Since the Swatch Group announced their non-participation into next year’s Baselworld show, the entire watch industry shakes to the thought of what will happen next. Yet, this year’s novelties were so dazzling that it was hard to believe that it may have been the last time they could shine where they did although Jacob & Co., De Grisogono nor Bvlgari have announced to decline next year’s attendance – yet.
Brands make the most of the annual get-together at the Basel fair to create a buzz by unveiling their new records, innovations, materials and collections. The lucky few get a glimpse of some extraordinary pieces that are often unique as they’re dripping in so many diamonds that you’d think they were an ode to beautiful bling !
The award for “subtle bling” goes to Bvlgari’s Serpenti Haute Joaillerie secret watch. The multitude of diamonds that have been individually paved onto the snake’s scales may affect the weight of the strap but it certainly has no bearing on how quick it is to wrap around your wrist. The contrast between the rose gold and the turquoise marquetry creates a powerful showcase for the diamond covered snake’s head covering a dial bearing the hours and minutes. This new unique piece celebrates the Italian artisans’ expertise and sweeps us off our feet.
Jacob & Co. wins the prize for “complicated bling”. The Brilliant Arlequino Glying Tourbillon is technically complex to make because of the difficulty in pairing pink sapphires with other baguette-cut sapphires according to Jacob himself. There are almost 36 carats of invisible-set gemstones paving the 47mm case. Given all that work, it goes almost without saying that there should be a manual-wind mechanical movement with a 100-hour power reserve and a flying tourbillon at 6 on the dial !
The top prize in “bling” goes to De Grisogono for its Luna Diamante. This isn’t just a watch : it’s an exceptional artwork coated in over 60 carats of gems. The strap alone is paved on both sides with three emerald-cut diamonds each weighting between 5 and 10 carats. That’s nothing though as these few gems are just the finishing touch to the case which depicts a cresent moon glittering in 81 baguette-cut diamonds. The dial bears a snow-set diamond of more than 4 carats. No metal : just diamonds and a quartz movement. We should mention that the inside of the strap’s links are subtly covered in diamonds and emeralds but nobody knows that and they can’t see it.
You wanted sparkle – well, here it is !
The original article can be read in French or English in the latest issue of The Watches Magazine