Moving away from the familiar diamonds on the bezel, top end watch makers have started producing distinctive timepieces that transcend standard designs and internal intricacy. Some of the most respected names in watchmaking now offer high complications paired with decorative techniques. This includes enamelling, open-working, and gem setting in never-before-seen prowess and proficiency. Here are four fine and beautiful examples.
From the best-selling ladies collection, Twenty-4, this unique timepiece in white gold demonstrates Patek Philippe’s expertise in the area of haute joaillerie. The dial and bracelet are covered with baguette-cut diamonds set in the “invisible setting” technique. The background showcases more rows of diamonds interlacing with rows of rubies.
The Les Exclusifs de Breguet is one of Breguet’s boutique-exclusive collections. This series involves one of the riskiest of the high crafts, enamelling. It requires the process of baking the watch dials in a hot oven to tame powdered glass and create beautiful works of art. Breguet’s artisans hand-painted 12 distinct Oriental vistas, each of which is marked by a single animal from the Chinese zodiac. For this 33.5mm diameter piece, the sign of the dragon is featured in shadow play. Its bezel and lugs are set with an auspicious number of 88 diamonds.
Taking inspiration from Japanese art and craft of origami, Dior introduces the Grand Soir Origami collection. The 33mm mother-of-pearl face timepieces feature dials fashioned in three dimensions, giving an optical effect emphasised by triangle-cut and baguette-helix-cut of the sapphires, garnets, and diamonds. Pink and yellow sapphires, spinels, aquamarines, and trapezium-cut diamonds accentuate the beautiful dial.
For those who simply want more diamonds, Chanel recommends the Les Eternelles de Chanel collection. Inspired by the symbols most endearing to Gabrielle Chanel, all three 18k white gold editions reveal their hidden dials with a movement of the hand. For the Plume piece, a dial paved with 34 baguette diamonds is revealed by pushing the feather.