Jewelry has long been a personal favorite category at the GPHG. This year, of the 12 watches in competition in this category, 6 were pre-selected. While all dazzling, the choice of the six reflects a wide range from the traditional bejeweled watch to the highly iconoclastic style.
The two most avant-garde styles - which get my vote - both revisit the past. My favorite, the Extremely Piaget double-sided cuff watch is a nod to the 1970s. This model is a contemporary re-edition of a vintage piece, and captures the nonchalant chic styles of that era. The piece is as fresh and modern as it was 40 years ago.
Audemars Piguet’s Diamond Punk secret watch, my second choice, also revisits the aesthetics of the 1980s punk era, with a graphic geometric cuff, snow set with about 8000 diamonds. The watch remains nevertheless understated for a high jewelry piece and quite wearable. The secret compartment of the watch transforms the piece into a pure piece of jewelry, which is a useful option when considering jewelry watches.
On the more traditional side, my vote goes to De Grisogono’s Grappoli watch with its luscious round dial dripping with blue sapphires. The piece is generous in its volumes, yet remains fun and festive, true to the spirit of the brand.
Fabergé’s festive Summer in Provence Multicolored Sapphire watch also deserves a highly favorable mention for this ultra-feminine colorful creation. Although it is not a style I would wear, I can see the romantic, pastoral appeal of this model. If the jury were to lean ultimately toward more traditional styles in this category, Fabergé could be the top contender.
High jewelry watches are the haute couture of the watch realm, and no piece embodies that artful spirit like Audemars Piguet’s Diamond Punk. Audacious and unorthodox, the bold cuff is sculpted with 56 three-dimensional pyramid forms that echo the metal studs that were in fashion in the punk rock era of the 70s, when I came of age. Yet, the piece exudes a futuristic rather than retro edginess. The badass grey gold bracelet is beautifully engineered, crafted, and frosted with 7,848 irregular snow-set diamonds. I also have a fondness for secret watches, so the Diamond Punk just steals the show. I also would give a nod to Piaget’s retro ’70s double-sided cuff, which is another big wow. Love the opal dial and the snow-set cage bracelet. Both channel the ‘70s in different but fabulous ways.
Looking at the jewellery watches nominated for GPHG reminded me of what British Novelist George Eliot once wrote, “These gems have life in them: their colours speak, say what words fail of,” Indeed, all the six brands nominated under this category are full of life, revealing the commendable craftsmanship that has gone behind every piece.
Jewellery is every woman's need and when it unites with time it becomes an extraordinary piece of art like the Audemars Piguet Diamond Punk, Piaget's Extremely Piaget double sided cuff watch or Fabergé's Summer in Provence multicoloured sapphire.
Diamond Punk makes a statement with sharp clean diamonds set on the cuff bracelet (7848 diamonds). Extremely Piaget cuff watch in 18k white gold with the lapis Lazuli dial in deep blue oozes calmness and beauty. Fabergé's Summer in Provence multicoloured sapphires is snow set with precious gemstones across the dial. Provence speaks through its aromatic flowers and Faberge through its gemstones.