September 27, 2023

The pendant watch has its roots within the Seventeenth century — and has sparked a number of waves of recognition through the years, together with the belle époque of the nineteenth century, the Artwork Nouveau interval of the early twentieth century and the Nineteen Seventies.

Now the fashion is again, with luxurious watchmakers from Jaeger-LeCoultre to Chanel introducing designs impressed by historical past however with modern panache.

“For those who look again to the start of transportable timepieces,” stated Paul Boutros, deputy chairman and head of watches for the Americas at Phillips public sale home in New York Metropolis, “the pendant watch actually started as a matter of comfort, a approach to transport a watch in a manner that regarded like jewellery and made an announcement.”

In that interval, watches had been all handmade and really expensive — so it was rich males who devised methods of attaching their timepieces to chains or lengths of ribbon so that they might be worn across the neck or hung from a belt for all to see.

By the nineteenth century, girls had watches and commenced attaching them to lengthy swaying necklaces, known as sautoirs in French, which regularly had been embellished with diamonds and different gems.

Then, “within the Sixties and particularly the ’70s,” Mr. Boutros stated, watchmaking manufacturers that additionally made jewellery launched some elaborate pendant watches. For instance, in 1971 Piaget made a sautoir watch with a tiger’s-eye dial and beads on a gold chain that bought in 2015 for 23,750 Swiss francs (now the equal of $26,515) at a Phillips auction.

“Sautoirs carry collectively Piaget’s mastery of ultrathin watch actions and experience in gold craftsmanship,” Jean-Bernard Forot, head of patrimony for Piaget, stated throughout a telephone interview from the corporate’s headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates, simply outdoors Geneva. “That is proven within the creation of the pendants within the ’60s throughout an incredible interval of creativity. We known as these lengthy items ‘Swinging Sautoirs’ and so they turned the proper emblem for the gorgeous jet-set society of the time who stored asking for extra.”

On the 2023 Watches & Wonders Geneva, the model unveiled three one-of-a-kind Piaget Sautoir watches (costs on software) in addition to updates of a few of its most evocative designs from the previous.

One Piaget Sautoir is a twisted double-strand 18-karat gold chain, which took 130 hours to make, that includes a 25.38-carat oval cabochon-cut Zambian emerald and an oval 18-karat yellow-gold quartz watch with a malachite dial and a bezel set with diamonds and emeralds.

The second was embellished with turquoise and the third, a selected problem to the artisans, was an 18-karat braided gold chain with 6.41 carats of diamonds. In response to Mr. Forot, it took seven months to make the third Sautoir as a result of the model “had misplaced the method from the ’60s. They patiently discovered the methods once more, threading the gold by hand into these tiny chains and including the fashionable eye on it to make it much more excellent.”

As a rule, a contemporary pendant watch can also be a secret watch, the business’s time period for timepieces with covers that may be moved apart to disclose the time. The fashion permits the dial cowl to be embellished with diamonds and different gems, engraving, marquetry or different creative gildings to intensify the sense that the piece is true jewellery, in addition to a watch.

This yr, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Jaeger-LeCoultre all launched sautoir necklaces with hidden dials.

Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé Lion assortment, which debuted at Watches and Wonders Geneva, consists of an 18-karat yellow-gold pendant watch with a black lacquer dial, lined with the diamond-set face of a lion on a black background that may be swiveled apart to disclose the time. The quartz watch is accented with 336 diamonds totaling 7.90 carats and hangs on a necklace of black onyx, gold beads and diamonds. Solely 20 will probably be made (worth on software).

“A sautoir that secretly tells the time,” Arnaud Chastaingt, director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio, wrote in an e mail, “means lots of inventiveness to combine a caliber, to dissimulate the dial, to work the hinges.”

The lion motif was chosen, the model stated, as a result of Leo was its founder’s astrological signal. “Gabrielle Chanel’s private universe stays endlessly a supply of true inspiration to me,” Mr. Chastaingt wrote. “I really like the concept of this lion’s face, pricey to Mademoiselle Chanel, superbly and secretly conserving the time.”

Additionally at Watches and Wonders Geneva, Van Cleef & Arpels launched six variations of sautoir secret watches in its Perlée assortment. Each has a 90-centimeter (35.4-inch) 18-karat gold chain that culminates in a 25-millimeter spherical secret watch with a mother-of-pearl dial surrounded by a diamond-studded gold bezel.

Three variations characteristic gem-set dial covers. Two, in 18-karat yellow gold, characteristic emeralds or sapphires; the third, in 18-karat rose gold, has rubies. The opposite three use cabochon-cut gemstone slabs to cowl their dials: pale blue chalcedony with 18-karat white gold, rose quartz with 18-karat rose gold or blue sodalite with 18-karat yellow gold.

“At Van Cleef & Arpels, we see watches from a jeweler’s perspective and mix the studying of time with the notion of decoration,” Nicolas Bos, the home’s president and chief government, wrote in an e mail. This offers rise to necklaces, brooches, bracelets and generally even rings fitted with a dial.”

Mr. Bos famous that the primary Perlée pendant secret watches had been launched in 2019, however had been impressed by the fashion’s Seventeenth-century origins in addition to the lapel watches and chatelaines (clusters of chains to hold keys and different home goods) that Van Cleef & Arpels made previously.

“Right this moment,” he wrote, “these references give rise to delicate and sudden interpretations with creations that enable for a playful imaginative and prescient of time, a time that’s each private and secret.”

Bulgari additionally tapped its historical past this yr with its one-of-a-kind Secret Watch Necklace Cameo Imperiale, launched in Could throughout the house’s high jewelry event in Venice.

Impressed by the Monete Bulgari collections of the Sixties, which featured historical Roman and Greek cash, the home had artisans in Torre del Greco, Italy, a traditional center of cameo carving, create a cameo portrait of Cleopatra. The picture of the Egyptian queen then was surrounded with diamonds and pink and blue sapphires, making a watch cowl that resembles an elaborate coin.

The manual-wind watch accommodates an in-house Tourbillon Lumière BVL 208 caliber skeletonized motion, seen via its clear sapphire crystal. The 56-millimeter case and the chain, each in 18-karat rose gold, are set with diamonds and rubies (worth on software).

“Cash are symbols of evolution, they’re an genuine and tangible a part of our historical past, they’re charming as they arrive from so many centuries in the past,” Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s product creation government director, wrote in an e mail. “At Bulgari, we love taking part in with objects, approaching them in a different way and creating new methods of carrying jewellery and watches. This pendant watch is a fusion between a jewel and a timepiece.”

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s famed Reverso watch, first created in 1931, has the key watch idea in its very design: an oblong timepiece whose case will be pushed to 1 facet, flipped after which pushed again into place to show the opposite facet.

Within the case of the Reverso Secret Necklace, a restricted version that debuted at Watches and Wonders Geneva, the case again is about with diamonds and onyx in a geometrical floral motif whereas the dial facet is rendered in rose gold, diamonds and black onyx. The oblong watch is powered by the model’s Calibre 846, an in-house 93-part manual-wind motion made for the Reverso line (worth on software).

The 90-centimeter chain, created in 18-karat pink gold and set with diamonds and black onyx beads, was impressed by the twisted black wire generally used because the strap for girls’s Reverso watches of the Nineteen Thirties. Lariat-style diamond-set lugs hug the watch, which has two tassels accented with diamonds and elongated onyx drops.

In complete, the model stated, greater than 3,000 diamonds weighing a complete of 18 carats had been used on the Reverso Secret Necklace, and it requires greater than 300 hours of gem-setting work.

“With a robust Reverso heritage, and historic pendant watch know-how, we see that there’s nonetheless a robust marketplace for unique watches that carry collectively the spectacular worlds of high-watchmaking and excessive jewellery in a single,” Catherine Rénier, the model’s chief government, stated throughout an interview at Watches and Wonders Geneva. “The Reverso Secret Necklace has reopened a artistic realm at Jaeger-LeCoultre, due to this fact we are going to proceed to design and create extra Reverso Secret Necklace expressions sooner or later.”

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