Haute Time Visits Watchland, Part One

Haute Time Managing Editor Seth Semilof and Backes & Strauss CEO Vartkess Knadjian

The last Friday of my trip to Geneva, I got to check out Watchland in Genthod. It was the 21st edition of the WPHH, thrown by Franck Muller CEO and Co-Founder Vartan Sirmakes. Watchland is the heart of all Franck Muller Genéve brand timepieces, as they showcased the group’s nine brands – Franck Muller Jewellery, Pierre Kunz, ECW, Rodolphe, Barthelay, Backes & Strauss, Martin Braun, Pierre Michel Golay, Smalto Timepieces – and their partners Cvstos and Roberto Cavalli.

I was very happy to see the Franck Muller USA team, as I got to say hi to U.S. President Ron Jackson, and PR Marketing Manager Irena Vereshchagina. It was great to be able to see the team in Watchland, because it makes you understand how powerful of a brand Franck Muller is, as they have amazing watchmaking facilities in the heart of Geneva. For my day at Watchland, I was able to see the pieces from Franck Muller, Backes & Strauss, and Cvstos.

Backes & Strauss CEO Vartkess Knadjian
Regent Diamond Jubilee
Backes & Strauss Regent Jubilee

The first meeting was with Backes & Strauss CEO Vartkess Knadjian. I am a huge fan of the diamonds, and their pieces are very unique. If you love diamonds, then you need to follow Backes & Strauss, as that is what they do best. The first piece was very important to Vartkess, as it is the Regent Diamond Jubilee. This is numbered to only 60 pieces and each piece will celebrate a year of Her Majesty’s reign. This piece was granted permission by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office in Buckingham Palace to use her Majesty’s Royal Cypher in the design of this watch collection. The side of each case will be engraved with the years her reign “1952 – 2012”. The back of the watch will be open with a sapphire glass and will be engraved “Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”

Regent Monarch

The next watch was one of my favorites that I saw, the Regent Monarch. The watch is in 18kt Rose Gold with over 500 diamonds throughout the case and weighing around 5.08 carats. The dial also has over 584 diamonds weighting over 3.28 carats.

Backes & Strauss Royal Berkeley 43 Bespoke Limited Edition

The next watch was sold for $1,500,000 a couple of years ago in Monaco, as it is the Backes & Strauss Royal Berkeley 43 Bespoke Limited Edition. The watch has over 105 carats of diamonds, with 330 Diamonds on 18k white gold piece. The diamonds are enormous, and this is obviously a special, one of a kind piece. This watch is not for everybody, but if diamonds are your thing, you have to take this watch seriously as one of the most unique pieces for sale on the market.

A piece from The Princess Collection

Another unique piece for the lady is the line called The Princess Collection. It is suppose to be a young and vibrant addition to the brand. The watch is in white gold with over 32 ideal-cut diamonds in the case weighing 2.70 carats. The bracelet has 136 diamonds weighing 18.57 carats, making this a truly special piece. The total carat weight of the watch is around 22.91.

A piece from The Renaissance Collection
A more detailed look at the Backes & Strauss Renaissance Collection

The last piece is from their Renaissance Collection. The watch is in 18kt white gold, with a beautiful blue strap.

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