One of the world’s largest diamonds ever unearthed was the 3,106ct Cullinan from South Africa. However, the unpolished stone was simply a diamond in the rough — it lacked the detailed cut and facets that allowed for proper light reflection. And so it was cleaved, cut, and polished, giving birth to smaller stones worthy of royal patronage. While large diamonds hold the weight, it is their smaller counterparts that provide the utmost brilliance. SolitaireLuxe shares a few dazzling timepieces that employ dainty diamonds to good use.
At Watches & Wonders, the Clé de Cartier was a standout piece. But there was a timepiece that was quite impossible to be outshined — the diamond-encrusted Cristallin. Using the familiar juxtaposition of curves and geometric shapes in the distinct Art Deco style, rock crystal was skilfully employed to create an illusion of sorts — sometimes transparent, other times opaque. Over a thousand hours were employed to produce this timepiece in order to obtain optimal results from the rock crystal.
Drawing inspiration from the past, Jaeger-LeCoultre revisits one of their iconic motifs — the ivy leaf. While taking a step backward, the Manufacture simultaneously broke new grounds as they introduced the first Métiers Rares, fully bejewelled piece, to the Rendez-Vous collection. The novelty Ivy Secret, while encompassing its classic rotund shape, is covered entirely with brilliant-, baguette-, and marquise-cut diamonds, except for its secret dial, which is finished with hand-painted mother of pearl. Though the Ivy Secret is at least half the size, it packs enough weightage to stand with its predecessors.
The Maison’s tribute to Gabrielle Chanel saw the launch of yet another fine jewellery collection last year. Chanel continues to use the same iconic motifs to expand the line by introducing newer, innovative designs. From the comet collection, the Milky Way watch is the latest piece to win its way into the ladies’ hearts. Though crafted out of thin and slender 18k white gold, the piece still manages to showcase 109 brilliant-cut diamonds, along with two pink Akoya pearls. A mother-of-pearl dial sits at the centre of it all.
La D de Dior is a collection of watches that are made with the most basic of shapes and straps to act as a blank slate, putting the spotlight on the featured colour or gemstone. Its simple yet classic round shape takes on bright neon hues, featuring precious stones like lavender jade and lapis lazuli. The latest in the Précieuse line highlights the rare fancy pink diamonds in a star-studded ensemble.
Based on the Galaxy watch, the Graff Baby Galaxy is a petite rendition of the diamond-encrusted watch. Diamonds are set at varying heights to instil the illusion of depth and multiplicity. Though that is hardly needed since it already sustains over 90 diamonds, weighing more than 13 carats, it does help to create fluidity on the wearer’s wrist and remind her of the constellations in the sky. The Baby Galaxy also comes in ruby, sapphire, and emerald versions — each gemstone to suit every mood.
Hermes tosses away the leather of the Faubourg watches to create a stunning, all-star jewellery watch. A quiet tribute to the district in which the Maison’s flagship boutique resides, the Faubourg piece encapsulates the allure of Paris. The slender piece manages a whopping 652 individual diamonds that are invisibly set on a white gold case. Measuring only 16.3mm, the Faubourg Joaillerie timepiece lends subtle opulence to its wearer.
At the latest Watches & Wonders, Vacheron Constantin introduced their latest ladies timepiece collection, Heures Créatives, drawing inspiration from significant art movements. Heure Romantique is a remake of a 1916 piece that uses the same shape on its case. Perhaps it inspired Salvador Dali’s watch faces in his painting, The Persistence of Memory. Nevertheless, Heure Romantique is a work of art, utilising Art Nouveau lines, the manual Calibre 1055 mechanism, as well as the technical craft of setting stones. This piece is set with a total of 621 round-cut diamonds all around the case and strap.