Asian market. The curious tonneau shape is decorated with 300 precious gemstones, which comprise brilliant-cut diamonds and colored sapphires.
With options of red, pink, blue or purple, each variation is color coded with a matching full diamond and sapphire-set dial and a complementary leather strap. The large hour numerals are dramatized, with each applique hand painted in black. Available in rose gold or white gold cases, the Asia-exclusive series is limited to 64 pieces in select boutiques.
Hermès Nantucket Jeté de Chaîne d’Ancre
Rectangular watches were regarded as a fashionable style to adopt in the 1920s and 1930s. With its slim profile, the linear façade was deemed more contemporary and classic. Nevermind the almost-illegible hour markers and more so making the case water-resistant — these watches were never meant to leave the lounge room anyway.
Thus when Henri d’Origny designed Hermès’ Nantucket watch, the rectangular shape already had the airs fit for slim wrists, but he paid extra attention to the connecting lugs between the case and the bracelet — half-links in the shape of anchor chains. The Anchor Chain design lent more curvature to the watch’s overall shape, which was a feminine alternative to the more chiseled pieces in the market.
Even the diamond setting across the case and the dial is carelessly yet consciously placed; 41 brilliant-cut diamonds randomly sit on opposite corners of the longitudinal case, with some tethering on the beveled edges.
The setting is intentionally done to mimic the imagery of a scattering of diamonds that are swept away by the wind, where one can also imagine how the additional sparkle from sunlight will be more pronounced.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT
The creative persona behind his eponymous brand has been credited with so many innovative designs for the machines Max Busser has made that among his favorite responses is being told that his silvered, turbo engine-resembling miniature, the HM9 Flow, “looks nothing like a watch.”
And when the Legacy Machine FlyingT debuted at Baselworld last year, the reception had even more applause because it was MB&F’s first timepiece made for women, that even the men wanted in on it too.
The Legacy Machine FlyingT had all the elements that embodied the MB&F spirit — a quirky design built on a unique machine assembly that’s all done in the name of keeping good time. The crystal dome exhibits the exposed automatic-winding movement, which is arranged in a three-dimensional vertical architecture that supports a central flying 60-second tourbillon.
The initial series was introduced with a bang when the cases and dials were exclusively diamond-set. MB&F now unveils red gold and platinum models, each with colored dials in guilloché patterns that are masterfully executed by fellow independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen. The platinum version is paired with an injection of color, sporting a sky-blue guilloché dial, while the red gold version houses the darker design.