By Zahra Al-Kateb
The 14th Edition of the Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Geneve is under way, and this year no less than 72 pre selected watches will be running to win the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix.
With this year’s GPHG attracting record participation, all major watch groups are being represented, along with a number of independent companies.
Vote for your favorite amongst the following pre-selected watches and automatically participate in the drawing to win a Girard – Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Petite Seconde, worth $11372.29.
Here are the six finalists in the Jewelry category. Tomorrow we will be revealing the Artistic Crafts category.
BULGARI, DIVA HIGH JEWELLERY EMERALDS
The Diva watch proudly proclaims its roots in the founding jewellery values of the House. A reference to the golden age of silver screen legends, Diva embodies the Dolce Vita era during which Bulgari and the world of movies were inseparable. Countless vintage photos have indeed immortalised the steady flow of film stars going in and out of the flagship boutique on the Via dei Condotti, all clearly fascinated by Bulgari jewellery. For decades and through to the present day, Bulgari has been closely linked to the most iconic celebrities.
Embodying a tribute paid by Bulgari to these timeless moments, the Diva watch collection presented in 2013 on this theme is interpreted through the many expressions of Haute Joaillerie. Drawing inspiration from modern-day divas, its captures the spirit of glamour, exalts the graceful charm and reflects the radiance of contemporary feminine icons. Each of the creations in the collection reflects the personality of the woman who, in conjunction with Bulgari, conveys a blend of glamour, charisma, sensuality and passion.
The epitome of charm and femininity, the Diva watch plays with the theme of modular geometrical motifs echoing the eponymous jewellery collection. The characteristics pleats of the fan that inspired the object embrace the three-dimensional shape of a delicate corolla.
CHANEL, LION MOSAIQUE
Making its first appearance in CHANEL High Jewelry in 2012, the lion is part of Mademoiselle Chanel’s symbolic language and one of her sources of inspiration.
Evoking the sumptuous Byzantine mosaics dear to Gabrielle Chanel, “Lion Mosaïque” is proof of the High Jewelry workshops’ extraordinary technical mastery. A true painting in gemstones with white gold and diamonds, the “Lion Mosaïque” watch features a lion’s head seen in three-quarter view. A fully paved dial and a bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds bring this sumptuous and surprising piece to life and fully express the breadth and extent of CHANEL’s creativity and know-how.
CHOPARD, THE GREEN CARPET COLLECTION WATCH
Chopard continues its journey towards sustainable luxury with five new Green Carpet Collection creations in its Haute Joaillerie collection. Chopard has placed sustainable development at the heart of its values. The Geneva-based manufacturer is now playing a pioneering role in the jewellery industry.
In May 2013, at the Cannes Film Festival, the House of Chopard launched ‘The Journey’ to sustainable luxury. Based on its experience and aware of its duty to set an example, the Geneva manufacturer joined forces with the creative director of Eco-Age and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC®) Livia Firth. Livia Firth and Eco-Age play a central role in the promotion of ethics in world fashion.
Today, with four new Haute Joaillerie masterpieces sourced, designed and crafted according to the highest GCC® benchmarking standards, Chopard is continuing to reaffirm its commitment to sustainable luxury.
The breath-taking creation of these High Jewellery pieces from the Green Carpet Collection is a journey in itself. ‘The Journey’ reflects the constantly renewed sense of aesthetic wonderment, whilst delivering powerful messages to the consumer and industry. Behind the arabesque motifs and their interweaving coils lies the noble charm of a heart-felt odyssey towards enduring elegance.
‘The Journey’ begins at the start of the supply chain and focuses on issues such as the respectful sourcing and traceability of raw materials. The gold from which these two creations are crafted originates from community mines in South America supported by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM).
Chopard wanted to implement a sustainable co-operative project with these South American mines and lay the foundations for fair and ethical trade. This provides local populations with an opportunity to participate in favourable social and economic development.
The gold used to create these pieces has been issued with a ‘Fairmined’ certificate; a guarantee that it was produced in accordance with the highest social, environmental and ethical standards. To ensure the gold was traceable from mine to market, the gold has been refined in a foundry specialising in the processing of ‘Fairmined’ gold.
The diamonds used in these magnificent Haute Joaillerie creations are meticulously selected. All the stones are sourced from the IGC Group, one of the world’s oldest diamond firms. This group is a Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) member. Chopard has been a member of the RJC since 2010 and has just had its certified membership successfully renewed for a further three years.
Hand-crafted in Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie workshops in Geneva, five stunningly beautiful pieces – a ring, three pairs of earrings and a watch – have recently joined the Green Carpet Collection. They are exquisite proof of the company’s exceptional know-how that stems from the merging of the incredible artistic skills and crafts occasioning these extraordinary creations.
The superb craftsmanship on the body of the Green Carpet Collection ring in 18-carat white gold – curved like a tempting sweet – is extended by delicate gem-setting with pear-shaped and round-cut diamonds. A round 1.3-carat diamond sparkles in the heart of this flamboyant architecture. A pair of matching earrings completes this magnificent set.
A modern and majestic second pair of earrings is magnificently adorned with marquise-cut diamonds, laid out in ascending order with respect to their size.
The wonderfully feminine third pair of earrings is a classic that has been revisited with exceptional virtuosity. The chandelier shape sets the stage for pear-shaped and round-cut diamonds composing a sophisticated, airy lacework.
Finally, the Green Carpet Collection watch brings to mind a sudden burst of light. Its unusual shape, rounded on the sides with elongated lugs, is enhanced with navette-cut diamonds. The buckle is set with navette and brilliant-cut diamonds, while the dial and bezel sparkle with brilliant-cut diamonds. The black satin strap lends added depth and visual contrast to this exceptional model.
GRAFF LUXURY WATCHES, MULTI-COLOURED BUTTERFLY WATCH
The delicate butterfly, a symbol of new beginnings, has been depicted in artist’s scenes since early civilisation; images of butterflies appeared in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics over 3,500 years ago.
One superstition says that if a butterfly enters your room it is a premonition that the person you love most in the world is coming to see you; in another, if a butterfly lands on you it is good luck. In Japan, butterflies are often seen as the personification of one’s soul; in Chinese culture, two butterflies flying together symbolise love.
With such a strong and beautiful symbolism, it is no surprise that butterflies have been a significant motif in jewellery design throughout history.
The butterfly motif has been a classic inspiration for the design team at Graff Diamonds, first with the creation of the classic Butterfly collection, followed more recently by the updated Butterfly Motif and Butterfly Silhouette collections.
These stunning collections feature a beautiful butterfly brought to life through a myriad of exquisite gemstones has found its latest incarnation in Graff’s iconic Butterfly Watch.
Inspired by the delicate symmetry of the wings of a butterfly, the Butterfly Watch is a modern reworking of this timeless subject, interpreted through the finest quality gemstones in the world.
The wings of the butterfly are comprised of a highly sculptural arrangement of four dazzling pear shape diamonds, appear to hover above a layer of intricately set gemstones, ready to take off in flight.
Each stone has been carefully hand selected and set by Graff’s master craftsmen, ensuring that only the finest quality stones are used. At the centre of the watch is a delicate pavé diamond timepiece, an exemplary model of flawless Swiss watch making skill.
Available in a graceful all-diamond design set on an elegant black satin strap, and also in striking gemstone versions including richly coloured sapphires, rubies and emeralds, set with complimentary coloured alligator straps, the Butterfly Watch is another shining example of Graff’s inimitable flair for jewellery design combined with Swiss watch making excellence.
HARRY WINSTON, ULTIMATE EMERALD SIGNATURE
In creating the House’s finest jewels, Mr. Winston always encouraged his designers and craftsman to take the road less traveled and imagine new ways to express the beauty of his diamonds. This pioneering spirit led to the development of new gem-setting techniques that changed the way that fine jewelry could, and should, be worn.
In this enduring tradition, the House of Harry Winston presents Ultimate Emerald Signature, a secret watch concealed within a precious jewel, the versatile design can be worn as an exquisite brooch, a pendant glistening around the neck, or a set on an elegant ribbon that wraps around the wrist.
Its graceful proportions echo the delicate size and scale of a precious gemstone, and can neatly rest in the palm of your hand. Hidden beneath its scintillating exterior is an exquisite white gold case, shaped like an emerald-cut diamond, Mr. Winston’s preferred shape. The designs are crafted using the House’s signature gem-setting techniques, which utilize a minimal amount of metal to ensure that nothing distracts from the natural brilliance of the diamonds.
Ultimate Emerald Signature embraces the House’s fine diamond heritage with a case that features incredible array of remarkable stones – 192 brilliant-cut diamonds, 38 baguette-cut diamonds, 24 marquise-cut diamonds with, and a single 1-carat emerald-cut diamond placed at its center. Gently opening the exterior reveals the dial that sparkles with full diamond pavé surface. More than 100 hours were required to hand-set this exceptional creation.
HERMÈS, ARCEAU TEMARI
The Japanese-inspired Arceau Temari model combines the skills of snow setting and hard stone marquetry in an exceptional collection of jewellery watches.
The story of Temari, an art meaning “hand ball” in Japanese, is bound up with that of kimonos, since the making of these silken garments provided enough scraps of fabric to make these entertaining objects that were greatly appreciated at the Imperial court. Little by little, simple stitching gave way to embroidery and to motifs that were increasingly sophisticate, in terms both their complex geometry and their colourful harmonies.
These ancestral balls have inspired a Hermès silk carré, of which one of the motifs is now reinterpreted in the Arceau collection. These watches are issued in limited white gold editions set with diamonds according to the snow-setting technique and feature dials reproducing the design of one of these balls by combining diamonds with a marquetry composed either of white mother-of-pearl, onyx, lapis lazuli or opal.
The snow-setting is done with no predefined plan; and instead each stone is individually selected and put in place; each claw is cut and each grain is beaded so as to create an harmonious overall effect that is unique to each model. No less than 700 stones are set on the case, a job that takes an experienced gem-setter almost three weeks.
On each of these exceptional watches, the dial is crafted according to traditional diamond-setting and hard stone marquetry techniques. For each watch, and in this case according to a precise plan, 20 tiny fragments of all different shapes and sizes are milled from a block of stone or mother-of-pearl finely sliced into infinitely small platelets. The pieces are then individually assembled on the already gem-set dial. These two operations require great precision and dexterity, since the stone is particularly fragile on such a tiny scale. As if in a miniature puzzle, each part takes its place within a picture that transcends it. The opulence of the materials enter into a fascinating dialogue with the finesse of the motifs, as traditions and expertise meet and mingle to endow each of these unique creations with the refined splendour of Imperial Japan.