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Christmas gift guide Our Christmas gift guide for 2014 brings together a selection of watches chosen by different themes by our international contributors, suggested by the CEOs of the brands themselves and completed with valuable tips on buying watches provided by the world's leading watch retailers.

Christmas gifts 3 gem-set watches as the perfect lavish gift

December … the month of grand festivities, holiday lights, family events and sparkle. Trees decorated with lights, candles burning, gifts aglow in gold paper and ribbons. It’s the perfect season for the shimmer of nature’s finest diamonds and gemstones – on the wrist of course.

Diamonds and gemstones are the stuff of legends. Love, war, peace, happiness and many other emotions and events have been associated with the baubles of the Earth.  However, perhaps the most impressive of all is their timeless nature. Borne underground and growing over the course of centuries, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones have a surreal quality of forever.

That may well be why so many top watchmakers opt to adorn their timepieces with these glimmering, shimmering objects. That, plus the fact that – let’s face it – women and men alike can’t help but fall in love with the beauty of a watch bedecked in dazzle.

These objects of art and haute Joaillerie not only track the time, but also offer breathtaking appeal. The fact that they will keep their value for generations to come also makes them heirloom quality.

The first non-clock timepieces dressed in diamonds appeared in the 16th century, and were most likely in reaction to the fact that Jean Calvin banned his followers from wearing jewelry. To save their trade, many gem setters and goldsmiths combined their craft with the clockmakers– as clocks were still allowed – and began adorning these instruments with elaborate diamond and gemstone detailing. Within a few years, the clock and pocket watch was transformed into a piece of jewelry.

Today, extravagant renditions regularly are offered – many employing a host of different diamond settings, diamond shapes and fancy cuts.  In fact, in its new collection of one-of-a-kind diamond watches, British brand Backes & Strauss works with American jewelry house William Goldberg to design the new Royal Ashoka® Empress collection of watches.  These one-of-a-kind diamond watches bring William Goldberg’s exceptional 62-faceted Ashoka® diamonds to the world of fine watchmaking. This Empress watch is set with 92 Ashoka® cut diamonds, 131 Ideal Cut diamonds and two baguette-cut diamonds for a total of 225 top quality diamonds.

 

Backes & Strauss Royal Ashoka® Empress

 

At de Grisogono, diamonds and gemstones adorn the very alluring Sugar watches. This collection of timepieces features hundreds of diamonds and gemstones bedecking a square shaped watch like a sugar cube.  Some of the diamonds dangle off the side of the case and the bottom and move or sway when the wearer moves, offering truly alluring appeal.

 

deGrisogono - Sugar

 

Then, with brands such as Breguet – diamonds are often nicely complemented with the gems of the oceans – pearls. Some brands use pearls as bracelets, dial adornments and even case decorations (but that is another story).  Suffice it to say that this holiday – your wrist can shine as brightly  -- if not more so than -- the festive lights of the season.

 

Breguet - Reine de Naples

 

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Backes & Strauss

Backes & Strauss creations have always drawn inspiration from the British heritage. Backes & Strauss produces jewelled watches with an unashamedly contemporary design in both its...

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Breguet

Breguet’s archives, kept in Switzerland and in Paris, record the developments that have sustained Breguet watchmaking for more than two centuries. The firm is committed to remaining ahead of its...

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de Grisogono

Keen to develop technical timepieces with a refined and distinctive aesthetic appearance, in less than twenty years de Grisogono has successfully carved out a niche in the world of watchmaking. Its...

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