Ladies’ watches Fresh as a daisy
Nature is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for watchmakers who appear to have passed the word around with a flurry of feminine models featuring floral motifs. It is the season for romance and fine mechanisms…
Pistils, delicate foliage, colourful petals… Like the fashion designers that have raised floral print to absolute must-have status this season, watchmakers are drawing on the language of flowers to attract a feminine clientele as preoccupied with the aesthetic refinement of their watch as they are with the mechanical movement beating at its heart. Even certain names one would never have expected to see exploring a theme of this kind, such as Richard Mille and his amazing Tourbillon Fleur RM19-02, have well and truly decided to explore the floral kingdom.
Over the seasons, some flowers have come to epitomise certain brands. Chanel’s standout Camélia watch obviously comes to mind. Gabrielle’s favourite flower that she perpetually reinvented through subtle, precious jewellery collections, the camellia is a graceful motif that is transformed beneath the magic nimble fingers of the Chanel artisans. Whether embroidered with silk thread using the ‘needle painting’ technique, adorned with a diamond and fine pearl brocade or lit up by a delicate mother-of-pearl inlay, the camellia décor on the Mademoiselle Privé watch offers multiple demonstrations of rare skills – some of them unique in watchmaking. In the mother-of-pearl inlay version, a veritable sculpture on mother-of-pearl consisting of a dozen elements comes alive on a dial paved with diamonds framed by a 37.5 mm diamond-set white gold case.
At Chaumet, the hydrangea is the focus of an entire collection that captures the essence of this flower with its thousand petals so as to render its graceful beauty. Why the hydrangea? Quite simply in tribute to the Empress Josephine, one of the very first clients of the Maison and who nurtured a boundless passion for the magic of gardens. Since its creation, the Hortensia collection has offered exquisite variations that irrefutably display the level of expertise cultivated by the brand’s craftsmen. The Hortensia Montre Précieuse illustrates the theme with an exceptionally elegant engraving on mother-of-pearl positioned in the centre of the 31 mm white gold case.
Another emblematic flower is the rose – of which Piaget proposed three versions incorporating as many skills at the most recent SIHH. At the heart of the elegant Altiplano, the queen of flowers appears transfigured in strictly limited series showcasing embroidery, hard stone marquetry and grand feu enamel techniques.
Finally, Vacheron Constantin has chosen… not to choose a specific favourite among a broad floral repertoire. With the second variation of its Métiers d’Art Florilège collection, the watchmaking Maison presents veritable miniature works of art that highlight one of the most remarkable works of botanical illustration ever published. Drawing on The Temple of Flora, authored by Robert John Thornton in 1799, Vacheron Constantin has selected three new flowers including an elegant tulip. Combining guillochage, grand feu enamel and setting, the bloom provides a stunning backdrop for the passing of time. The play on colours and subtly varied materials induces a sense of wonderment at the beauty of this exquisite flower whose elegant finery conceals the excellence of the in-house mechanical hand-wound 4400 calibre. Reflecting the inescapable regularity of time, Vacheron Constantin’s tulip is an imperishable marvel. Like all the other flowers in the watchmaking garden, it never wilts and never fades…
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