It isn’t every day that we get to put our hands on more than 40 carats of diamonds and gemstones meticulously set in a timepiece. This year at Baselworld, though, we have had several such opportunities and one of the standout experiences has been getting up close and personal with the amazing new Chanel high-jewelry Les E’ternelles De Chanel secret watches.
Developed as a capsule collection, these incredible high-jeweled masterpieces deftly demonstrate the Parisian brand’s savoir-faire when it comes to jewelry and watches. The timepieces pay tribute to the iconic quilting motif for which the brand is known. In fact, the quilting is a motif Mademoiselle Chanel developed and carried through on haute couture and leather goods such as handbags and clutches. The pattern has become a flagship for the brand.
There are four unique watches in the series. Each features a diamond-bedecked cuff bracelet with a center stone that lifts to reveal a watch dial. The Signature Diamond Secret watch, crafted in 18-karat white gold, is set with 16 triangular diamonds, pave’ diamonds on the bracelet in sleek geometric links that resemble the line-quilting motif. At the center of the bracelet sits a 5.26-carat briolette diamond covering the watch dial, which is also meticulously set with diamonds.
While this is a masterpiece of art and elegance (not to mention incredible gem setting), I personally am more enamored with the Morganite Secret Watch. Again, a stunning white gold rendition, this watch features unusually shaped links – each holding three to four diamonds – set together to form the cuff. The open-worked lattice features a mesmerizing 43.66-carat pink Morganite pyramid stone that lifts to reveal the time on a diamond-set dial.
Morganite is a rich, peachy pink stone in the beryl family (whose other members include the emerald and the aquamarine). The stone gets its color from traces of manganese and the hues are typically among the finest in clarity and tone. This particular stone has the size, the color and the amazing beauty to take one’s breath away.