Ask any man in the street what he associates cufflinks with, and the answer will invariably be “tuxedo”. While it’s true that cufflinks are often identified with elegant evening wear – since they’re used to fasten shirtsleeves with French cuffs, such as tuxedo shirts – they’re really just removable ornamental buttons, and there’s no reason you can’t wear them to informal occasions. Like a pocket square or a tiepin, cufflinks complete a gentleman’s ensemble.
Just like buttons, cufflinks come in a dizzying assortment of shapes, sizes, styles and materials, although the ones from timepiece manufacturers tend to be crafted from metals (both precious and non-precious). Knowing that dandy gents are likely to pair their cufflinks with their wrist machines, watch brands usually lavish the same amount of care and attention to detail when crafting these fasteners, attesting to the brands’ integrity. Here are four of the most alluring.
With one of the most recognisable watch cases on the planet – the Royal Oak – as well as a very distinct guilloché dial design – the tapisserie – it only made sense for Audemars Piguet to branch into cufflink design. The signature octagonal bezel with its eight screws, as well as the textured surface of the dial, translates extremely well onto a cufflink. A few variations exist, including plain versions, gem-set versions, and ones embellished with the brand logo as seen here. They come with movable back closures.
Rare and therefore highly prized, this pair of 18K pink gold cufflinks fetched HK$22,500 at an October 2014 Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong.
Breguet has one of the most well-developed cufflink collections of all the watch houses, with some designs mimicking the watches themselves. The Cadran Guilloché series, for example, sports a beautifully guillochéd front face as well as hour and minute track motifs, the barleycorn guilloché reminiscent of Breguet’s expertise in the craft. Meanwhile, the Classique Email Grand Feu range showcases the manufacture’s mastery of enamelling. The cufflinks all have movable back closures, making them easy to fasten.
Breguet’s Rotor cufflinks are the height of chic. Hewn from 18K white gold and onyx, it features a fluted edge and a rotating mass that actually moves.
Hublot watches are recognised, among other things, for their H-shaped screws, which can be found on bezels, lugs and crown guards. So when it came to developing a range of cufflinks, it was only natural for the brand to use the screw motif as a basis of design. The collection of four designs made its debut in 2012, each exemplifying Hublot’s ‘art of fusion’ slogan by combining different materials – such as titanium, 18K rose gold and diamonds – and finishes – such as polished, satin-brushed, and black PVD.
Hublot cufflinks encapsulate the brand’s art of fusion motto by juxtaposing a mix of materials and finishes.
Patek Philippe’s range of cufflinks is extensive, with the current production encompassing 22 different models. Made from precious metals, the collection is infused with signature house codes such as the Nautilus, Golden Ellipse or Gondolo case shapes, as well as the Calatrava Cross motif. Like the watches themselves, the finishing is top notch: on the Nautilus models, the “bezels” are brushed while the bevelled edges are polished. On the Ellipse models, the “dials” sport a sunburst finish. All cufflinks are equipped with movable back closures.
If you own a Nautilus, Golden Ellipse or Gondolo, you can choose matching cufflinks; if not, there is always the Calatrava Cross design, which goes with any Patek Philippe timepiece.
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Aaron de Silva – Singapore
Aaron De Silva is a Singapore-based luxury lifestyle journalist with a penchant for shiny objects – mechanical watches being one of them.