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Cuff bracelets - The trend gathers pace

Cuff bracelets The trend gathers pace

Rock chick or sex kitten, fur-lined or gem-studded, cuff bracelets sometimes steal the limelight from the watches themselves.

Last year, Chanel was responsible for making cuffs inspired by the 1960s and 70s one of the hottest trends of the year, with bold and sexy leather cuffs, gladiator straps and gloves that paired XXL accessories with the dainty and diminutive J12 XS watch. Hermès, with its Faubourg Manchette Joaillerie, also offered a small-format women’s watch set off by a broad leather strap tooled according to the company’s saddlemaking heritage, in a rather fetching shade of green.

As the new year dawned, Geneva watch week gave us the opportunity to confirm that cuff bracelets are still holding their own among this year’s novelties and that, far from being merely an accessory, they are part and parcel of the charm of the watches themselves, to the point of becoming inseparable, even indispensable.

Can you conceive of HYT’s Skull Axl Rose without its blue-topstitched black leather cuff, to match the black DLC titanium case with blue PVD Damascus steel skull? The iconoclastic spirit of the Guns’n Roses singer, rock legend Axl Rose, informs the dark timepiece he had specially created for him; he chose the clous de Paris motif that flanks the central skull at 3 and 9 o’clock. The 51 mm diameter of this muscular, macho watch needs a black leather cuff. Axl Rose has generously agreed to share his passion – his watch is available in a limited edition of 25.

The trend gathers pace

Hublot has chosen to adorn its lady clients’ wrists in rabbit fur. Never shy of exploring new materials, Hublot has adopted Orylag, a French trademark named after a breed of rabbits whose silky soft pelt makes an exceptional fur highly prized by the grand couture houses. Importantly, these animals are not slaughtered solely for their fur: their flesh is favoured by some of the finest chefs, and they are kept in conditions that meet the highest ethical standards. The Big Bang One Click Cuddly Click is the name of a women’s Big Bang 39 mm in brushed steel, with a bezel set with 42 diamonds, and an automatic movement with date function, mounted on a choice of three bracelets that can be swapped around easily thanks to the patented One Click system. The silky Orylag fur is worked by artisan furriers, and offers graduated colours in base tones of grey, turquoise and fuchsia.
The trend gathers paceThe trend gathers pace

In the high jewellery category, two cuff creations stand out from the crowd. The first is the Panthère Astrale by Cartier. The time is read off a dial decorated with a black lacquer motif, under a huge rectangular yellow heliodore weighing 27.14 carats. The rest of the white gold cuff plays up the contrast between black and white by means of 27 onyx, 931 brilliant-cut diamonds and a single 0.29 carat baguette-cut diamond with, to either side of the heliodore, the iconic Cartier panther paved with precious gems in a geometric motif.

The trend gathers pace

The equally bejewelled and sculptural Diamond Outrage watch by Audemars Piguet revisits the cuff shape, adding diamond-studded spikes like icicles. This one-off piece is offered in either diamonds or blue sapphires. The white gold framework of the bracelet is hidden under almost 10,000 snow-set brilliant-cut diamonds of different sizes (or more than 11,000 sapphires, in the blue version). The diamond version also features three spikes invisibly set with baguette-cut diamonds. The watch is hidden under the flattest section of this glacial bracelet. The octagonal white gold case, paved with diamonds or sapphires, conceals the quartz calibre 2701 that drives the hour and minute functions.

The trend gathers pace
The trend gathers pace

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