Jewelers demonstrate an impressive capacity for self-renewal through timeless constructions graced with legendary motifs and gemstones. They apply their fertile imaginations to offering contemporary creations deliberately imbued with tradition, each in their respective styles.
Upon her arrival at Tiffany & Co. two years ago, Design Director Francesca Amfitheatrof revisited the brand’s signature T to create a collection of supremely symbolic jewelry. Appearing at strict right angles setting their stamp on minimalist models, the initial evokes the pure, streamlined architecture of New York City. Available in white, yellow or pink gold and sometimes sterling silver – a tradition at Tiffany & Co. which was the first American brand to adopt 925 silver in 1851 –, this jewelry now also comes in Wrap versions. The Tiffany T Wrap line is composed of hinged bangle bracelets that coil several times around the finger and wrist. Diamonds also discreetly enhance the radiance of certain models.
This winter, the Bucherer brand is turning the spotlight on pink gold which is still much in demand. It has adopted it in providing a contemporary interpretation of the flat-linked chains typical of curb chain bracelets, a traditional form of masculine jewelry made popular in the 1950s and 1960s by celebrities such as James Dean, Elvis Presley, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon, but which has fallen out of favor since then. Bucherer has freely drawn on this inspiration to create a bangle bracelet, a ring and hoop earrings combining broadly openworked flat chains and rows of diamonds.
The rivière bracelet composed of diamonds aligned in a row was nicknamed “tennis bracelet” when Chris Evert famously interrupted a match at the US Open in 1987 until hers was found after it had dropped on the court. Bulgari has drawn inspiration from it in creating its new Serpenti bracelet, while naturally infusing the new model with its own distinctive style. The fine scales of the snake form a supple and regular row around the wrist. The diamonds paved inside create the wonderful desired undulating effect. Together with the bracelet, a matching necklace and earrings form a remarkably dainty set enriching the brand’s reptilian creations that have been a constant source of temptation since the 1940s.
Emeralds found their place in the Van Cleef & Arpels legend through prestigious clients such as Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, Princess Faiza of Egypt, Princess Sita Devi, Maharani of Baroda, Farah Diba, Empress or Iran, and Princess Salimah, first wife of Aga Khan IV. Building on its expertise, the jeweler selected more than 1,400 carats’ worth of splendid stones in order to create its new Emeraude en Majesté collection. This Grand Opus set is transformable, a specialty of the House, and comprises a necklace, earrings and a clip composed of dark diamond ribbons from which various pendants can be hung. It exquisitely highlights Colombian “old-mine” emeralds engraved with gadroon motifs and exuding an unmistakably vintage charm.
SUPREMELY NATURAL EMERALDS
Emeralds are more fragile than other stones, hence the obliquecornered rectangular or square cut invented for them ; and most of them contain inclusions, a fact considered not as a flaw but as a sign that they are natural. Eduard Josef Gübelin was a pioneer in the use of microphotography to capture this inner life and today’s designers allow themselves to be guided by the historical images he left in designing the models composing the Mystical Garden world in the Ancient Path collection. The resulting necklace, ear pendants and ring are adorned with Colombian emeralds and fine rows of diamonds, as well as bearing the signature red ruby reflecting the fact that Gübelin always draws inspiration from the heart of each stone.