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GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
GPHG 2016 - Jewellery watches

GPHG 2016 Jewellery watches

Today we are looking at the most glittering category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève: jewellery watches.

This year, the ewellery watch category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève includes 13 watches. Unsurprisingly, twelve of them are for women. The sole exception is the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days High Impact Bang, whose 45 mm case is more suited to a masculine wrist.

In order to be eligible for the Jewellery category, watches must demonstrate “exceptional mastery of the art of jewellery and gemsetting” and must also be “distinguished by the choice of stones.” Of the 13 watches entered, seven are by companies known as watchmakers and jewellers, while the remaining six are from pure watchmaking brands. Interestingly, just four of the 13 timepieces in the category are equipped with a mechanical movement: Hublot, Voutilainen, Sarcar and Fabergé.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend
While all the watches feature diamonds, some are set with this stone exclusively. Bulgari’s Serpenti Incantati demonstrates the technical mastery of the craftsmen employed in the company’s high jewellery workshops. The case is set with 251 diamonds, with a further 116 snow-set into the dial, making a total of 8.93 carats.

The Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days High Jewellery Impact Bang by Hublot showcases a completely new kind of setting. This unique technique with its boldly architectural aesthetic, named “Impact Bang”, comprises a mosaic of irregularly-shaped white diamonds. The project is the fruit of many months’ work to find the perfect combination for the 484 baguette-cut diamonds paving the dial, case and clasp, each in a different shape and size.

Bulgari Serpenti Incantati & Hublot Impact Bang

Graff presents a secret watch hidden behind the diamond-paved wings of a butterfly. The Princess Butterfly incorporates an innovative jewellery mechanism that is pushed to reveal a mother-of-pearl watch dial. The bracelet comprises four interwoven lines paved with baguette-cut and round brilliant-cut diamonds, cradled within a minimal setting to amplify the brilliance of each stone.

Graff Princess Butterfly

The worthy heir to the Diamond Punk, last year’s winner in this category, is the Diamond Fury by Audemars Piguet, which also conceals a secret beneath its diamond carapace. This masterpiece is the result of a dynamic coming-together of the designers, engineers and jewellers of Le Brassus, who devoted over 1,500 hours and meticulously selected the 4,635 brilliant-cut diamonds that cover its flanks.

Audemars Piguet Diamond Fury

A palette of colours
Other models in the jewellery category focus on colour, although perhaps just one or two, like Chaumet’s Aigrette watch. Part of the Joséphine collection, which pays tribute to the Empress Joséphine Bonaparte, Chaumet’s muse, this delicate timepiece contains 16 carats of diamonds set according to various traditional techniques, to fit the lines of the timepiece and frame the pear-cut sapphire in the centre.

Sapphires also have pride of place at Chopard. The kaleidoscopic Precious watch is set with pear-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds and sapphires. Around the dial, matched baguette-cut gems surround a dainty corolla evoking a floral motif worked using the snow-setting technique.

Chopard Precious - Chaumet Aigrette

Piaget marries the sparkle of diamonds with the deep blue of exquisite lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. This “sautoir” watch – a house signature – is part of the “Sunny Side of Life” collection, which evokes the infectious joy of time spent in the summer sun.

Piaget Sautoir Lapis Lazuli Sunny Side of Life

Fabergé’s Lady Libertine I embodies the beauty of emeralds from the mines of Gemfields, Fabergé’s parent company. Its dial and central dome are set with a motif representing the land around the Gemfields emerald mine in Kagem in Zambia. The stylised geographic relief was created by using polished snow-set emeralds and rough hand-carved emeralds with fine gold filigree outlining the banks of the region’s rivers.

Fabergé Lady Libertine I

Chanel’s “Signature Grenat” secret watch pays tribute to the quilted motif that is part of the Parisian fashion house’s iconography. The 18-karat white gold cuff is quilted in squares of diamonds sprinkled with orange sapphires. In the centre, a 52.61-carat carmine garnet can be delicately raised to reveal a diamond-set watch in the shape of a rounded square.

Chanel montre à secret "Signature Grenat"

Finally, the Pathos Swan by Carl F. Bucherer is without doubt the most colourful watch of the class of 2016. On its mother-of-pearl dial, Top Wesselton diamonds and the finest sapphires in various shades of blue come together to form the shape of a swan gliding over rippling water. A total of 922 meticulously set diamonds and sapphires decorate the case, dial and bracelet of this elegant timepiece.

Carl F. Bucherer - Pathos Swan

Ladies, whatever your tastes, you will need a well-stuffed wallet if you want to treat yourself to one of these 13 jewellery watches, whose prices range from CHF 80,000 to one-and-a-half million.

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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,...

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Graff watches capture all the finesse of the firm’s jewellery heritage.

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