Watch Trend: 3-D Diamond Drama
by roberta naas
The intricacies involved in detailing a beautiful bird on the face of a luxury watch combine multiple modes of artistic diligence—enamel work, gem setting, sculpting, and engraving come together to reflect Mother Nature’s finest. When it comes to taking inspiration from these delicate feathered creatures, one thing is clear: Nature inspires the master watchmakers to soar above the flock.
The four-piece Earth to the Moon Constellation collection from Van Cleef & Arpels includes an other-wordly swan watch (PICTURED, TOP). There is a limited edition of 22 sets, each arriving in a cabinet of precious blue sycamore wood and mother-of-pearl inlay. The Lady Arpels Cygnus swan ($510,000 for the set, Crystals, CityCenter, 702-560-6556), inspired by its namesake star constellation, is crafted in 18k white gold, with enamel work, gold sculpting, and 105 diamonds weighing 2.7 carats. The other three watches in the set feature Cassiopeia, Pavot peacock, and Pegasus.
Chopard has such dedication to animals that it is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a 150-piece Animal World Collection, including an 18k rose-gold watch featuring a tropical toucan (BOTTOM LEFT). Its mother-of-pearl dial is set with 39 white diamonds (weighing 4 carats), 172 multicolored diamonds, and 23 rubies. The Toucan Happy Sport XL ($74,840, Wynn Las Vegas, 702-862-4522) is created in a limited edition of just 25 pieces.
A moodier bird homage by Cartier (BOTTOM RIGHT) depicts a kingfisher in flight on a tourbillon watch ($222,000, Wynn Las Vegas, 702-696-0146), which is a masterpiece inside and out. Its Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial is bedecked with 210 brilliant-cut diamonds for the wings and 80 cognac-colored diamonds for the body—plus an emerald eye. It is finished with translucent blue, orange, yellow, and white enamel. The watch houses the amazing Swiss 9458 MC caliber with flying tourbillon, created in-house by Cartier. Like Chopard’s toucan timepiece, Cartier’s is a limited edition; just 60 will be made.
These timepieces are not just about the artful depiction of nature, but also giving stylish women a watch they can wear with pride. According to Nicolas Bos, worldwide creative director and president and CEO of the Americas for Van Cleef & Arpels, “Las Vegas women have a real appreciation for playful dimension and miniature reality.”
Photography by antfarm