×

This search is sponsored by Baume & Mercier

Search in :
GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
GPHG - Diamond daydreams

GPHG Diamond daydreams

Enjoy a few minutes daydreaming, with our introduction to the Jewellery Watch category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

To choose between this year’s six finalists, the jury members of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève will have to evaluate the choice of stones, jewellery techniques and gem-setting expertise. In this category perhaps more than any other, the watches’ aesthetics are paramount, because these items of jewellery first and foremost: objects of beauty, rather than timekeeping tools. The majority of the six watches in contention are unique pieces, and their prices – ranging from 135,000 to 1,238,000 Swiss francs – are justified by the number and quality of precious stones they contain, and the time they take to make, which can be as much as six months. The horological aspect takes a back seat, as is apparent from the quartz movements and the simple hour and minute functions offered by all six candidates. The approach they take to displaying the time ranges from discretion to utter concealment – four of them are secret watches. 

Aesthetically, all six watches celebrate the pure beauty of diamonds and white gold (or platinum and titanium, for the Chopard model); coloured gemstones are used sparingly to add flashes of colour to otherwise pristine white pieces. However, the Camélia secret watch from Chanel’s Les Eternelles collection features an impressive 10 ct. Fancy Brown Yellow diamond, which is a big as the watch face hidden behind the camellias. This is the only watch that also features pearls, strung along the necklace, which can also be converted into a bracelet, giving the piece an air of distinction and classical poise.

A l’heure des diamants

Les Eternelles Camélia © Chanel

Another botanically-inspired secret watch is the Lotus Blanc by Chopard, which is paved with a total of 25.66 carats of diamonds. Its immaculate whiteness is undisturbed except by the two blued hands. An ingenious mechanism opens and closes the corolla of petals inside which the watch is hidden. Bulgari has deployed its iconic snake motif, presented here for the first time with two heads, one of which conceals the watch in its jaws. The serpents’ heads, coiffed with emeralds, which also give them their piercing gaze, meet at each end of a bangle set with 555 diamonds.

A l’heure des diamants

Lotus Blanc © Chopard



A l’heure des diamants

Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewellery © Bulgari

Chaumet and Piaget have both chosen to combine blue and white tones on a cuff bracelet, although the two timepieces are quite different in other respects. The Frise Divine by Chaumet is a classical creation of finely carved and interwoven laurel branches set with diamonds and sapphires, while Piaget’s Hide & Seek cuff watch, with its radically elongated rectangular dial in lapis lazuli integrated into the cuff is inspired by 1950s designs.

A l’heure des diamants

Frise Divine © Chaumet

A l’heure des diamants

Manchette Hide & Seek © Piaget

The magnificently modern Diamond Outrage by Audemars Piguet is inspired not by the poetic flora and fauna that usually decorate jewellery watches, but by the harsh climate of the Vallée de Joux, where it was made. Its geometrical shapes and points set with thousands of diamonds are like shards of ice in a bold, futuristic design reminiscent of the Diamond Punk, which won the Jewellery category in 2016. With the exception of Chaumet, every brand shortlisted this year has already won the GPHG Jewellery Watch prize at least once. So, which one will be crowned this year? 

A l’heure des diamants

Diamond Outrage © Audemars Piguet

 

Brands

Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry,...

Find out more

Bulgari has its own clear definition of excellence, which involves the perfect balance between design, added-value, quality of its products and its worldwide service. In the case of Bulgari...

Find out more

Through her life, Gabrielle Chanel embodied strength, character and a fierce desire for independence. Maison CHANEL, avant-garde and constantly innovative, has come down through the decades to...

Find out more

For over two hundred years, Chaumet has been placing its jewellers’ excellence at the service of outstanding timepieces, combining the meticulousness of Swiss tradition with its mastery of Parisian...

Find out more

Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition,...

Find out more

One hundred and forty years’ worth of uninterrupted history have allowed Piaget to forge its unique jewellery and watchmaking expertise. The Brand is a genuine Fine Watchmaking manufacture that...

Find out more

Recommended reading