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Articles | Interview

Watches with diamonds at SIHH 2012
(part 9)

SIHH exhibition (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Geneve)Watch exhibitions are a perfect ground to learn about latest achievements of the world, where the Time is “created”. The concept of “exhibition” originates from the French museums, highly encouraged by Jean Baptist Collbert, French statesman and finance commissary, and Cardinal Giulio Mazarini, reputed as a big Maecenas and founder of one of the oldest public libraries of France. Both figures were passionate about art and favored such events in every way. And, probably, the history must be obliged to them indeed, as today such events are extremely important in development of the industry. One of the first exhibitions, similar to modern ones most of all, is “Ecole des beaux arts”, which took place in 1763; after that many Europeans city, such as Berlin, Dresden, Munich, “picked up the slack”.
Little by little the exhibitions have become an excellent method to present certain products to wide audience, a place of meetings and acquaintances, and an event, where one can learn about novelties and establish useful business connections.
The first industrial exhibition was hold in Paris, in 1798, followed by four exhibitions more. Except industrial ones, the scientific and technical exhibitions, and also the exhibitions of various themes became popular.
SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Geneve) is one of the most outstanding events in the world of modern horlogerie, which gives a unique chance to the manufacturers of wrist watches to present their items to interested people, connoisseurs of watchmaking, and simply fans of watch art.
brilliant represents a closed elite event, opening its doors to only certain number of visitors (about 12.500) – authorized journalists, retailers, distributors, and representatives of companies – during already 30 years.
The fair presents the products of the companies, included into Richemount Group. Here you can know about new tendencies of the world of watch fashion, and one can say that SIHH is an exhibition for selected ones.

The opening of the fair is traditionally accompanied with a theater performance, and the first SIHH was hold in 1991 …
SIHH 2012 hasn’t done without diamond charm. This precious stone, striking with its beauty and magnificence, keeps on transforming into the most amazing forms and items in skilful hands of craftsmen. Amazing beauty and mystic brilliance of the diamond made it one of the most desired and expensive jewels. The world of this precious stone is mysterious and complicated, the value of the diamond depends on several criteria: pureness, color, and weight.
The history of the diamond goes back in far past. The diamond has been known since very old time: the first stones are dated about 3000 years old. However, it’s not known yet for sure, when the diamond became considered to be a precious stone. Nevertheless, today the diamond is not just a precious stone, which may look beautiful at some jewelry item, it’s also a serious investment…
The name of the stone originates from Old French word “diamant”, and the watch industry, as well as many other branches, “collaborates” with this famous and expensive stone. Today, the watches with diamonds acquire not only the status of chronometer, but also an accessory, which emphasizes style, taste, image, and will be a long-term investment. Therefore, the market of jewelry watches is rising, as the jewelry watches are not only expensive and elegant adornments, stylish and beautiful, but also an excellent way to put up money. It should be noted, however, that watches with diamonds were initially designed for women, and, nevertheless, an abundant incrustation of a men’s watch with diamonds won’t surprise anyone, and will only emphasize its owner’s taste and status once again…

Cartier – recognized master of jewelry watches

Lady's watch “Large model Tortue, Cockatoo motif”

lady's watch Large model Tortue, Cockatoo motifThe famous company “Cartier”, established as a company with “precious” products, has presented a whole range of jewelry watches from different lines. The women watch “Large model Tortue, Cockatoo motif” has become one of the most outstanding models, made with diamonds.
The watch “Large model Tortue, Cockatoo motif” is one of the most original models, presented by the company, from the line with dials, adorned with animals’ images. An amazing item – an example of harmonious combination of mother-of-pearl, enameling, and diamond incrustation, made in the best traditions of Cartier.
The cockatoo on the dial became the main design accent – an example of the highest craftsmanship, enameling and use of mother-of-pearl, and incrustation with jewels. The creators made a half-transparent light picture of the bird on the dial.
The scales of mother-of-pearl, laid on each other by several layers for realistic effect of “color play”, were used for the unique design. That required much delicacy in treating with mother-of-pearl. First of all, the cockatoo’s tail was created: the mother-of-pearl scales are put in a special way and treated by the special shading method, which practically erases the lines between different tones of the scales that creates an amazing perfect effect of color play from pastel-rose to cloud-white. Besides, such processing creates an excellent illusion of depth.
The bird’s comb and eyes are made with the help of “champlevé” enameling. According the company’s representatives, 50 hours of hand work were required for making the original dial.
The cockatoo is made so realistic and skilful that it seems to dart off from the dial and sit on your shoulder. The watch “Large model Tortue, Cockatoo motif” is presented by a limited edition of 80 pieces, as it befits to a model of such class.
The case, dial and faceted crown are made of 18-carat white gold with rhodium coating. But the most expensive and wonderful supplement to this model is the diamond incrustation of the case. The total number of jewels makes up 133 stones, their weight – about 2.1. In spite of plenty of precious and shining metal, the model doesn’t look flashy. The watch only transfers luxury and beauty that is so specific to Cartier.
And the last feature of this precious model is the shining strap of pink color, made of natural alligator leather. The water resistance makes up 30 meters.

Besides the famous line with animals’ images on the dials, Cartier has also presented a jewelry watch with precious stones’ incrustation as the main advantage, not the technical part. And, of course, the diamond became the main stone among others.
The watches with diamonds at SIHH 2012 under the joint title “High Jewellery” have been presented by the company “Cartier” in three models.
The watch “Classic rivière” has certainly become a favorite of diamonds’ fans since it has first appeared. The main peculiarity of the watch is an accent at the watch strap design, which creates a magic illusion of light-and-shade play on wrist, as if a fantastic diamond liana embraces your wrist.
The diamonds are combined with 18-carat white gold with rhodium treatment. The watch “Classic rivière” is adorned with 14 diamonds (about 5.21 carats) and 116 rough diamonds (about 3.16 carats). The watch is based on quartz movement (250 hours of use).

Classic rivière watch in white gold and diamonds

Besides, the company presented one more striking model, the main accent of which is a combination of diamonds on the case with original strap, consisting of 634 sapphire beads. “Secret watch” is an embodiment of symmetry and abstraction, broken lines of precious stones and light play, created by this amazing construction.
The watch case is made of 18-carat white gold with rhodium treatment. The watch case is incrusted with diamonds, the total weight of which makes up about 115.79 carats, and 118 diamonds of which have traditional form (about 3.74 carats) and 4 diamonds – square form (about 0.49 carats). The watch is based on quartz movement (about 500 hours of work).

Secret watch with sapphire beads and diamonds Secret watch backside

And, finally, the watch “Temps Moderne”, designed in a kind of phantasmagoric style, can be noted among total diamond magnificence. The dial, representing an imitation of skeletonized watch movement, all details of which are made of diamonds, is the main adornment of the watch. The moving precious details create an amazing shimmering play, diamond “ballet”, performed on the background of Tahitian mother-of-pearl, used as a base of dial, perfectly completing this original “theater”.
Apart from diamond “details”, the watch hands are originally performed – they represent miniature “swords” from stainless steel, coated with rhodium. The total number of diamonds, used for making “Temps Moderne”, is rather impressive – 508 stones of about 3.7 carats of total weight.
The case is made of 18-carat white gold, its diameter – 42.8 mm, the glass is sapphire, the water resistance – 30 meters. The model is based on quartz movement at 5 jewels.

 Temps Moderne de Cartier watch

Watch with diamonds “Malte Lady” from Vacheron Constantin at SIHH 2012

Malte LadyThe year of 2012 has become jubilee for the Genevan manufactory: Vacheron Constantin has marked the 100th anniversary since the day of first barrel-case watch release.
A century ago the appearance of chronometers with such cases made a real revolution in design of wrist watches. After such breakthrough, the barrel-case watches became an integral part of the company’s history, and the innovative design was used during all XX century: the barrel-shaped case became not only a specific element of the company’s products, classics of Vacheron Constantin, but also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for creating new modern models.
SIHH 2012 has become a place of presenting other novelties from the company. So, the company has exhibited the anniversary collection “Malte”, devoted to the century anniversary of barrel-case watches. The design of presented watches differs by elegance and clearness of lines. And the classic style of watches, speaking about adherence of the company to old traditions of Swiss watchmaking, isn’t still lack of modern spirit. At SIHH 2012 the company has showed four new models: Malte 100th Anniversary Edition, Malte Small Seconds, Malte Tourbillon and Malte Lady. The new wrist watches of Vacheron Constantin give another tribute to fundamental values of the manufactory, based on harmonious and delicate combination of technique perfection and luxurious elegance.
However, in our article we’ll speak about only the last model, devoted to beautiful ladies – the women watch “Malte Lady” – an elegant, perfectly designed model of women watches, incrusted with diamonds, an excellent example of restrained luxury and feminine elegance. The watch case is made of pink gold in the famous form of barrel. The watch works on the base of quartz movement “VC 1202”. The model is designed in a simple and clear style, emphasized by a simply designed dial, adorned with Roman numerals, hour and minute hands from pink gold on the background of beige dial, and, of course, company’s traditional logotype. The model’s bezel is incrusted with 50 diamonds of classic round cut. The water resistance reaches 30 meters.
This women watch is wonderful by its simplicity and accented feminity that were clearly reproduced by the creators of “Malte Lady”.

“Bals de Légende” collection from Van Cleef & Arpels – brilliance of famous balls

Over a century one of the most prestigious jewelry houses “Van Cleef & Arpels” has been taking the position of one of the world leaders in the watch industry, as well as in the jewelry making that glorified the company in its time. And it’s quite natural that the jewelry “trend” is brightly showed in the watch products of the company. Each model of wrist watches from this company is an elegant masterpiece of filigree art, designed in an inimitable style, specific only to Van Cleef & Arpels.

The key principle of the company’s philosophy – the technical parameters of wrist watches from famous jewelry house must not yield to perfect beauty and sophisticated watch design. The watchmakers manage to surprise their fans every time by placing colossal number of components, fulfilling certain functions, in an incredibly small space. Besides, the craftsmen succeed in creating their items with special gracefulness, carefulness and exactness. An age-old experience of the jewelry house is harmonious alliance of finely-honed craftsmanship and advanced technologies.

The watchmaking of Van Cleef began in the 20s of XX century, creating a new revolutionary approach to transforming of such, as it may seem, utilitarian item into luxurious precious piece. In time the watches with chains, dress watches, and pendant watches were replaced by more comfortable and practical watches, equipped with bracelets.
The company’s first model, which won great popularity and approval of connoisseurs, was the women watch “Cadenas”, in 1935. Thanks to such success the company kept on developing in the watchmaking. The unique design of watches became embodiment of sophisticated beauty, functionality, and creative boldness, inspiration for all connoisseurs of geometric expressiveness of Van Cleef & Arpels watches’ design.

At SIHH 2012 Van Cleef & Arpels presented a whole range of novelties – watches with diamonds. And, the first watches we’d like to talk about are the “Bals de Légende” collection, consisting of four luxurious models, made in the best traditions of the company.

Bals de Légende collection

A small luxurious collection, exhibited at SIHH 2012, is a kind of devotion of the company to the most fascinating, famous and legendary balls ever taken place in the history. In their time those luxurious events had a great significance and influence on social and political life. Famous rich people were attending balls, remarkable events were happening, and, of course, the luxurious and original dresses of visitors were the main feature and intrigue.

In the epoch of balls, the wrist watches were not popular, and, therefore, that epoch found its chic and charm mainly in jewelries and dresses. However, one can’t but agree that the watch industry may afford decorating a small space on the dial with any motifs.

Each of four models from the collection “Bals de Légende” is presented in original design performance, uniting innovative technologies and unlimited fantasy of design taste. The wrist watches of “Bals de Légende” are embodiment of legendary balls theme and traditions, which were hold in Venice, Paris, New York, and Russian Empire. The presented watches are a kind of telling about original ball subjects, which don’t have any analogues today all over the world.

So, the first model from “Bals de Légende”
Bal du Palais d’Hiver collection is the wrist watch “Bal du Palais d’Hiver”. The watch dial represents a picture from Russian snowy fair-tale, telling us about the famous ball, which took place on the 11th of February, 1903, in Saint-Petersburg, in the Winter Palace.

In the February evening, Tsarina Alexandra received guests at the event “17th century of Russian Court”. The dial shows an amazing picture with sculptures of famous characters, made of gold and situated at the top of mother-of-pearl dial. The bottom is adorned with flowers and patterns, which accentuate “snowy” and fairy impression.

The snowy picture is “framed” by the round case of 38 mm, crafted in pink gold, incrusted with diamonds along the bezel. The model’s strap, made of white natural leather and provided with pink gold buckle, perfectly completes the total “snowy” design.

However, this model is excellent not only due to its impressive design, but also by an amazing technique performance. An automatic movement with 24-hour indication makes the figures on the dial move slowly, transmitting magic sensation of winter dance to the wrist watch owner.


Bal du SiècleThe second model, presented at SIHH 2012, is “Bal du Siècle”, the dial of which depicts the following ball subject – a masquerade, organized by Don Carlos, which was hold in the Venetian “Palacio Labia” at the 3rd of September, 1951.

The model’s dial is a history, telling about magnificence of Venetian “Bal du Siècle”. The dial is provided with dancing golden figure at the top and patterns and flowers at the bottom on the base of mother-of-pearl. The central hands – hour and minute – complete the picture. The bottom of the dial of all four models is decorated in the same style that speaks about their “kinship” and belonging to one collection, making them recognizable.

The watch “Bal du Siècle” from “Bals de Légende” collection is made in luxurious combination of rich blue and gold colors. So, the round case of 38 mm in diameter is crafted in pink gold, and the strap is made of natural leather of blue color. The top part of the dial depicts night sky, and it is made of pink tone, matching the golden case.

The bezel is incrusted with diamonds that gives a completing luxurious trait to the watch and raises it to the category of jewelry watches. The model is based on the automatic movement with 24-hour time indication.

The next ball, which
Bal Black & White became a subject of the “Bal Black&White” watch with diamonds, from “Bals de Légende” collection, took place on the 28th of April, 1966, in Plaza Hotel in New York. The wrist watch “Bal Black&White” continues the theme of legendary balls. The history of this model is casted by the famous New York ball, arranged by the writer Truman Capote on the occasion of his success at literature. 500 most famous people from all over the world were invited to the ball, and all of them were dressed in accordance with the theme - “Black and White”.

The wrist watch “Bal Black&White”, as well as the dress style at the ball, is designed in black-white tones. As well as the previous models, the watch dial is divided into two parts: upper, presenting the ball and dancing figures, and lower with patterns and flowers.

The black-white color range is obtained by means of white gold, for making the case, black onyx, for designing the dial, and black leather strap. The dancing pairs, depicting a Venetian ball on the dial, are made of white gold, and the contrast dial – of onyx. The watch case of 38-mm diameter is crafted in white gold, the dial is made of onyx, the watch strap is designed from natural alligator leather of black color with white golden buckle. The bezel is incrusted with diamonds.

Bal ProustThe last fourth model from “Bals de Légende” collection is the wrist watch “Bal Proust”. This watch is inspired by the ball, taken place in Paris and organized by Baroness Guy De Rothschild in honor of the writer, Marseille Proust.

The model is made of white gold, the case diameter – 38 mm. The upper part of the dial demonstrates a ball scene with dancing figures from white gold, the lower part is decorated with a pattern and flowers. The color design of “Bal Proust” is performed in a light spring style: white, green and grey have become the main colors of the model, creating light and serene atmosphere of Paris in spring.

The watch “Bal Proust” works on the base of self-winding movement with 24-hour time indication, providing slow and smooth movement of figures on the dial. The leather grey strap and traditional incrustation of bezel with diamonds complete the watch.

Paris scenery in the watches from “Poetic Wish” collection

Another collection from the company “Van Cleef & Arpels”, presented at SIHH 2012, is “Poetic Wish” with diamonds. The name itself as if speaks about originality of these items, but nevertheless, the watches exceed all expectations.
The watches are made in elegant style, and the main adornment is “decoration” of the dial, a bit overshadowed even the diamond incrustation: each dial of the watch from this collection is a small, wonderful world, full of love and romance. The exclusive women watch “Lady Arpels Poetic” and men watch “Midnight Poetic Wish”, presented by the company, are an offspring of talented masters: watchmakers Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and enamellist Dominik Baron. Their unlimited fantasy was lively embodied on the dials of two models, which the collection consists of.  
The wrist watches from “Poetic Wish” collection are full of live emotions, transmitting sensation of fairy world that exists on such a small space, as the watch dial. The unique technical part amazingly combines with a masterly performed artistic part of the watch: sculpture, art, jewelry craftsmanship.
Besides original and “poetic” design of the dials, which attracts the attention to “Poetic Wish” watches first of all, the technical perfection of both models should be also noted, as the watches are unique not only for their dials, but also for an original time indication.
The design of complicated functions, which provided the watches with additional technical possibilities, is a merit of Wiederrecht, who managed to embody the most incredible dreams of many watchmakers in reality. And thanks to Dominik’s talent, it has become possible to breathe life into the landscapes on the dials.

The women watch “Lady Arpels Poetic” is dedicated to Paris. The left part of the dial depicts the Eiffel Tower, made of white gold, so that the opening landscape beneath the tower is seen from above. There is a young girl at the terrace of Eiffel Tower, who, according to the creators, is in hurry for a date. The clouds are made of mother-of-pearl. The Notre Dame de Paris – one of the symbols of French capital – is at the center of the dial.
The original scenery is set into the round case, made of white gold. The watch is incrusted with diamonds – a worthy rim of such complicated and beautiful picture. The strap is made of pearl-grey silk and natural leather. The movement of the women watch “Lady Arpels Poetic Wish” is provided with the function of hour and minute indication, showed on the dial due to so-called “poetic animation”. So, the hours are indicated by the girl’s figure, moving slowly to the center of dial. The minutes are indicated by horizontally moving clouds from mother-of-pearl. When they meet, the bells of the Notre Dame de Paris strike. The watch movement is patented, the balance frequency – 21.600 alterations per hour, the power reserve – 60 hours.

Midnight Poetic Wish Lady Arpels Poetic Wish

The wrist watch “Midnight Poetic Wish” with a dial, demonstrating evening Paris, continues the theme. A young man is depicted on the top of the Notre Dame de Paris at the left part of the dial. The windows of the cathedral are lighted by late sun rays. The young man comes out at the terrace of the tower with the Notre Dame bells strike, which revives the scene. At the same time a diamond meteor appears on the dial and starts moving to the Eiffel Tower, accompanied with the bell chime, minute after minute.
The evening Paris landscape is designed within the round case, made of white gold, incrusted with “baguette” diamonds, which perfectly complete the excellent dial. The watch is completed with original strap, made of two materials: dark-blue leather and chamois, harmoniously matching the tone of evening sky on the dial.
The time on the dial of “Midnight Poetic Wish” is indicated by means of young man’s silhouette, slowly moving to the center, pointing exact hour. The minutes are indicated by the diamond meteor, which sometimes comes out from the clouds, sometimes flies in the sky. The watch movement is patented, the balance frequency – 21.600 alterations per hour, the power reserve – 60 hours.


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