Comparison Time is Precious
Watchmaking has always been intimately linked with jewellery. Both industries often join forces in the service of high-end luxury
Watchmakers and jewellers inhabit the same world. Both industries draw from centuries of ancestral knowledge, calling upon a variety of trades and crafts with the aim of creating objects of desire. This explains the worldwide success of the greatest watchmaker-jewellers, including Cartier, Bulgari and Piaget.
Tutti Sota in platinum set with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies, quartz movement © Cartier
Some would describe their products as jewellery pieces that tell the time, others as watches that are also jewellery. Whatever the conclusion, these are all beautiful objects that perform a useful function for their elegant wearers. In the world of high-end luxury, the line between watch and jewellery is often blurred. And that’s the world where these jewellery watches are to be found.
Kelly Joaillière in white gold set with diamonds, quartz movement © Hermès
You’ll see them at the high jewellery shows in Paris during fashion week, making an unexpected appearance among the necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings.
Solstice in white gold set with diamonds and two rubies, quartz movement © Piaget
Although most are driven by quartz calibres, some raise their horological credentials by incorporating a mechanical movement. This year, for example, Bulgari has taken the bold decision to introduce a hand-wound mechanical movement, with a tourbillon, into a jewellery watch. Not only that – it’s skeletonised! But, this exceptional case apart, where jewellery watches are concerned the point is generally what happens on the outside of the case, not the interior.
Giardino Dell’Eden in white gold set with diamonds, tourmalines, tsavorites, garnets, mandarin garnets, emeralds, quartz, opals, Paraiba tourmalines, rubies and coloured sapphires, hand-wound skeletonised movement with tourbillon escapement © Bulgari
The creativity of these design studios appears limitless. At Chopard, co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele has added a peacock to the horological bestiary.
Chopard Animal World Peacock in ethical white gold and titanium set with white and coloured diamonds, sapphires, Paraiba tourmalines, tsavorites and luzalites, quartz movement © Chopard
Victoire de Castellane, artistic director of Dior’s jewellery division, continues to expand the maison’s jewellery lexicon with a new interpretation of the subtlety of lace.
Dearest Dior in yellow and rose gold set with white and yellow diamonds, quartz movement © Dior Joaillerie
While inspiration and style varies from one company to the next, the essential DNA of a jewellery watch changes very little. Exceptional gemstones are set on a bed of diamonds; a profusion of coloured stones hug the wrist sensuously, underlining the graceful motions of a feminine hand.
Galaxie Secrète in white gold set with diamonds and coloured sapphires, one oval Madagascar sapphire in the centre, quartz movement © Van Cleef and Arpels
The result is an opulent illustration of what can be accomplished with hundreds of hours of work. But that’s what absolute luxury is all about.
Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles in yellow gold and black titanium set with diamonds, black lacquered dial decorated with a tweed jacket pattern embellished with diamonds, pearl buttons and miniature sewing tools made of yellow gold, quartz movement © Chanel Haute Horlogerie
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 >
Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of...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 >
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 >
Profoundly influenced by the vision of its founder, Dior develops timepieces with a distinctive aesthetic identity. It offers artistic, technical collections in a consistent range of timepieces...Find out more >
“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.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 >
Each of Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations is imbued with jewelry and watchmaking excellence, drawing inspiration from whether nature, couture or the imagination. Its creations evoke a timeless world of...Find out more >