Having been founded in 1842 and created the first egg in what would become the iconic Easter Egg for the company in 1885, the House of Fabergé was nationalised after the Russian revolution. Despite its noble heritage the Fabergé name had suffered as a result of a period during which its numerous activities had been handled by a profusion of licences when it was owned by Unilever from 1989, some of which were not in keeping with the brand values. It was not until 2007 that the link between the Fabergé brand and the family was restored when Pallinghurst Resources acquired the company. This paved the way for a return to the company's historic position as a purveyor of luxury items. The first gold jewellery collection followed in 2009 and the first watches in 2015.
A watch brand punching above its weight
The company teamed up with Agenhor and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht for the development of its first ground-breaking watches for men and women. The Lady Compliquée was awarded by the prize in the Ladies Hi-Mech category at the Geneva watchmaking grand prix in 2015, while the dual time zone watch for men scooped the prize for travel time watches in the same competition the following year. Both models are characterised by the uniqueness of their dial. The Lady Compliquée Peacock for women is available in white gold or rose gold and shows the time using the bejewelled feathers of a peacock that unfurl against separate peripheral hour and minute scales, while the Visionnaire shows the second time zone as a digit at the very centre of the dial. This means that there cannot be any hands at the centre of the dial, unlike on most watches, so the hour and minute hands are actually attached to discs. Another notable feature of the Visionnaire models is the dial-side winding rotor whose movement is barely discernible. In the chronograph version, the dial is equally revolutionary: for the first time in a chronograph, since there are no central hands for the time, all three chronograph indications are grouped together at the centre of the dial.
At a more accessible level, the company offers models such as the Altruist (for men) and the Flirt (for women) with a more conventional design and dial, mixed with classic and colourful design codes. As befits as renowned jewellery company, the majority of Fabergé's timepieces have precious gold cases, although the Visionnaire models are available in more unusual combinations of titanium and ceramic, as well as gold.
All the items designed and produced by Fabergé, whether luxury jewellery or watches, are inspired by the numerous interpretations of the Easter egg that were designed by Carl Fabergé.
Fabergé is today headquartered in London but its watchmaking workshops are based in Geneva, Switzerland.