Precious hours

Watch or jewel? Needless to choose, the two marry in sumptuous necklaces. Watchmakers and master jewelers have united their talents and know-how, imagining luxurious necklaces that reveal a secret... they give the time.

During the last edition of the Watches & Wonders show in Geneva in April, jewellery and watchmaking also met… If houses such as Chopard, Hublot or Gucci create sublime jewellery watches interwoven with rare stones, gold, titanium or transparent sapphire, others go even further by imagining precious necklaces that inform on the passing of time. A trend that is part of the tradition of secret jewellery containing a dial. In the past, the rules of elegance and propriety did not allow women to wear a watch with an evening gown or to consult the time, otherwise their boredom would appear. The hour was thus destined to be read in secret hidden in… a jewel.

In 2023, precision work, rare gems and complex movements animate necklaces. A central motif adorns a long necklace whose chain is imagined in precious threads or in lines of gold balls, beads of precious stones or ornamental. Gracefully accompanying the movements of the body, this jewel houses a delicate hidden case that gives the time. Two Piaget necklaces pay tribute to its excellence in watchmaking and jewellery. Their contours recall the stylistic exuberance that animated the 60s, 70s and 80s. The gold twist of the necklace watch, inspired by a 1969 model, modeled by hand, is made from a single thread wrapped around a mandrel to create rings. These are then cut and twisted one by one, then shaped into homogeneous links before final assembly. A first pampilles model is animated by a 25.38 carat cabochon-cut Zambian oval emerald in echo to the oval watch dial, one of Piaget’s iconic 1960s forms. Another necklace consists of a twist of gold and white diamonds that encircle a dial with the Palace decor, another signature of the house.

Jaeger-LeCoultre reinvents the timeless design of its iconic Reverso watch into a pendant called the Reverso Secret Necklace. This jewel with Art Deco accents offers a new way to wear the mythical mobile box. The cord – a black cord used for the original model of the 1930s – has been revisited to become a flexible chain, composed of links set with diamonds and polished onyx beads, at the end of which is suspended the pink gold case also set with diamonds. Thanks to the hidden-unveiled games that surprise and amaze, Van Cleef & Arpels imagine the Pearl secret watches. Inspired by the chain timepieces that appeared in Europe in the 17th century, these creations take the form of curved and coloured pendants in yellow, white or pink gold. Like a jewel, they are worn in long chains. To watch the time with discretion, simply rotate the embroidered motif of gold beads and unveil the mother-of-pearl dial. The jeweler creates variations in chalcedony, sodalite and rose quartz or other more luxurious stones set with rubies, emeralds or sapphires. The Chanel look is inseparable from the many beaded necklaces that the seamstress accumulated around her neck and that illuminate a tweed jacket or the neckline of a black dress. The watch division of the house pays tribute to this signature jewel with the Mademoiselle Privé Lion model in precious metal, black lacquer, diamonds and onyx. The central medallion is decorated with a sculpted gold lion’s head. This one tilts, revealing a watch case.   Chanel Horlogerie had previously imagined two breathtaking models. The first Miss Privé Coromandel features a onyx dial decorated with beige gold miniatures and set with diamonds. Its back is decorated with the profile of Gabrielle Chanel. The onyx pampille is set with brilliant-cut diamonds. At the end of the chain of the second, Mademoiselle Privé Cage, two birds face each other in a cage set with diamonds. The yellow gold and diamond dial is placed under the cage. The American jeweler Harry Winston excels in the art of creations at the frontier of fine jewellery and fine watchmaking. The most beautiful gems in the world here are minutes of incredible luxury. At the end of a white gold chain set with diamonds, the geometrically shaped central motif of the new Ultimate Emerald Signature piece rotates and reveals a dial. The set is set with 358 white diamonds of various sizes. Convertible, this jewel can also be worn as a brooch.

By Fabrice Léonard - Published the

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