Diamonds and gemstones are the stuff of legends. Love, war, peace, happiness and many other emotions and events have been associated with the baubles of the Earth.  However, perhaps the most impressive of all is their timeless nature. Borne underground and growing over the course of centuries, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones have a surreal quality of forever.

That may well be why so many top watchmakers opt to adorn their timepieces with these glimmering, shimmering objects. That, plus the fact that – let’s face it – women and men alike can’t help but fall in love with the beauty of a watch bedecked in dazzle.

These objects of art and haute Joaillerie not only track the time, but also offer breathtaking appeal. The fact that they will keep their value for generations to come also makes them heirloom quality.

The first non-clock timepieces dressed in diamonds appeared in the 16th century, and were most likely in reaction to the fact that Jean Calvin banned his followers from wearing jewelry. To save their trade, many gem setters and goldsmiths combined their craft with the clockmakers– as clocks were still allowed – and began adorning these instruments with elaborate diamond and gemstone detailing. Within a few years, the clock and pocket watch was transformed into a piece of jewelry.

Today, extravagant renditions regularly are offered – many employing a host of different diamond settings, diamond shapes and fancy cuts.  In fact, in its new collection of one-of-a-kind diamond watches, British brand Backes & Strauss works with American jewelry house William Goldberg to design the new Royal Ashoka® Empress collection of watches.  These one-of-a-kind diamond watches bring William Goldberg’s exceptional 62-faceted Ashoka® diamonds to the world of fine watchmaking. This Empress watch is set with 92 Ashoka® cut diamonds, 131 Ideal Cut diamonds and two baguette-cut diamonds for a total of 225 top quality diamonds.

 

Backes & Strauss Royal Ashoka® Empress

Backes & Strauss Royal Ashoka® Empress watch. © Backes & Strauss

 

At de Grisogono, diamonds and gemstones adorn the very alluring Sugar watches. This collection of timepieces features hundreds of diamonds and gemstones bedecking a square shaped watch like a sugar cube.  Some of the diamonds dangle off the side of the case and the bottom and move or sway when the wearer moves, offering truly alluring appeal.

 

deGrisogono - Sugar

This de Grisogono Sugar S12 Jeweled Watch is crafted in 18-karat white gold with a galuchat (stingray) strap. The case is set with 476 diamonds and the dial is set with another 226 diamonds. © deGrisogono

 

Then, with brands such as Breguet – diamonds are often nicely complemented with the gems of the oceans – pearls. Some brands use pearls as bracelets, dial adornments and even case decorations (but that is another story).  Suffice it to say that this holiday – your wrist can shine as brightly  -- if not more so than -- the festive lights of the season.

 

Breguet - Reine de Naples

This Breguet multi-row Akoya pearl bracelet Reine de Naples watch is crafted in 18-karat white gold, and set with76 baguette diamonds weighing approximately 6.06 carats. Another 42 baguette diamonds weighing 2.77 carats form the inner chapter ring of this self-winding watch. © Breguet