Every two years, Paris strengthens its status as the worldwide capital of High Jewellery. The Biennale des Antiquaires (Antique Dealers Biennial) currently running through to September 21st is also an important showcase for superlative jewellery. With hundreds of discerning collectors of objets d’art congregated for the occasion, the various specialists in setting the stage for precious gems naturally make the most of this opportunity by exhibiting a range of their most exclusive, imaginative, narrative and truly stunning skills. Among the adornments capable of astounding even the most demanding maharajah, watches are very much in the spotlight, enjoying their natural place within the jewellery universe.
Piaget showcases vintage inspiration, as the jeweller-watchmaker recalls its golden age in the 1960s, the period of which it revolutionised the entire aesthetic approach. The shapes are ‘Extremely Piaget’, as confirmed by the name of this major collection including a number of exuberantly extravagant models that nonetheless maintain their inherent delicacy. Filigreed gold secret watches topped by an engraved ruby; a large fire opal dial held by snow-set white gold arms: daintiness meets and merges with the powerful designs of those boldly creative years.
Chaumet has chosen an aquatic theme for its Lumières d’Eau collection, comprising a secret watch studded with tiny stalactites, a house-signature graphic element dating back to the 1900s. A series of amusing watches with artistic craft-type dials feature a whale’s tail splashing amid the waves, as well as embossed mother-of-pearl jellyfish floating on a gem-set white gold case.
Boucheron continues to look eastwards in its Rêves d’ailleurs (Dreams of Faraway Places) collection. A sculpted Plume de Lumière (Feather of Light) settles gently on a mother-of pearl; while a diamond fish with long, diaphanous fins circles gracefully in clear waters, carefully avoiding the tourbillon on the Ama watch. The former evokes the snowy landscapes of Russia, and the second Japan, where the art of aquariums is a way of life.
Dior once again gives pride of place to coloured gems, such as the mandarin garnets adorning a Dior Grand Soir Origami model graced with a dial evoking the ancestral Japanese art of paper-folding. Its geometrically arranged mother-of-pearl mosaic is punctuated by warm, glowing accents. Meanwhile, a D de Dior Précieuse is decked out in a flurry of diamonds and rows of emeralds, rubies or sapphires, according to personal preference.
Bulgari is doubtless the master of colourful jewellery-making. The Italian brand has consistently used blues, pinks, and greens in a wide variety of shades, while never omitting diamonds from its repertoire. Attired in such finery, the Diva watch becomes a luminous bloom and Catena a dazzling and potentially blinding weapon. The new Bulgari creation is named Musa and features a range of chic, magnificently baroque watches lit up by clever multi-coloured effects.
To view the slideshow, click on the large image at the top of the page.