A bejewelled time to celebrate International Women’s Day

News • 06 Mar 2024

A bejewelled time to celebrate International Women’s Day

In the name of the annual occasion that commemorates the contribution of women all over the world, we profile four breathtaking timekeepers that are precious jewels and valuable pieces of horological art.

Although there is no definite point in history when jewellery watches were created, we do know that there is incredible precedence for its popularity today. History has it that the Earl of Leicester gave a small round watch set with diamonds to Queen Elizabeth, while watches made by Jaquet Droz in 1790 and Breguet in 1810 were intended as bracelets. It was ungainly for a woman back then to look at the time in polite company, so jewellery watches – especially the ones with concealed dials – let them know the time discreetly.

Today, jewellery watches have evolved to become stunning expressions of skill in haute horlogerie and haute joaillerie, showcasing a breadth of a maison’s expertise in both technical excellence and aesthetic superiority. For International Women’s Day, we are training the spotlight on four watches created by manufactures that boast notable heritage as jewellers as well as watchmakers. This duality is reminiscent of the theme of this year IWD celebrations, which is anchored of the power of inclusion. These watches boast beauty, brains and brawn, much like the women we celebrate every day of year.


BVLGARI Serpenti Misteriosi ‘Secret’ Watch in rose gold

Bulgari’s recently released Serpenti Misteriosi masterpieces embody new feats of miniaturisation associated with the jewellery and decorative excellence of the Graeco-Italian jeweller-turned-watchmaker. Revisiting the undulating form of the serpent that Bulgari debuted in 1948, this stunning jewellery watch is equipped with the ultra-small BVl100 mechanical movement. One of the smallest mechanical movements in the world, it is entirely conceived and produced within the Bulgari manufacture.

This bewitching reptile is presented in yellow, white and rose gold options, the snake wrapping itself around the wrist with a double-tour bracelet while its head and tail are adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds. In the case of our particular pick, the pink gold snake looks out from two pear-cut rubellites, the rest of its ‘face’ formed by the paved-dial while its scales are brought to life by diamonds and turquoise inserts.

BVLGARI Serpenti Misteriosi ‘Secret’ Watch in rose gold

Pressing the snake’s tongue on the Serpenti Misteriosi opens the head to reveal the timekeeping element of this watch. A bidirectional crown located on the caseback enables time-setting and manual winding, which provides the watch with 30 hours of power.


Cartier Clash [Un]limited watch in rose and purple gold

For those in search of a jewellery watch one could potentially maintain for daily use, Cartier’s Clash (Un)limited is an obvious choice. Characterised by an elegant mechanism that stands out for its beauty, the Clash comes together with elements from haute joaillerie like beads, picot studs, clou carrés. The result is a jewellery watch that boasts remarkable mobility and comfort, featuring a timekeeping element in an intertwined precious metal bracelet.

Inspiration for the Clash (Un)limited originates from Cartier’s former director of jewellery Jeanne Toussaint, who as early as the 1930s provoked glittering collisions between preciousness and the industrial aesthetic of ball bearings. Its design deliberately links the past and present, and also employs chromatic contrasts to emphasise the geometric motifs by alternating brushed and satin-finish yellow or rose gold. It is then combined with a new shade of gold in tones of shimmering violet, entirely developed for Cartier.

The small version of the Clash [Un]limited is especially suited for women with more delicate proportions, with the case measuring 18.4mm x 32.8mm that fits a highly accurate quartz movement. A silvered sunray dial, steel sword-shaped hands and sapphire crystal completes the timekeeper part of the watch, while the bracelet – pictured is the rose gold version – is crafted to fit the wrist much like a Cartier bracelet would.

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant in white gold

The glittering L’Heure du Diamant collection unveils two pillars of Chopard’s savoir-faire – watchmaking and gem-setting – in one go. A jewellery watch in the most poetic sense of the word, this family of tantalising timekeepers are notable for a unique prong-setting for its diamonds that truly brings out the light in each stone. In particular, the L’Heure du Diamant Vintage series feature hardstone dials, their design a contemporised version of the original from the 1960s. It effortlessly and elegantly balances fine jewellery and fine watchmaking, showcasing the dual expertise that is the essence of Chopard.

Recognising the powerful symbolism of lapis lazuli – strength and courage, wisdom and intellect, friendship and truth – Chopard has used it on the dial of a L’Heure du Diamant Vintage piece. Measuring 34.5mm at its widest, the white gold oval case is set with 22 round diamonds at 4.07 carats each on the bezel and a briolette-cut stone on the crown. It is powered by the Calibre 09.01-C, a chronometer-certified self-winding mechanical movement that provides 42 hours of power.


Piaget Limelight Gala in pink gold

Piaget has previously employed the creative genius of Saudi Arabian artist and designer Razan Alazzouni for creations within its Possession collection, and does so again for a new watch released at the prestigious Art Dubai. Made of gold with a marquetry of ornamental stones, this stunning new watch from the Limelight collection represents perfect harmony. Springing from an unexpected meeting of minds from two different cultures and a coming together of different times and worlds, the watch’s contrasting ideas naturally feed into each other and write a new chapter in Piaget’s history.

The Limelight Gala watch is known for its asymmetry, and poetically embraces the idea of both balance and imbalance. The dial of this 32mm watch features a marquetry design, with a combination of diamonds and various green chrysoprase stones set in three unique gem-setting methods: open-work, grail and rail setting. A row of glittering diamonds sweep around the edges of the case as it joins the rose gold bracelet, which is in the Décor Palace style. Introduced by Piaget in the 1960s, this gold engraving technique gives body and consistency to this noble metal and features workmanship inspired by the guilloche of watch dials both in substance and in execution. The time is powered by the manual-winding 501P1, a flawlessly finished calibre that affords this watch 40 hours of autonomy.

Tags: bulgari cartier chopard piaget

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