Dial up brilliance: bejewelled timepieces at Watches and Wonders 2021

Baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires are clearly the flavour of the season, as seen at Geneva’s Watches and Wonders

An emerging trend in haute horology is bejewelled watches. Effectively, this combines Swiss watchmaking savoir-faire with the opulent art of gem setting. In the Indian context, while western jewellery brands have not managed to penetrate the market due to the presence of local luxury jewellers, watchmakers have, in fact, managed to capture a client base that integrates timepieces and jewellery. A thought that is reflected by watch blogger Karishma Karer of The Hour Markers, “When fine watchmaking meets the art of the gem setter and the goldsmith, mere watches blossom into jewellery creations.” No wonder, then, that Piaget’s avant garde Limelight Gala in its rainbow hues got us raving, Chopard’s Happy Diamonds Joaillerie edition turned heads — just like Bvlgari’s Serpenti (which needs no introduction) — or even Rolex’s diamond studded Datejust 31 launched last year. We jump on this mega trend with our selections.

Vacheron Constantin Égérie

This self-winding timepiece by the historic Swiss watchmaker is inspired by the world of fashion and haute couture. The rose gold version features 574 diamonds and pavé accents. It also boasts a uniquely placed crown between 1 and 2 o’clock.

The Chopard Happy Diamonds Joaillerie  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Chopard Happy Diamonds Joaillerie

Since its creation in 1976, Chopard’s Happy Diamonds models have been synonymous with casual elegance. The latest version is crafted in 18-carat rose gold and Tahitian mother-of-pearl, and is complemented by 15 moving diamonds. This 38 mm piece comes with a grey-brushed canvas strap and a diamond-set rose gold buckle.

The Rebellion Predator S Black Rainbow | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Rebellion Predator S Black Rainbow

We love niche brands like Rebellion. Made to symbolise a show of rebellion for women who want to break free from convention, this customisable timepiece comes kitted out with 32 rainbow-coloured, baguette-cut sapphires illuminating the bezel. Approx ₹64 lakh.

The Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow

This piece first caught our eye on the jeweller-watchmaker’s Instagram page. Replete with rainbow-hued gemstones — including 37 sapphires and five tsavorites set in a 18-carat rose gold case — the timepiece screams red carpet glamour like nothing else.

The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Glow Me Up | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Glow Me Up

This timepiece features 60 baguette-cut diamonds sitting on luminescent material set in an Eon gold case. A reinterpretation of the original Excalibur Original Flying Tourbillon, it glows at night. The house of Dubuis has always caught our attention for its avant garde pieces, which often border on over-the-top. The eight-piece limited edition is $2,15,000.

The Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery

This iteration features 484 baguette-cut diamonds set in an 18-carat white gold case. The caseback has a sapphire crystal and 48 diamonds, while the bracelet is also entirely adorned with diamonds. Since we’re already accustomed to the sporty elegance of previous Big Bang models, this one just takes it a notch higher.

The Louis Moinet ‘The Colosseum | Rome’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Louis Moinet ‘The Colosseum | Rome’

From the niche watchmaker’s ‘8 Marvels of the World’ edition, this is an artistic masterpiece with the legendary landmark depicted at its centre. The arena is set in onyx, surrounded by a striking arrangement of baguette-cut sapphires in rainbow colours. We definitely recommend checking this house out, if you are looking for something lesser known in India. Approx ₹1.74 crore for the set of eight watches.

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