The first to advocate the traditional rare handcrafts relating to watchmaking, Patek Philippe has never ceased cultivating these skills and developing dedicated collections, even when some where predicting their extinction. The 2014 vintage comprises a pocket-watch featuring a case-back adorned with a richly colourful pictorial work depicting a kingfisher diving towards the water from which it derives its nourishment. The bird, the reeds and the river are crafted in cloisonné enamel with translucent zones revealing the underlying engravings, while the two water-lilies are sculpted from mother-of-pearl. On the front, the hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve are displayed on a guilloché dial covered with translucent blue enamel. Driven by a mechanical hand-wound movement, this one-of-a-kind creation is adorned with 154 brilliant-cut diamonds and a sapphire cabochon.
The coromandel lacquered screens dear to Gabrielle Chanel provide a wealth of inspiration for the development of the Mademoiselle Privé jewelry collection. This year, two heavenly creatures perched on clouds and playing their respective musical instruments are featured on two indivisible watch sets. Each pair has its musician and ‘almost’ twin, distinguished only by the decorative technique used. One features a colorful image crafted in Grand Feu enamel using the Geneva “sous-fondant” technique, meaning under a transparent protective coating known as a flux ; while the other is a monochrome depiction carved in mother-of-pearl. These unique tableaus are framed by cases with a pure, streamlined design lit up by snow-set diamonds and housing mechanical self-winding movements.
A variation of the high-precision Mecanograph that reveals part of its self-winding movement on the dial, the distinctive new model by Louis Moinet celebrates New York and its architecture. One can easily make out various landmarks on the cityscape such as the One World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge. The hand engraving combines line engraving with a secret technique serving to accentuate the depth effects. It takes over 20 hours of work to create this meticulously finished décor. The star-studded lacquered blue sky features an exclusive and unusual element : a fragment of the New York meteorite brought into the city’s port in the mid-1960s. The Mecanograph City New York is issued in two 60-piece limited editions with respectively titanium and pink gold cases.
Louis Vuitton enriches its High Jewellery Voyage dans le Temps collection with a highly symbolic watch embodying a contemporary interpretation of a Tibetan mandala. One of the flowers traditionally associated with the brand’s monogram, etched in the mother-of-pearl at the dial center, is interpreted as 12 petals cleverly assembled to indicate the hours. The functional and decorative diamond-set pink gold sculpture stands out against an opaline silver-toned background and makes a perfect match with the bezel topping the case. A nude satin strap further enhances the elegance of this Tambour Monogram Infini available in two sizes and with a choice of quartz or self-winding movements.
Margot, the first ladies’ watch by Christophe Claret, incorporates an extraordinarily poetic animation reproducing the famous custom of picking off the petals of a flower (usually a daisy) to predict a loved one’s state of mind. Pressing a pusher at 2 o’clock causes the watch chime to resonate, and one or two petals of the central flower disappear randomly beneath the dial. One can then read as an extension of the French Il m’aime (he loves me) one of the following endings un peu (a little) beaucoup (a lot), passionnément (passionately) à la folie (madly) or pas du tout (not at all). The lacquered titanium flower features a citrine heart, while the mother-of-pearl dial enhanced with diamonds bears lines from poetry by Victor Hugo, the striking mechanism is visible through an opening in the case-middle, and the resetting is done via a corrector at 4 o’clock. Meanwhile, the case-back is enlivened by a carrousel of colors depicting feelings: 8 precious stones are associated with 8 feelings that appear opposite a red-lacquered heart when the waltz stops. The infinitely romantic Margot watch is issued in four 20-piece limited series.
At Richard Mille, the RM 63-1 Dizzy Hands heralds a new dance of the display : one press on the crown-integrated button sets off an astonishing slow-motion ballet. One can thus remain detached from reality for as long as one so wishes, before deliberately putting an end to the dream by pressing once again on the dedicated control button. Caliber CRMA3 is an all-new self-winding movement that called for a complete rethink of conventional watchmaking principles, notably in order to separate the hours display from that of the minutes. The equally innovative case features the first curved, rounded bezel from Richard Mille.