Although the world of haute horology is, today, a male-dominated sphere, the industry actually owes the rise of wristwatches to demand from the fairer sex. During the late 19th century, when pocket watches were still the norm, it was women who had began adorning their wrists with fashionable gem-studded timepieces. Today, high jewellery watches blend the best of haute horology and high jewellery traditions in utterly stunning expressions that make for captivating timepieces that ensure all eyes are firmly on you…
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Purple Arums
The line between art and watchmaking is often blurred when it comes to high jewellery watches, and renowned Swiss horologist Jaeger-LeCoultre plays with this amalgam exceptionally well with its latest Reverso, Purple Arums. Taking inspiration from decorative jewellery worn in the ’20s, the 40mm self-winding wristwatch, powered by the watchmaker’s patented Calibre 846 movement, introduces a truly unique Reverso iteration replete with the model’s iconic double-sided rectangular case. Its vivid floral design seamlessly flows across the rotatable case front, exhibiting a high level of craftsmanship that required a painstaking 95-hour process of gem-setting, enamelling and engraving to create.
Vacheron Constantin Égérie
Staying with manual-winding chronographs, Vacheron Constantin celebrates the multiple facets of femininity through its new Égérie self-winding diamond-pavé models. Presented at the Watches & Wonders 2021, the ultra chic and elegantly versatile 35mm jewellery watch is truly worth of being added to the collection of any discerning fashionista. Featuring the maison’s signature off-centre display and asymmetrical geometry (artfully interlace two circles), a total of 574 round-cut diamonds punctuate the dial as well as the watch’s bezel, flanks and lugs, imparting an added sparkle to proceedings.
Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Sunrise
The next entry on our list of stunning high jewellery watches comes courtesy of Swiss luxury watch and jewellery maker Piaget. The Limelight Gala Precious Sunrise is an automatic movement that features an eye-catching 32mm 18K white gold case and a bezel set with 32 brilliant-cut blue sapphires and 10 brilliant-cut diamonds, all of which were carefully sifted through to create the seamlessly flowing gradient that outlines the snowy, diamond embellished dial mixed with different-sized gemstones — a true beauty for the modern-day woman.
Franck Muller Double Mystery Peony
Next up, a marriage between haute horology and haute couture comes through a combination of technical innovation and the art of watchmaking – the intricately detailed Double Mystery Peony from Swiss horology brand Frank Muller. The 42mm mechanical complication, powered by a 42 DM PEONY D 2R CD movement, boasts a gorgeous gem-studded dial replete with 662 brilliant-cut diamonds and precious stones, all of which were painstakingly hand-set. Further accentuating its avant-garde aesthetics are the hour and minute indicators, which are placed on rotating discs at its centre.
Cartier Libre Baignoire Turtle
Rounding out our list of high jewellery watches is luxury maison Cartier’s limited-edition Libre Baignoire Turtle watch. Taking inspiration from its 2019 Baignoire predecessor, just 30 pieces of this masterclass in jewellery watchmaking will be produced. Playful, sophisticated and all-but-guaranteed to ensnare any passing gaze, its geometric motif is punctuated with anthracite, buff-topped sapphires and pavé diamonds that together call to mind the scaling of a turtle’s shell.