Tag Archives: chopard

Luxury watchmakers from Switzerland: Interview with Co-President of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, on the essence of watchmaking

The watch that started it all — Chopard’s L.U.C 1860.

The watch that started it all Chopard’s L.U.C 1860.

It is almost too easy to be envious of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. As one of Chopard’s two co-presidents alongside his sister Caroline, he manages a group that’s vertically integrated to the extent of virtual self-sufficiency, while being wholly family owned and free from any shareholder influence or pressure. Thus, he has the freedom and ability to pursue his interests, and the man is very specific about what he likes.

Chopard’s Classic Racing collection, for instance, was borne out of Scheufele’s love for classic cars and their associated races, some of which he participates in personally. The brand’s involvement in this universe extends to sponsorships for specific events, as well as the Porsche Motorsport team. Ferdinand Berthoud is another example, as the latest addition to the Chopard group, it began as a passion project and only debuted its first watch, a time-only chronometer with a tourbillon escapement, in 2015. In many ways, Scheufele is a holdover from an earlier era when owners, guided by their personal interests, had a direct hand in and heavy influence on the activities of their companies. With Chopard entering its third decade of reestablishment as a manufacture, this does not look set to change, and the brand is all the better for it.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of the Chopard Group and President of la Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of the Chopard Group and President of la Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud.

It is the 20th anniversary of Chopard’s manufacture. Looking back, what were some of its biggest milestones?

The first was of course 1996, when we began to re-establish the manufacture and reacquire the knowledge and know-how of producing watch movements in-house. That really developed the commercial possibilities for the group, and we started to be recognised as a serious watchmaker again. We presented our integrated chronograph 10 years later, so that was another milestone. We unveiled the L.U.C Full Strike, our first minute repeater, this year, and this was another highlight because with it, we have more or less covered the full spectrum of complications. It is almost like we’ve cleared the tests that a manufacture needs to pass in order to be recognised as one.

Was there any single factor that drove your decision to re-establish the manufacture?

It was all about credibility in the beginning to be recognised as a manufacture. Later on, independence became as important a consideration, which prompted me to work on vertical integration.

The point about credibility is an interesting one, because the term “in-house” has become somewhat diluted in recent years.

Oh yes, I agree. The French term “manufacture” has been diluted a lot, because it is used too easily nowadays, although we really do live the part. There are many brands that claim to but don’t, because it is a bandwagon that everybody wants to get on.

L.U.C Chrono One, Chopard’s first in-house integrated chronograph.

L.U.C Chrono One, Chopard’s first in-house integrated chronograph.

What do you consider necessary for a brand to possess, before it can call itself a manufacture?

It is about mastering the different stages of production, from conceptualising a calibre, to prototyping, to the production of essential movement parts such as baseplates and hairsprings. Then, there is assembly, and quality control. In my opinion, a brand’s movements must also reach certain levels of precision and finissage quality. We’ve started reacquiring this capability in 1996, and finally declared ourselves fully integrated in 2006.

This organic growth took you a very long time, compared to brands that chose to acquire assets like production facilities and watchmakers.

Yes. Our choice was to start with a blank slate, partly because there wasn’t anything suitable for us to acquire then. Maybe it is also because I prefer to take the harder route.

You highlighted the integrated chronograph as one of Chopard’s milestones. Several other brands that we’ve spoken to also consider their integrated chronographs to be significant, instead of a high complication like a perpetual calendar, or even a tourbillon. Why?

With the tourbillon, for example, the real complexity is limited to just the parts that are linked to the tourbillon mechanism, while the rest of the movement is relatively easier to design. An integrated chronograph has many parts interacting with each other the moment you actuate the pusher, you start off a chain of events that affect various parts of the movement. Because there is so much to consider, and because everything has to be adjusted to work together and run smoothly, it is more indicative of a manufacture’s capabilities.

L.U.C Full Strike, released to mark the 20th anniversary of the manufacture’s re-establishment.

L.U.C Full Strike, released to mark the 20th anniversary of the manufacture’s re-establishment.

Has Chopard crossed the finishing line with its release of the L.U.C Full Strike?

Oh no, there are many different areas that we want to explore, including high frequency movements and complications. There is also general R&D work to improve our watches’ precision, service intervals, and even aftersales service.

How did the idea to use crystal gongs in the L.U.C Full Strike come about?

It is like every L.U.C watch that we’ve presented so far. In our first L.U.C movement, for example, we didn’t just want a calibre with a micro-rotor it needed to have additional value, which took the form of bidirectional winding and a stacked, two-barrel configuration. Every other L.U.C movement also offers a little extra bit of innovation. For the minute repeater, we worked on adding to what has already been achieved so far. The idea was to make a minute repeater that can be shared if a group is sitting around a table, everyone should be able to hear it. At the same time, it must have a good sound; I’m an audiophile, and I wanted the minute repeater to be like a good Hi-Fi system that offers the same playback quality independent of its volume. We settled on the idea of using sapphire crystal as the sound had to escape from somewhere, and it is the watch crystal anyway. What had previously been done was to connect the crystal to the gongs, but there was never an integrated system. The challenge for us was to construct the gongs and crystal as a single structure.

Chopard Manufacture, Fleurier

Chopard Manufacture, Fleurier

It looks like you’re still very personally involved in the watches’ developments.

Let’s put it this way, if I could delegate everything else and just do what I want to, this is precisely it.

The industry has many standards now, from COSC to region-specific ones like Poinçon de Genève, to in-house ones like Superlative Chronometer. Do you think the watch industry will benefit from having a single overarching standard?

It will probably benefit consumers, because a single standard is easier to understand. I don’t think this will happen though, because the industry’s players like to develop their own standards. Some companies want to do it in-house, because they can. That’s fine, but if you look at bookkeeping, the practice is to have external auditors. Similarly, I prefer third-party certification such as COSC, because we cannot influence anything, so it is the most objective way to judge if our movements are performing well. In any case, there is no right or wrong answer it is a philosophical question.

What about minute repeaters? Should a standard be developed for it?

I think this is one of the few areas of watchmaking that really comes down to preference. Acoustics and the perception of sound are very personal matters.

Watches undergoing Chronofiable testing, as part of Qualité Fleurier’s certification procedures.

Watches undergoing Chronofiable testing, as part of Qualité Fleurier’s certification procedures.

But surely some aspects can be quantified, such as the cadence, or the gap between the hours and the minutes should there be no quarters to strike.

Our idea was to have a short gap, but I’ve heard from someone who prefers to have a longer period of silence. At the end of the day, there will be some who prefer our minute repeater’s chimes, and others who will prefer another brand’s. You can tell me that you prefer Chateau Haut-Brion 1961 to Romanee-Conti 1995. I will say both are top quality wines it is just that you prefer Bordeaux, while I prefer Burgundy.

Who, then, was the final arbiter of how the chimes of the L.U.C Full Strike would sound?

It was a group decision. Minute repeaters are rare animals, so we didn’t have the chance to listen to every possible one before starting the project. However, as the project progressed, I was able to listen to more examples of them in the course of my travels. Thankfully, these opportunities only reassured me that our project was on the right track.

Why did you start Ferdinand Berthoud as a new brand instead of just integrating it as a new collection under Chopard?

I think that Chopard already has so many facets, and it is difficult to communicate them all. In fact, rather than adding a new collection, Chopard ought to focus on just a few of its existing ones. We didn’t go out there with the intention of adding another brand to the group anyway. It was almost a coincidence that I came across the Berthoud name and learned about his work. Here was an opportunity with a really interesting watchmaker whose work was worth reviving, and it led to a passion project. This was why I started Ferdinand Berthoud, not because we were looking for a reason to increase sales.

A pocket watch originally made by Ferdinand Berthoud.

A pocket watch originally made by Ferdinand Berthoud.

With Ferdinand Berthoud, you don’t seem concerned with releasing novelties every year.

Well, I completely disapprove of the recent race to present novelties continuously, because serious watch collectors just cannot follow this tempo any more. We’re not in the fashion industry, and do not have the same approach.

What kind of pace would you like to see then?

I’d like to see a more organic, natural cadence, where brands launch new products when they are genuinely ready to. In recent years, I’ve been getting the feeling that products are being launched too early, before they are fully developed, just to satisfy the need for communication, or for the brand to be talked about and remain visible. It just isn’t in the long-term interest of the brand or industry.

In a way, this has been the result of shorter attention spans.

Yes, that is true, but put yourself in the shoes of a potential Ferdinand Berthoud buyer who’s considering whether to spend such a large sum of money. If he does, and if we were to launch the FB 2 next year, he may think, “Oh, I should have waited.” It becomes very difficult to make a decision in such circumstances. The last new Porsche that I bought was the 1997 model of the 911, because it was the final one with an air-cooled engine, and the last 911 that corresponds to exactly what I think that car is all about. Of course, there are people who will buy the latest Ferrari every few years and get rid of the previous one, but I’m not that type of person. It is a different type of buying behaviour, and I think that the Ferdinand Berthoud client is someone who will consider his acquisitions seriously like I do, and we should afford him the time to do so.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1, which draws its movement and design elements from marine chronometers of yore.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1, which draws its movement and design elements from marine chronometers of yore.

Unfortunately, companies do have shareholders to answer to, which leads to such a pace of product development and release.

But that is, unfortunately, not necessarily compatible with the essence of watchmaking.

This article was originally published in WOW #43 (Festive 2016) issue.

VACHERON CONSTANTIN Overseas Small Model in pink gold; TORY BURCH Trocadero wrap dress

Tiara Shaw shows us how to accessorise for every occasion

A popular fixture in the local society scene, Tiara Shaw is much more than the charismatic other half of Shaw Organisation executive vice-president Mark Shaw. The mother of one currently splits her time working in real estate as a Savills Residential sales director, jetting around the world, attending film festivals and business trips with her husband, and managing her start-up boutique wellness-travel portal, Om & Away. Sassy and chic, Tiara shows us her flair in clever accessorising for any occasion about town.

Big on Bulgaribulgari-serpenti

BVLGARI Serpenti tubogas pink gold necklace and earrings with pavé-set diamond scales; BOTTEGA VENETA lurex and wool jacket and pants, soft lurex bra, lurex and viscose scarf, Tippie Mary Jane pumps

Statement Maker
The intense and vibrant deep green beauty of the emerald makes it one of my favourite gemstones

The intense and vibrant deep green beauty of the emerald makes it one of my favourite gemstones

CHOPARD Red Carpet collection necklace with a 95.89-carat heart-shaped emerald and 61.4 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery earclips with 8.96 and 7.5 carats of pear-shaped diamonds on each side surrounded by more diamonds, High Jewellery solitaire ring with a 14.36-carat D-colour, Internally Flawless marquise-cut diamond surrounded by more diamonds; MIU MIU velluto coat, cashmere vest

Chromatic Queencartier-galanterie-de-cartier

CARTIER Galanterie de
Cartier white gold earrings, ring with black lacquer and diamonds, Galanterie de Cartier white gold necklace and bracelet with black lacquer, onyx, and diamonds, Love white gold bracelet with ceramic and diamonds; BOTTEGA VENETA silk organdy dress with paillettes and Swarovski embroidery

Respect for Heritagepatek-philippe

PATEK PHILIPPE Ladies’ Annual Calendar Ref. 4948G in white gold with mother-of-pearl dial; DKNY notched collar fitted jacket

Very Versatilevan-cleef-arpels

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Bouton d’or pink gold necklace with diamonds, white mother-of-pearl, and carnelian, Perlée pink gold and diamonds ear studs, Perlée Couleurs pink gold between-the-finger ring with diamonds and carnelian; TORY BURCH Trocadero wrap dress

Winter Stylejaeger-lecoultre

JAEGER-LECOULTRE Reverso Classic Medium Duetto Ivy Red watch in pink gold with diamonds; CHAUMET Liens white gold necklace with an oval-cut ruby and diamonds, Joséphine Aube Printanière platinum ring with a pear-shaped ruby and diamonds; CH CAROLINA HERRERA wool coat and wool dress

Casual Elegancetiffany-co

TIFFANY & CO. Schlumberger Rope yellow gold and platinum two-row hoop earrings with diamonds, Schlumberger Rope yellow gold three-row X ring, Tiffany T yellow gold hinged wrap-bracelet with diamonds, Tiffany T yellow gold square bracelet; MONTBLANC Bohème Perpetual Calendar jewellery watch; CH CAROLINA HERRERA wool dress.

Credits:

Text by Yanni Tan
Photography Assistance Alfred Phang
Styling Assistance Joey Tan
Studio Assistance Stills Network Team
Hair Sha Shamsi/Indigo Artisans, using L’Oréal Professional
Makeup Cheryl Ow/Indigo Artisans, using Parfums Christian Dior

Tiffany & Co. Masterpieces 2016 Prism pendant necklace in platinum with 
tsavorite garnets and diamonds

13 Birthstones: Benefits of precious gems and where to find them

Add text.

January
Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Garnet secret watch in white gold with a 39.9-carat cushion-cut red garnet, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds.

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Garnet secret watch in white gold with a 39.9-carat cushion-cut red garnet, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds. It is a unique piece equipped with a quartz movement

Garnet

Signifying eternal friendship and trust, the name garnet is derived from the Latin word “granatum”, which refers to the red seeds of the pomegranate. Apart from the red varieties, which were among the most ancient of healing talismans, garnet also comes in other colour types, the key ones being the orange-yellow spessartite and the bright green tsavorite.

February
Bvlgari Magnificent Inspirations Extravaganza necklace

Bvlgari Magnificent Inspirations Extravaganza necklace in pink gold with 12 sassi-cut amethysts totalling 344.25 carats, South Sea cultured pearls, emeralds, 
amethysts, spinels, and diamonds

Amethyst

Historically coveted by European royalty by virtue of its intoxicating purple and rarity then, the ever-popular amethyst was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to keep the wearer sober, sharp, and restraint. In fact, its name derives from the Greek word “amethystos”, which means “not drunken”.

March
Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection Water Colours three-strand necklace

Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection Water Colours three-strand necklace in platinum with 
a 52.80-carat cushion-cut aquamarine, tanzanites, green tourmalines, aquamarines, 
and diamonds

Aquamarine

Named for the Latin phrase “water of the sea”, the ethereal aquamarine was believed by the ancients to be the treasure of the mermaids, and by sailors as a talisman for protection and safe passage over water. The gem was also used to dispel gossip, and imbue the owner with a sense of
calm and confidence.

April
Cartier Magicien Illumination bracelet in white gold with one 31.16-carat D-colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond

Cartier Magicien Illumination bracelet in white gold with one 31.16-carat D-colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond, other diamonds in various cuts, and carved rock crystal.
The main diamond can be worn on a ring or replaced by a pavé diamond motif

Diamond

Adopted from the Greek work “adamas”, meaning “invincible”, diamond is symbolic of eternal love and strength today. The gem was referenced in Sanskrit texts as early as 400BC, and since antiquity, believed by various cultures to possess powers that range from therapy and healing, energy-boosting, to imparting balance and clarity of thought.

May
Van Cleef & Arpels Émeraude en Majesté Grand Opus transformable necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Émeraude en Majesté Grand Opus transformable necklace in white gold with three old-mine Colombian emeralds (two are shown here) totalling 127.88 carats, diamonds, and white cultured pearls

Emerald

Emerald was a holy gemstone for many early civilisations, including the Egyptians and South Americans, and also revered by ancient royalty spanning the Greeks to Indians. A symbol of renewal and growth, the gem is believed to grant the owner youth, vision, and wisdom. Its name was derived from the Greek word “smaragdus”, for green.

June
Chaumet La Nature de Chaumet Le Chêne Racines Célestes transformable necklace

Chaumet La Nature de Chaumet Le Chêne Racines Célestes transformable necklace in white gold with an oval-cut pink spinel, cultured freshwater pearls, spinels, pink sapphires, and diamonds. This is the short version of the original long necklace that has a total of seven pink and violet spinels weighing 10.94, 8.40, 6.81, 6.80, 6.53, 5.29, and 1.87 carats

Pearl

Probably the first gem discovered by mankind to be used for adornment, pearl boasts a long and interesting legacy of mythical importance in countless civilisations, including the Romans and Tudors. Its natural form, colour, and radiance endowed it with a celestial quality, and it has become symbolic of innocence, purity, and virtue in modern history.

July
Chopard Red Carpet collection High Jewellery Necklace

Chopard Red Carpet collection High Jewellery Necklace with 33 cushion-shaped rubies 
totalling 64.12 carats, diamonds, and rubies of various cuts

Ruby

Symbolising passion, vitality, and wealth, the blood-red ruby was so fascinating and visceral in appeal to historical nobility, from Kublai Khan to the Indian maharajahs, that their obsession with it was the stuff of legends. Named from the Latin word “ruber” for “red”, the legendary gem is one of the oldest associated with royalty, and remains sought-after to this day.

August
Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Blés de Chanel Brins de Printemps earrings

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Blés de Chanel Brins de Printemps earrings in white gold with 
two marquise-cut peridots totalling 10.4 carats, other peridots, green tourmalines, aquamarines, and diamonds

Peridot

Called chrysolite in early writings, peridot was believed to wield powers against nightmares and the dark forces, and bring the wearer influence and success. Named from the Arabic word “faridat” for “gem”, it is the national gemstone of Egypt as it was first discovered nearly 4,000 years ago on an Egypt-owned island in the Red Sea, where stones were mined for the kings.

September
Cartier Magicien Incantation necklace

Cartier Magicien Incantation necklace in platinum with one 22.84-carat cushion-cut
Sri Lankan blue sapphire and diamonds. The necklace can be worn inverted along 
its radius and the sapphire may be fitted onto a ring

Sapphire

The sky blue colour of sapphire endowed it with a divine quality, and naturally, it became a royal gem for many cultures tracing back to the Middle Ages. Since then, it has been associated with numerous virtues that range from devotion and loyalty, to wisdom, justice, and prophecy. Its name has roots in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, meaning “blue stone”.

October
Louis Vuitton Blossom High Jewellery ring in white gold with a 2.9-carat indicolite tourmaline set onto a 5.05-carat petal-shaped opal along with diamonds

Louis Vuitton Blossom High Jewellery ring in white gold with a 2.9-carat indicolite tourmaline set onto a 5.05-carat petal-shaped opal along with diamonds

Opal

Referring to its play-of-colour property, opal’s name was derived from the Greek word “opallos”, which means “to see a change of colour”. Its stunning visual quality led it to become a talisman for strengthening both one’s eyesight and higher consciousness.

October
Boucheron 26 Vendôme Passementerie necklace in pink and white gold with one 2.02-carat oval cabochon pink tourmaline, five rubellites totalling 35.53 carats, spessartite garnets, multi-cut pink tourmalines, multi-colour sapphires, diamonds, and a rock crystal

Boucheron 26 Vendôme Passementerie necklace in pink and white gold with one 2.02-carat oval cabochon pink tourmaline, five rubellites totalling 35.53 carats, spessartite garnets, multi-cut pink tourmalines, multi-colour sapphires, diamonds, and a rock crystal

Tourmaline

Also a birthstone for October, tourmaline is historically associated with matters of the heart, and stands for humanitarian love and positivity. The gem’s name, born of the old Sinhalese word “turmali” for “mixed colours”, reflects its many attractive colour varieties.

November
Chanel Fine Jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion Solaire brooch in white gold with with a 123.5-carat carved yellow citrine, a 7.8-carat cushion-cut orange topaz, 
diamonds, and yellow sapphires

Chanel Fine Jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion Solaire brooch in white gold with
with a 123.5-carat carved yellow citrine, a 7.8-carat cushion-cut orange topaz, 
diamonds, and yellow sapphires

Topaz & Citrine

A gemstone with many colour varieties, topaz was prized in antiquity, with the opulent orangey-pink stone hailed as the imperial topaz by the Russian tsars. It is supposed to possess a warm and gentle solar energy, and helps to soothe, stimulate, and recharge the owner. Because the yellow-orange topaz was historically thought to be the same as citrine, the latter has also come to be known as November’s birthstone too. Regarded as the “healing quartz”, it is believed to have a healthful, encouraging influence.

December
Bulgari Magnificent Inspirations Fiore ingenuo High Jewellery necklace in white gold 
with carved turquoise inserts, one 9.39-carat trillion-cut tanzanite, diamonds, 
moonstones, and blue sapphires

Bulgari Magnificent Inspirations Fiore ingenuo High Jewellery necklace in white gold 
with carved turquoise inserts, one 9.39-carat trillion-cut tanzanite, diamonds, 
moonstones, and blue sapphires

Turquoise

Another gem that pre-dates written history is turquoise, which was revered as an ornamental and ceremonial stone, especially in ancient Persian, Egyptian, and American civilisations. Its name came from the French expression “pierre tourques”, meaning “Turkish stone”, as it was first traded from Persia through Turkey to Europe in the 17th century.

Text by Yanni Tan

This article was first published in WOW.

Happy Diamonds Watches

Chopard Happy Diamonds: Interview with Caroline Scheufele about the collection

For an aesthetic that is still fresh and beloved today, it is pretty hard to believe that Chopard’s Happy Diamonds collection has just turned 40 years old. Indeed a sight to behold, the maison’s concept of sparkling, free-moving diamonds exudes an inexplicable sense of joy that has continued to captivate and surprise throughout an impressive four decades.

Chopard Happy Spirit Pendants

Happy Spirit Pendants

This delightful quality belies the design’s sheer originality and unconventionality that remains unsurpassed until today. Copied or referenced umpteenth times, the Happy Diamonds concept has been written into Chopard’s historical legacy as one of its chief creative triumphs and an instrumental part of its wide-ranging design lexicon.

Born in 1976, the concept was the brainchild of Chopard’s in-house designer  Ronald Kurowski, who got the inspiration from watching how sunbeams danced across a waterfall during a walk in the Black Forest. Seeking to reproduce the magic of water droplets sparkling under the sunlight with rainbow colours, he dreamt up the concept of leaving diamonds free to float and whirl between two slices of sapphire crystals.

Chopard Happy Diamonds

First Happy Diamonds watches from 1976

Each diamond was encased in a gold capsule with a bevelled base, allowing the stones to move in any direction, spinning and twirling as they go.

For those who associate Happy Diamonds with feminine creations, it must be astonishing for them to learn that the concept was originally meant for a men’s timepiece. When Chopard stalwart Karin Scheufele saw the first completed Happy Diamonds watch, she exclaimed, “These diamonds are happiest when they are free!” – and thus the collection was named.

Since winning the prestigious Golden Rose of Baden-Baden the same year Happy Diamonds made its debut, the concept has gone on to evolve into a complete watch and jewellery collection, largely thanks to the efforts of Karin Scheufele’s daughter Caroline Scheufele.

Chopard Happy Fish Watch

Happy Fish Watch

The current Chopard co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele was just a teen when she set her eyes on the Happy Diamonds watch. “Being able to see the design and the inspiration come together to be produced into a timepiece was overwhelming and exciting, because the concept of having the diamonds dance between two sapphire crystals was new and refreshing,” she says.

Happy Diamonds Collections over the years

Happy Diamonds Collections over the years

The main person responsible for subsequent expressions of the original concept in jewellery and watch designs that became so warmly embraced worldwide, Scheufele created her first Happy Diamonds piece in the form of a clown with a tummy full of moving diamonds and colourful stones.

The success of this jewellery creation, initially produced as a one-off model for her own personal collection, led to the launch of the Happy Diamonds jewellery line in 1985, marking the beginning of jewellery-making at Chopard. The clown was followed by the elephant, the ladybird, the teddy bear, and of course, Scheufele’s much-cherished heart.

The later Happy Diamonds lines include Happy Sport, Happy Fish, Happy Spirit, Very Chopard, Happy 8, Happy Emotions, Happy Diamonds Good Luck Charms, and Happy Hearts.

Happy Clown Family

Happy Clown Family

This year, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the design, Chopard has launched an unprecedented innovation: a new prong setting for the free-roaming diamonds, which allows the stones to be larger than before, in a variety of sizes. They are featured in a romantic new jewellery collection, named Happy Dreams, that is reminiscent of fluffy clouds in the sky. The watchmaking department also presented a new ladies’ Happy Diamonds Icon watch that pays tribute to Chopard’s heritage by picking up the cushion shape of the very first model.

Recently in town for a VIP event, Scheufele shares her thoughts on her role in the evolution of Happy Diamonds, and the secrets behind its  remarkable success.

Caroline Scheufele

Caroline Scheufele

You’d initially sketched the Happy Diamonds into a clown. What inspired you to do that?

I have always loved the circus and watching the artistes, acrobats, animals, and clowns, especially the clowns because they make people happy. I created my first-ever design when I was 16, and it was a little clown with diamonds and precious stones moving in his belly. My dad saw the design and he had it made in our workshops as a surprise gift for Christmas. Some of our clients saw it and ordered it, and that sparked off the start of the jewellery at Chopard, because before this, we had no jewellery collection, only watches.

It seems that your creative involvement at Chopard began in your youth.

I love drawing and I have been designing since I was a young girl. I grew up in this family-owned company, and so I’ve been immersed in this creative state of mind from a very early age.

Personally, how much do you identify with the concept?

I would define myself as a free-spirited person.

Chopard Happy Curves Rings

Happy Curves Rings

Why do you think the Happy Diamonds concept is such a success and still evergreen in appeal over four decades?

It is such a unique concept that has become an icon, the DNA of the collection. Now the concept is recognisable whether it is expressed in the classic Happy Diamonds line of watches or jewellery, or Happy Sport watches. It is fun and makes people smile. We also keep proposing new designs for Happy Diamonds to our clients, with the latest being Happy Dreams.

What are your first thoughts when you unexpectedly see someone wearing a Happy Diamonds creation?

Happy! I am definitely elated to see someone wearing our Happy Diamonds collection, not only because the person is wearing my own creation, but also because it honours the hard work by the team, the skills of the artisans, the watchmakers’ knowledge, and the whole story behind it.

Talking about the new prong setting for your 40th anniversary collection, please take us through why it was conceived or necessary for the execution of the designs.

We decided to introduce a new prong setting for the 40th anniversary of Happy Diamonds so that the diamonds sparkle even more in their free and playful space, intensifying a wonderful spectrum of light as they spin.

How did you come up with the Happy Dreams idea?

I love clouds, their fluffiness, and the sky. It makes me feel peaceful and happy… I think many share this feeling.

Chopard Happy Hearts Bangles

Happy Hearts Bangles

Do you have a favourite Happy Diamonds watch or jewellery item that you always wear?

I don’t have a favourite one, and often it is my latest creation that becomes my favourite of the moment. These days, I usually wear the Happy Hearts collection – two sautoirs and lots of bangles that I love to stack. In terms of watches, I have a crush on the new Happy Diamonds Icon watch, with a square shape, which I wear all the time.

Do you think there is a type of personality suitable for Happy Diamonds, or there is a Happy Diamonds creation suitable for every type of personality?

This collection is very versatile and appeals to different personalities, styles, and ages,  which is what makes it so special.

What are you dreaming of creating next for the Happy Diamonds range?

That is a surprise for now! You will have to stay tuned for the launch of the new collections next year!

This article was first published in WOW.

Steely Resolve: Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin

The L.U. Chopard insignia may be subtle and simple, even unremarkable, but what it stands for is the complete opposite. This collection of timepieces is in fact Chopard’s most technically accomplished, most horologically beautiful. It is, after all, named after the company founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard. At its Fleurier and Geneva manufactures, Chopard carries out all the operations involved in watch production: movement construction, product design, gold smelting, case stamping and machining, movement components, traditional handcrafted decorations, surface treatments, polishing, assembly, adjustment, and quality control.

New to the L.U. Chopard line is the L.U.C Perpetual Twin (covered very briefly al BaselWorld). As its name suggests, this timepiece proffers the perpetual calendar complication, which displays the exact date in perpetuity. Day, date, month, and leap year indications are all clearly shown via two sub-dials marked in black, one each for the day and month, as well as a small black circular indicator for the leap years and a large date display. But the double-window display is not the reason why the watch is named Perpetual Twin. This has more to do with the watch’s movement than its dial display.

The movement, Calibre L.U.C 96.51-L, keeps the watch running for a maximum of 58 hours when fully wound. Here is where one of its most unique attributes can be found: A micro-rotor winds up the movement’s two barrels in what Chopard calls its patented Twin technology. Those familiar with Chopard’s watchmaking pursuits would recall that the manufacture is also known for its Quattro technology, which uses two sets of double stacked barrels for a whopping nine-day power reserve. Evidently, mainspring power is something of an obsession by the watchmakers at Chopard.

Technical matters aside, there is the all-important issue of finishing and decoration. In keeping with the strict criteria set by the manufacture, the movement comes with components that have hand-bevelled edges and surfaces that are either circular-grained or decorated with Côtes de Genève. It is also COSC-certified as Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who personally oversees the L.U.C line, believes in the importance of independent certification of timekeeping precision.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, perpetual calendar, moon phase indicator
  • Power Reserve: 58 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre 96.51-L COSC-certified perpetual calendar with 58-hour power reserve
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather with steel pin buckle

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Franck Muller

9 Stealth All-Black Watches: Dark Beasts

All-black watches are cool. It is that simple. Whether they sport in-house power plants and are the result of internal research and development or use third-party solutions, these watches are captivating. As we show in this spread engineered (and published) by WOW (World of Watches), there are plenty of forms for these dark horses of space-time to take. How did it all start? Well we won’t bore you with the details but watches with black dials offered better visibility for wearers and less glare to unwittingly call attention to the wearer.

These qualities appealed to the military mind of course and so of course many aviator timepieces had black dials. It wasn’t until 1972 that an all-black watch – with case, dial and bracelet entirely in black – emerged. That was the legendary Porsche Design Chronograph 1. Here are nine watches proudly flying the black flag into the 21st century.

BulgariBulgari Octo Ultranero Velocissimo

Bulgari Octo Ultranero Velocissimo

  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Automatic BVL 328 based on Zenith El Primero calibre
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Rubber
PaneraiPanerai Luminor 1950 10 Days

Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Ceramica

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, GMT, 24-hour hand, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 10 days
  • Movement: Automatic Panerai P.2003 calibre
  • Material: Black ceramic
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Buffalo, black
HYTHYT H4 Gotham

HYT H4 Gotham

  • Dimensions: 51mm
  • Functions: Retrograde hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding, HYT calibre
  • Material: 3DPT carbon
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Strap: Black rubber with integrated Nomex fabric
Franck MullerFranck Muller

Franck Muller Black Croco

  • Dimensions: 55mm x 39mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre FM 800
  • Material: PVD-treated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Crocodile, black
ChopardChopard Superfast Chrono Split Second

Chopard Superfast Chrono Split Second

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph with split seconds,
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Calfskin, black
BremontBremont ALT1-B

Bremont ALT1-B in DLC-coated steel; $9,000

  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre BE-54AE
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Calfskin, black
Bell & RossBell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: NA
  • Movement: Automatic calibre BR-CAL.313
  • Material: Carbon, titanium and ceramic
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Alligator and grey rubber
MontblancMontblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC

Montblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC

  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, second time zone
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre MB 24.05
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather, black
SevenFridaySevenFriday V3/01

SevenFriday V3/01

  • Dimensions: 44.3mm x 49.7mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day/night indicator
  • Power Reserve: 40 hours
  • Movement: Automatic Miyota 82S7
  • Material: PVD-treated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather, black

Story Credits

Photography Greenplasticsoldiers

Art Direction Joaelle Ng

This article was first published in WOW.

Chopard Supports Austria for Beijing-Paris Rally’16

What does one do when faced with what is arguably the toughest classic car race of the world? Once the sport of privileged gentlemen and the aristocracy, common folks shied away from races like the Beijing-Paris rally and remained mainly on the sidelines. Watchmaker and jeweler Chopard is certainly not sitting it out and neither are our two intrepid Austrian drivers. For this year’s Beijing-Paris Rally – i.e. possibly world’s hardest classic car race although the Dakar rally is arguably tougher for all classes of vehicles – Chopard was the proud sponsor of the Austrian team as they embarked on the challenge from June 12 to June 17.

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Chrono

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Chrono

The driver, Ingo Strolz, conquered the race with his co-driver and mechanic Werner Gassner, while armed with their Mille Miglia GTS Chrono. Incidentally, the Mille Miglia is another classic car race that’s no cakewalk either and Chopard is right in the thick of that action too. The car of choice for the Austrian duo was a 99-year-old chain-driven American La France Tourer Speedster, which was interestingly the oldest car of the race. The duo traversed 11 countries, beginning in Beijing and moving through Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland and eventually ending at Place Vendome in Paris.

Driving through the Gobi Desert.

Driving through the Gobi Desert.

“Most of the time we had only 3 – 4 hours sleep per night because after the daily stage there were repairs to do on the car as well as maintenance works. The race is an extreme challenge for humans and machines, in the Gobi desert there are no streets, only sand tracks and it is hard to navigate. Our car does neither have a tachometer nor a GPS or any other devices. Timing is very important to us. Nevertheless, sand and hard shocks made high demands on the watches,“ says Ingo Strolz.

Ingo Strolz and Werner Gassner.

Ingo Strolz and Werner Gassner.

Chopard also interviewed the Austrian team, who revealed the challenges they faced during races, as well as their opinion on watches.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Chopard Resmi Mendukung Austria Di Rel Beijing-Paris 2016

Luxuo World of Watches Rolex Daytona closeup 2016

10 Important Collector Watch Calibres

Car nuts rattle off engine codes as a special lingo that authenticates membership within the tribe; trump card hoarding schoolboys of an earlier age would memorise service designations of combat jets, as well as such vital stats as engine thrust and capacity armament. Watch appreciation too, has a nerdier aspect that finds parallel obsession with calibres, mainly addressed by their number codes: 2824, 2892, 7750, 4130, etc.

Calibres, or movements, are the hearts of mechanical watches and the very engines that divide the continuum of existence into consistent intervals that we might know when it is that we are meeting for lunch.

As has been widely reported, though there are myriad brands in the watchmaking business, at least where the Swiss are concerned, most of the movements come from a single source: ETA. A movement maker within the Swatch Group, ETA supplies movements that can be found in around seven out of 10 Swiss watches, never mind what brand it says on the dial. Of these, the 2824 and 7750 come to mind as being among the most ubiquitous. The self-winding 2824 found in three-hand watches, and the 7750 in automatic chronographs, pretty much cover the field. We will not be including these two movements in our list, as they belong more properly to “movements you already know about”. Rather, our list includes movements that are noteworthy, from a collector’s standpoint for their relevance to the brand or particular collection; or that they represent a milestone in the ever-progressing evolution of the mechanical movement. As a whole, this ensemble was also chosen as a broad survey of watchmaking, old and new.

Patek Philippe Calibre 240Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240

Sitting at the pinnacle of fine Swiss watchmaking, Patek Philippe is renowned for its elegant high complication watches. Such a feat would not be possible were it not for movements like the 240, a trusty, self-winding ultra-thin movement designed to take on more modules for ever more complications, while still looking svelte, and gala-ready. Unlike most self-winding movements sporting a full-sized rotor, the 240’s is a micro-rotor, not stacked on top of the movement (thus adding height) but recessed on the periphery, hence contributing towards a slim profile. At the same time, it does not obscure the beauty of the wonderfully decorated 240 when viewed through a crystal case back, though the rotor too is a thing of beauty in itself, a solid piece of 22K gold.Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240-automatic-movement

Dating from 1977, the 240 has been updated over the years and today features the Spiromax (silicon) balance spring, which offers precision in operation and manufacture as well as resistance against magnetic fields. At its simplest, the 240 drives several of Patek Philippe’s time-only watches such as the Ref. 7200R ladies’ Calatrava.

That said, the 240 was designed as a base calibre to accommodate complication modules while retaining a slim profile. In Patek Philippe’s present catalogue, there exists no less than seven variants with an impressive array of complications, from the 240 HU with world time and day/night indication, 240 PS C with date hand and small seconds, up to the 240 Q offering moon phase and perpetual calendar! With the latter, the number of components had grown by more than 70 per cent, to 275 parts, and movement height increased from 1.61mm to 3.88mm. Because of the added energy required to drive these added components, power reserve had also dipped, but remains at an agreeable minimum of 38 hours.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with silicon hairspring and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 27.5mm x 2.53mm

Number of parts: 161

Rolex Calibre 4130Rolex-Calibre-4130

Even in the relatively dignified realm of luxury watch collecting (high expense and a Britannica’s worth of technical history and cult lore promotes sobriety), there are fanboys, and the objects of their fevered affection falls upon Rolexes, not a few. Lusted after at a higher pitch even in this company, is the Cosmograph Daytona, and this was recently demonstrated once again at BaselWorld 2016 when the announcement of a new steel cased Daytona with white dial and black ceramic bezel sent the watch press and enthusiast community into another fit of ecstasy.

Why is this? Some credit surely accrues to the movement behind the silvered/lacquered face: the Calibre 4130.Rolex-Calibre-4130-Daytona-Movement

The Daytona wasn’t always mated to the 4130. Introduced in 1963, it was driven by a hand-wound Valjoux movement till 1988 when it was cased with Zenith’s self-winding El Primero movement (also featured on our list). However, Rolex famously detuned the movement from its native 5Hz to a more conventional 4Hz, while swapping out more than 50 per cent of the El Primero’s original parts. Major surgery; but still, not a Rolex movement. That would come in 2000, in the shape of the 4130, ticking all the right boxes: self-winding, column wheel control, vertical clutch for smooth starts, and Parachrom hairspring designed to perform well against magnetism, temperature variation, and shock. Rolex even reduced the number of parts enough that it could fit in a longer mainspring to achieve an impressive 72 hours of power reserve. It is a chronometer too, naturally.

Specifications

Automatic chronograph movement beating at 4Hz, with 72-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30.5mm x 6.5mm

Number of parts: 201

Audemars Piguet Calibre 3120Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120

Often banded together with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin as the “Big Three” of high watchmaking, Audemars Piguet is phenomenally plugged into pop culture while remaining firmly anchored in high watchmaking orthodoxy. Like no other, its long resume of firsts in watchmaking innovations and high complications sits very comfortably with associations on the funkier end of the cultural spectrum, being a perennial favourite of sports and rap royalty. Part of this comes from dynamic thinking, like in 1972, when Audemars Piguet practically created a new genre of the luxury sport watch when it introduced a steel watch, finished to the standard and priced accordingly, as one of gold: thus the Royal Oak (RO) was born. Together with the burlier Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) chronograph that came on the scene in 1993, and in an almost unlimited arsenal of limited editions in various colour combinations, the RO and ROO are wont to steal the thunder from the company’s arguably more accomplished collections. The movement that unites the handsome duo, is the self-winding Calibre 3120.Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120-movement

Like Patek Philippe’s 240 described above, the 3120 is also a base calibre meant to accommodate more modules for additional complications. What’s different is that the 3120 was not made thin, but robust, including a balance bridge that anchors the oscillator securely on two points, wound by a full-sized solid gold rotor. Its thickness is suited for the masculine, sporty RO and hulkier ROO. In the latter’s case, because the chronograph is a module stacked above the 3120, the date display looks recessed – a quirk that has done nothing to dampen its popularity.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with
60-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 26.6mm x 4.26mm

Number of parts: 280

Zenith El Primero Calibre 400Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400

A rock star among movements in more ways than one, the El Primero was unleashed to the world in a relatively low-key press conference in January 1969, which belied its ground-breaking specs. Not only was it the world’s first automatic integrated chronograph movement, it also featured an escapement that blitzed along at an unprecedented 5Hz which offered better chronometry and the ability to measure elapsed times to an accuracy of a tenth of a second. An engineering coup; but Oscar Wilde hit the nail on its head when he complained that people knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. In 1975, Zenith’s then-American owners decided to focus on making quartz watches and ordered the El Primero’s production equipment dismantled and sold as scrap. Instead of complying, an intrepid employee spirited away the El Primero’s technical plans and tooling bit by bit after work. Thanks to Charles Vermot, the El Primero resurfaced in 1984.Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400-movement

Today, the El Primero remains among the fastest beating mechanical movements at 5Hz, in the company of a few brands that have caught up with high beat movements in recent years. Though it started life as a chronograph, El Primero can now also be found in Zenith’s time-only watches such as the Synopsis, which drops the chronograph function but features an updated escapement with silicon wheel and lever visible through an opening on the dial. It has also made its way into the watches of Zenith’s sister brands within the LVMH group: TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Bulgari.

Specifications

Automatic chronograph movement beating at 5Hz,
with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30mm x 6.6mm

Number of parts: 278

A. Lange & Söhne Calibre L951.6A-Lange-Sohne-Calibre-L951-6

The beautiful images and videos about Lange’s watches and movements belie a much more dramatic history that the Lange manufacture shares with its home city, Dresden. Towards the end of World War II, the city was obliterated by aerial bombing. Lange too ceased to exist after it was nationalised together with other companies into a watchmaking consortium to serve the needs of the Eastern Bloc. But both Dresden and Lange have since regained their place in the world with the end of the Cold War. The former, rebuilt brick by brick – from original rubble, in the case of the magnificent Frauenkirche church; while Lange has shrugged off the mass market tickers it made in the Communist era to return to the high watchmaking of its roots. It is history that informs the ethic at Lange, and the difference this makes is amply demonstrated in Lange’s interpretation of the ubiquitous wristwatch chronograph: the Datograph Up/Down.

While the field is largely divided between sports chronographs made for everyday practicality and ruggedness or daintier dress chronographs meant to add a dash of dynamism to a formal getup, the Datograph is a little different in approach. On the outside, it is almost austere in its devotion to function, driven by visual clarity and balance without anything superfluous. Yet, turn the watch over and the Calibre L951.6 astounds with baroque richness. Lange doesn’t seem to care about ease of manufacture, since the L951.6 has got more parts than many perpetual calendars, all finished with stoic patience and consummate skill. At the same time, it brims with technical innovation: unlike most chronographs where the elapsed minutes is a dragging hand, that on the Datograph jumps from marker to marker, making for much clearer readings. It’s just one of a series of instances where Lange spares no effort in creating innovative solutions to easily overlooked issues, while remaining well within the old school realm of mechanical craft. Moreover, not only is the L951.6 an in-house movement, Lange is also in the even smaller class of companies that make their own hairsprings. No shortcuts.

Specifications

Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with big date and power reserve indicator (60 hours)

Dimensions: 30.6mm x 7.9mm

Number of parts: 451

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854/1Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1

In an industry where most watch brands source their movements from other companies, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the technical superpower with more movements than we’ve got fingers to count them (more than a thousand different calibres, in its 180-year history, with hundreds of patents shepherding the evolution of mechanical watchmaking), and distinguished names on its client list include the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier. Jaeger-LeCoultre today boasts a most expansive catalogue that showcases its deep expertise in diverse disciplines, covering high complications, artisan craft, and gem-setting. Of these, its most iconic watch is the Reverso; and even here, this venerable model exists in countless iterations, from petite quartz models for ladies, to high complication models with perpetual calendars, triple dial faces, repeaters, and multi-axis tourbillons spinning in cage within cage. Do we pick the movement one ought to know by drawing movement numbers out of a fish bowl? No. If we have to choose, we’d pick the Calibre 854/1.Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1-movement

The original Reverso was created in 1931 in answer to complaints by British army officers stationed in India over having their precious wristwatches smashed during energetic games of polo. With the Reverso, simply flipping the case over protected the fragile crystal and watch dial, while the metal case back that now faced the outside could be engraved with unit insignias or loving words. Outside the polo experience however, we think it more practical to have a second dial in place of bare steel, tracking a second time zone.

Enter the Reverso Duoface of 1994, refreshed in recent years with an ultra-thin and special edition blue dial versions, displaying time on each of its two sides. The GMT function is among the most practical of complications in this global village century, and while every other GMT watch in the business shows home time either via pointer, or window on one dial, the Reverso is alone in spacing this out over two. It may not be as efficient as checking dual time zones in a single glance, but the clarity can’t be beat. And because the Duoface sports contrasting dials, e.g. silvered dial and black on the reverse, it is essentially two watches in one, able to match near a complete range of dress codes and occasions. All this is made possible with the hand-wound 854/1, a single movement driving two time displays. Time can be set normally by pulling the crown, or when passing time zones, the hour hand in the second display can be advanced in one-hour jumps by pushing the flat pusher on the case side.

Specifications

Hand-wound movement beating at 3Hz, with dual time zone and 45-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 3.8mm thick

Number of parts: 180

Montblanc Minerva Calibre 16.29Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29

There is a logic to progress that is unflinching, almost ruthless in its efficiency. Making much more of something in shorter time, for much less, is an advantage that is very hard to pass up. For this reason, mass produced commodity is stamping out the niceties of artisan production everywhere. Yet, thanks to companies like Montblanc, industrial prowess is sometimes lent towards preserving precious pockets of artisan production so that future generations may yet wonder and actually acquire heritage objects of rare beauty.

Montblanc churns out timepieces by the tens of thousands a year from its facility at Le Locle. It also has a manufacture at Villeret (formerly Minerva SA before it was acquired by the Richemont Group in 2006 and turned over to Montblanc) that produces only around a couple of hundred timepieces a year – that’s about as many as possible, doing things the old way, everything in-house, with classical tools and machines, largely by hand!Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29-movement

Minerva was best known for its chronographs, and the Calibre 16.29 that is used in the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is a gorgeous sample of classical watchmaking. Based on a movement made by Minerva in the 1930s, the 16.29 is huge, filling up the 44mm watch case. There’s a column wheel, lateral coupling instead of vertical clutch favoured by its modern brethren, and the huge balance with weight screws oscillates at a stately 2.5Hz for maximum visual drama. But classical architecture is not the 16.29’s sole merit: lush finishing aside, the serpentine profile of its bridges and levers, including the signature devil’s tail of the chronograph hammer, makes many other chronograph movements
look ungainly in comparison.

Specifications

Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 38.4mm diameter

Number of parts: 252

Chopard L.U.C Calibre 98.01-LChopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L

Some companies just have the knack for juggling diverse competencies. Among these, Chopard could have been content with the knowledge that its haute joaillerie collections are no strangers to red carpet galas, while its Happy Diamonds watches are extremely popular as everyday luxury. But the latter can no more lay claim to “authentic watchmaking” than could the Swatch watch, though both are phenomenal success stories for their respective companies. To address this, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele established the Chopard Manufacture in 1996 to create “serious” watches fitted with movements designed and manufactured in-house. Since then, Chopard Manufacture has kept the steady pace of a long-distance runner, creating no less than 10 base movements with some 60 variations, cased in beautifully finished, classically styled watches of varying degrees of complication under the L.U.C label, the initials of the original company founder.Chopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L-movement

Of these, Chopard’s 8Hz is a dazzler for sure; but for us, the L.U.C Calibre 98.01-L beating inside Chopard’s Quattro watch is more in character with the company’s bold gambit and tireless consistency. Quattro is Italian for “four”. In the 98.01-L, which was introduced in 2005, that refers to the movement’s four mainspring barrels coupled in two stacks – a world’s first! According to Chopard, each mainspring is 47cm long, and it’s no small feat to squeeze four of them into a 28mm movement that is just 3.7mm thick. As such, the watch boasts a power reserve of nine days when fully wound. What is noteworthy is that this is achieved despite having the movement beat at a relatively quick (and energy-hungry) 4Hz. Moreover, while accuracy can suffer in watches with long power reserves as the energy wanes, the 98.01-L manages to be a COSC-certified chronometer. Add to that, quality and provenance validated by the Geneva Seal, and no room is left to doubt Chopard’s intent and capability in authentic watchmaking.

Specifications

Hand-wound movement beating at 4Hz, with four barrels and nine-day power reserve

Dimensions: 28mm x 3.7mm

Number of parts: 223

Cartier Calibre 1904 MCCartier-Calibre-1904-MC

Cartier has an enviable history of supplying the most exquisite jewellery to royalty, and commercial success as a luxury purveyor to, well, the whole world. Its timepieces, too, have staked their place in watchmaking history. The Santos created in 1904 is one of the earliest true wristwatches (as opposed to pocket watches bound to the wrist by leather straps) for men, originally made for Alberto Santos-Dumont who flew the first true (powered) aeroplanes.

Still, for too long, Cartier hadn’t gotten the respect it deserved, not least for its Parisian (not Swiss) address, and that its most dazzling timepieces and complication creations, particularly those produced between 1998 and 2008 under the “Collection Privée Cartier Paris” (CPCP) label, used movements from companies like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Piaget, though Cartier did the finishing.Cartier-Calibre-1904-MC-movement

The sniggers stopped when Cartier introduced its first Geneva Seal watch in 2008, the Ballon Bleu Flying Tourbillon. However, it is a more mundane watch that is the real hitter into the heartland of Swiss watchmaking: the Calibre de Cartier, launched two years later. Though a humble three-hand with date, it is as pivotal as first love, containing Cartier’s first self-winding manufacture movement, designed, developed and made in-house: the Calibre 1904 MC.

Cartier now has a base movement from which to venture into higher complications, while broadening its reach tremendously, in bringing to market reasonably priced watches with authentic manufacture movements. To this end, the 1904 MC was engineered for reliability, ease of service, and efficient mass production. Performance also factored prominently in its design – though the 1904 MC boasts two mainspring barrels, they are arrayed in parallel, achieving only a modest power reserve of 48 hours, but energy delivery is made more consistent over a broad spread of its state of wind, contributing significantly to accuracy. The 1904 MC is also used in 2014’s Calibre de Cartier Diver, which meets the ISO 6425 international quality standard for diver’s watches.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with twin barrels and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 25.6mm x 4mm

Number of parts: 186

IWC Calibre 52010IWC-Calibre-52010

Even among storied brands, IWC stands out for how deeply it has written itself into watchmaking history. Timepieces for air force pilots just as air power was gaining traction among military planners, watches for scuba diving, timepieces for engineers as we turned a corner into the modern technological age – individuals engaged in pushing boundaries on land, in the air, and under the sea need wristwatches and IWC has enriched its own heritage and know-how by making purpose-built wristwatches for them. For a dressier pick, the Portugieser is among the most iconic and best loved. The original introduced in the 1930s was borne from the need for a marine-chronometer grade wristwatch, then only possible by casing a large, high-quality pocket watch movement in a wristwatch case.IWC-Calibre-52010-movement

This collection has been characterised by large cases and IWC’s largest movements ever since, including 2000’s Portugieser Automatic with a 50000-calibre movement that boasts seven-day power reserve and a highly efficient Pellaton winding system. The calibre 52010 featured here is a 2015 update with further technical enhancement and better finishing. Ceramic parts have been added to the winding system, making it virtually impervious to wear and tear; the faster balance now beats at 4Hz for better accuracy. Moreover, 52010 has two mainspring barrels to supply the same seven days’ power reserve with greater consistency for improved chronometry. IWC also partly skeletonised the rotor so the improved finishing of the movement is more readily evident.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with two barrels and power reserve indicator (seven days)

Dimensions: 37.8mm x 7.5mm

Number of parts: 257

This article was first published in WOW.

Paris Couture Week: Chopard High Jewelry Shines

Ralph & Russo, together with Chopard, are known to host some of the most elaborate and luxurious dinner parties, which usually involve the rich and famous. Their latest event earlier this month was no exception. Held on 4 July at the Georges in Paris, the prestigious dinner saw esteemed celebrities the likes of actors Sophie Marceau and Sonam Kapoor, alongside Victoria’s Secret model Jourdan Dunn wearing Chopard’s stunning creations.

Sonam Kapoor;Caroline Scheufele;Jourdan Dunn

(Left to right) Sonam Kapoor, Caroline Scheufele, Jourdan Dunn

Chopard’s precious jewels also made an appearance at The Art of Giving Love Ball at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris to raise funds for the Naked Heart Foundation, an initiative by supermodel Natalia Vodianova to raise funds for children with special needs. Graced by the powerful, such as Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, the supermodel brandished her own power look, with a pair of dazzling drop earrings.

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 06: Natalia Vodianova attends the "The Art of Giving" Love Ball Naked Heart foundation : Photo Call as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: Natalia Vodianova attends the “The Art of Giving” Love Ball Naked Heart foundation : Photo Call as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

Porsche, Chopard Honor Le Mans With Limited Editions

The Le Mans 24-hour race is possibly the ultimate on-track test for drivers out there – forcing them to undergo intense non-stop racing in order to challenge the endurance of both man and machine. Speaking on non-stop, Porsche has been enjoying a non-stop winning spree here for a long time already, enjoying a record-breaking 18th victory at this year’s race. Coupled with that win, though, Porsche and their official timing partner Chopard are announcing limited editions inspired by endurance racing. One of this is the limited edition called the Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition, and the other is the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

The Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition

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Since 1964, the Porsche 911 has always kept its basic outline and engine position, proving that it maintained an enduring appeal and stature from the very start. Even then, the special exclusive arm of Porsche aimed to create a model that can enjoy the best possible track performance on the road. In other words, the goal was always to create a race car that was also road-legal. A sneak peek was offered at Le Mans but it will be properly showcased at next weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Taking the Carrera S as a starting point for further modification, it keeps the stock 3-liter flat-six twin turbo powerplant. This gives it 420hp as well as a 191mph top speed; power and the acceleration are improved via a revised chassis.

The model rides 20mm lower than standard, and comes with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and Active Suspension Management systems. With this, power is always going to the wheel with the most traction, and wheels can be pushed up or down to either ensure contact with the road, or cancel out excessive force. It also introduces rear-wheel steering as standard. This provides quite a bit of flexibility in the various scenarios encountered on the road.

There’s also the Sports Chrono package, allowing the owner to time laps, perform racing starts, and even have a ‘boost function’ at their command. This function is entitled the “Sports Response” and will push out everything the engine’s got in one 20-second blast upon activation.

The interior will be fitted with black leather and subtle red accents, as well as carbon fiber. For the sake of the driver, there are quite a few comforts such as a sliding sunroof and parking sensors. Even more of a joy for serious drivers though, is the inclusion of seven-speed manual transmission as standard.

The Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition

Superfast Chrono Porsche Motorsport 919 Black Edition - 1 - Black - 168535-3005

As the official timing partner for Porsche, Chopard aims to celebrate their legacy of speed with their own Superfast watch collection. The Black Edition is a 100-piece limited series exclusively available at their boutiques. It combines the aesthetic codes of the new Porsche prototype with the special precision for which the watch company is well known.

Sketch - 1 - Superfast - Case 1

A sleek 45mm diameter case made of titanium houses the Chopard Calibre 03.05M. This mechanism was desgined like an authentic engine and features a self-winding chronograph movement delivering a substantial 60-hour power reserve. It also features a flyback function. To further improve on its endurance, the case has also been bead-blasted and blackened by a DLC (diamond-like carbon) treatment – ensuring scratch-resistance. It is water resistant to 100 meters so you can go swimming with it quite safely.

This standout chronograph is designed mainly for the passionate racer in mind, even coming with a black rubber strap inspired by slick competition racing tires. No doubt Chopard Co-President Karl-Frederich Scheufele’s own love of racing played a part in the development of the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

Here’s a video that describes the relationship.

Mobile Charm: Chopard Happy Diamonds Turns 40

Forty years ago, watchmaker and jeweler Chopard debuted its first Happy Diamonds timepiece, creating what would become an icon in the world of watch and jewelry. The word ‘icon’ is frequently abused but even rival jewelers will agree that the Happy Diamonds concept was a game-changer. The original design, created for men and later introduced for women, won the coveted Golden Rose of Baden-Baden back in 1976 and featured diamonds that moved freely. Today, the Happy Diamonds series is immediately recognizable as a Chopard innovation.

Inspired be the sparkle of water droplets as they burst from a waterfall in the famed German Black Forest, Chopard designer Ronald Kurowski came up with a design that allowed the diamonds to whirl above the dial and recreate that magical effect he saw. His realization that “Diamonds are happier when they’re free”, has allowed the brand to create a range of watches, necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings over the years.

The original Happy Diamonds timepieces by Chopard in 1976.

The original Happy Diamonds timepieces by Chopard in 1976.

Using the original cushion shape, the contemporary Happy Diamonds watch is a ladies’ timepiece that is sure to sparkle in any watch collection. Similar to the original timepiece, the updated design features 15 mobile prong-set diamonds, which in all honesty are the stars of the show here, that come in two different sizes.The diamonds are kept away from the hour and minute hands, thanks to two central rings that are (surprise, surprise) set with diamonds.

While the original design featured a black dial, the revisited Happy Diamonds watch boasts a white mother-of-pearl backdrop. Like the original, the timepiece uses a 18k white gold case but now adds a bezel that features prong-set diamonds accentuating the curves of the watch. More diamonds are featured on the crown, because, well, why not. The final element that allows the timepiece to sit comfortably on your wrist, is the black brushed canvas trap, ensuring that the Happy Diamonds can spread the joy, day or night.

The cushion-shaped Happy Diamonds timepiece is limited to 150 pieces and is sold exclusively at Chopard boutiques.

Final Cut: 4 Red Carpet Trends Cannes 2016

Ah the red carpet and the beautiful women, designer gowns and gems worth millions drawn to it. It takes some time to sift through the images and galleries to find the trends that we know you love but someone has to do it.

We covered the yellow trend starting strong on opening night and you would be forgiven for overlooking several other trends. As the festival continued, the designers sent their best designs out and we were treated to more trends. We take a look at the four trends you may have missed.

Best Foot Forward

From left: Karlie Kloss (Marchesa gown with Chopard jewelry); Bella Hadid (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Alessandra Ambrosio (Redemption gown and Boucheron Jewelry); Izabel Goulart (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Ana Beatriz Barros (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Karlie Kloss (Marchesa gown with Chopard jewelry); Bella Hadid (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Alessandra Ambrosio (Redemption gown and Boucheron Jewelry); Izabel Goulart (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Ana Beatriz Barros (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

You could call Angelina Jolie the pioneer of leg flashers since she did bring this trend back in vogue at the Oscars in 2013. Three years on and it is far from over. In fact, if Bella Hadid’s dress is any indication, the slits just keep getting higher… Of course, these are models we speak of so naturally they really do have some of the best gams in the world. Just like those slits, where they end no one knows…

Belle of the Ball

From left: Blake Lively (Vivienne Westwood gown); Elle Fanning (Valentino gown); Jourdan Dunn (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Blake Lively (Vivienne Westwood gown); Elle Fanning (Valentino gown); Jourdan Dunn (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

We fell in love with several of these dresses that would have been a young girl’s fantasy. From Blake Lively in her Cinderella-esque gown to Elle Fanning who looked whimsical, the fairy-tale princesses made the red carpet their own and the pictures didn’t disappoint.

The Naked Dress

From left: Blake Lively (Atelier Versace gown); Kendall Jenner (Cavalli Couture gown); Bella Hadid (Cavalli Couture gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Blake Lively (Atelier Versace gown); Kendall Jenner (Cavalli Couture gown); Bella Hadid (Cavalli Couture gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

There are nude colored dresses and then there are the naked dresses. As risky to wear as the thigh-high slits, this requires a certain amount of bravado —and the confidence to go commando — to pull off. While some chose to use strategically placed panels to pull off this look, others went all out.

Suit Up

From left: Susan Sarandon (Saint Laurent suit); Victoria Beckham (Victoria Beckham Jumpsuit and Chopard jewelry); Charlize Theron (Christian Dior Couture and Cartier jewelry). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Susan Sarandon (Saint Laurent suit); Victoria Beckham (Victoria Beckham Jumpsuit and Chopard jewelry); Charlize Theron (Christian Dior Couture and Cartier jewelry). Images from Runway Manhattan.

This one made us wonder if Barney Stinson decided to switch professions and dress Hollywood for a change. This look proved to be more controversial than the high slits or the naked dress. With a strict rule in place for all, the stars were expected to turn up in black tie appropriate attire and some of the ladies decided to walk the path less traveled. Forgoing the heavy gowns, Susan Sarandon and Victoria Beckham led the way in standing the dress code on its head with their pantsuits. While we think they looked just as elegant on the red carpet as anyone in a frock this year, if you take a look at the background, you’ll see why this generally is not a great idea. On that note, yes even the photographers at these events follow the dress code.

Best Accessories: 3 Picks from Cannes 2016

We have kicked off Day One of the Cannes Film Festival and it has been a treat to see the style stars work their magic. It’s time to pay the beautiful accessories some attention and shine the light on three actresses who impressed us, as they worked the red carpet.

Naomi Watts wearing Bulgari's High Jewelry collection.

Naomi Watts wearing Bulgari’s High Jewelry collection.

First on the list, is Naomi Watts with Bulgari. Her one-of-a kind statement necklace, Italian Extravaganza, stood out against her blonde hair and porcelain skin. The high jewelry necklace must have been heavy but she showed no signs of fatigue— what a pro. The final count on that dazzler? We spy 130 carats of amethysts, 35 carats of rubellites, 52.79 carats of aquamarines and 6.13 carats of diamonds. She topped it off with a pair of round brilliant cut diamonds in platinum from Bulgari’s high jewelry collection.

Julianne Moore wearing Chopard's Green Carpet Collection.

Julianne Moore wearing Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection.

Next up, is Oscar wnner Julianne Moore. She completed her outfit with a pair of emerald earrings and a ring from Chopard’s new Green Carpet Collection. The capsule collection will be launched officially May 14 so this serves as a teaser to what is to come. The pear-shaped emeralds — 10 and 11 carats each — are surrounded by marquise cut diamonds. The ring, in 18-carat white gold, features a 10.3-carat cushion-shaped emerald and marquise-cut diamonds. To learn more about the emeralds and Chopard’s collaboration with Gemfields, click here.

Jessica Chastain in Piaget's High Jewelry collection.

Jessica Chastain in Piaget’s High Jewelry collection.

The final stunner that caught our attention is Jessica Chastain. Her Piaget necklace from the brand’s high jewelry collection stood out against her brightly hued Armani Privé gown. The simple and elegant necklace was the only accessory she wore that night and we say it was an excellent choice.

To find out more about our list of the 10 best dressed on the red carpet, click here.

Porsche Turns in Heroic 6 Hours of Spa Race

It looks like Porsche is well placed to take the lead for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 after managing to finish the incident-strewn 6 Hours of Spa. Audi, who won the race, is the main threat now.

After clocking an impressive opening race in Silverstone, in which Brendon Hartley clocked the fastest lap of the race, the Porsche team clinched the surprising second place at the World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa on 7 May 2016 despite several technical difficulties. Technical difficulties is putting it mildly of course.

Basically, the No. 2 Porsche 919’s hybrid system failed at the start of the race but somehow it managed to cross the line in second place anyway. This means Porsche somehow ran more than 5 hours of the 6-hour race on half the power it had and still managed the beat everyone other than Audi.

Porsche 919 Hybrid,

Acknowledged as one of the finest in the world, the Spa-Francorchamps track, or “Toboggan of the Ardenes”, is extremely technical with its straight lines and rapid curves. Jacky Ickx, a longstanding Chopard ambassador, is one of the only two drivers to have won on both the old 14.1km and the new 7km circuits at Spa-Francorchamps.

As track temperatures rose to a scorching 50ºC, the warmer conditions provided the team an opportunity to prepare for the gruelling 24 hours at Le Mans. Five hours in, the number 66 GTE Pro Ford GT, driven by Stefan Muecke, suffered an awful crash while exiting Eau Rouge towards Raidillon, the track’s infamously dangerous section. The spin left him impacting the tire barriers at high speed, and fortunately the passenger’s side of the car took the heaviest damage.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Brandon Hartley led comfortably in the early stages of the race, but his teammates weren’t as fortunate. Timo Bernhard picked up a puncture from debris and had to cruise back to the pits and Webber suffered the same fate in his number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Even with an electrical issue, the number 2 Porsche team of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb managed to finish an impressive second behind the race-winning Audi.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Official timing partner of Porsche Motorsport, Chopard, is also confident of Porsche Motorsports’ abilities to perform at the French race. To date, the German racing team brags the most wins at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Chopard Reveals Green Carpet Collection at Cannes

In honor of its official partnership with Eco-Age for the Cannes Film Festival, Chopard will be announcing a new milestone in its Journey to Sustainable Luxury. During the festival, the Swiss luxury watch and jewelry company will launch its new collaboration with Gemfields.

The new capsule collection, the Green Carpet Collection, will be unveiled on May 14 during a lunch hosted by Caroline Scheufele, Colin & Livia Firth. The collection is part of the brand’s Red Carpet Collection and will showcase several exquisite emeralds from Gemfields. As the leading supplier of responsibly sourced and ethical colored gemstones, Gemsfields collaboration with Chopard ensures that the everyone involved in the supply chain are taken care of.Gemfields-Emeralds-from-the-mine

Thanks to its efforts and partnership with Eco-Age, Chopard — official partner of the festival since 1998 — holds the title of being the first company that has provided support to mining communities. Before the collection is unveiled, a piece from the Green Carpet Collection will be worn by an Oscar winning actress during the opening night of the festival — which will be taking place later today.

6 Métiers d’Arts Monkey Year Watches

The year of the monkey began several months ago but that doesn’t mean its too late for you to get some arm candy featuring exceptional artwork. We bring you six timepieces that combine the art with the zodiac in a sophisticated way.

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the MonkeyChopard-Monkey-Business

Reprising the Japanese art of lacquer painting, the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Monkey depicts a scene considered particularly auspicious: A monkey gathering eight peaches. This symbolises longevity and good fortune since peaches stand for good health and eight is a lucky number. Chopard worked with the Yamada Heiando lacquerware firm, which happens to be the official purveyor to the Japanese imperial family.

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief MonkeyJaquet-Droz-Monkey-Business

The incredibly lifelike Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey resembles a mini-diorama, the kind you might find in a natural history museum. No less than four métiers d’art techniques were employed in its making: mother-of-pearl marquetry (on the peach tree), hand-engraving and sculpture in relief (on the macaque and branch), and lacquering (on the dial). Two versions exist, one in white gold and the other in red gold, each limited to 28 pieces.

Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM850Panerai-Monkey-Business

Panerai’s tradition of making Luminor 1950 Sealand models engraved with animals of the Chinese zodiac continues this year. It began with the Year of the Ox in 2009. This year, PAM850 bears a picture of a monkey surrounded by peach blossoms. While the subject engraved on the case cover is indisputably Chinese in style, the technique used is Italian, involving the hammering of gold threads into hand-chiselled grooves.

Ulysse Nardin Classico Year of the MonkeyUlysse-Nardin-Monkey-Business

Going for a more comic strip-like style as opposed to attempting to create a lifelike image, Ulysse Nardin presents a monkey motif that is alert, lithe, and impish yet artistic. This dial had been created for Ulysse Nardin by sister firm and dial specialist, Donze Cadrans, which used the champlevé technique. Chiselling grooves on the dial and filling them with vitreous enamel, the background lends a nice contrast to the gold markings.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art La Légende du Zodiaque Chinois Year of the MonkeyVacheron-Constanin-Monkey-Business

Crafting artistic watches is Vacheron Constantin’s specialty and its Chinese zodiac collection has always aimed to replicate the nuances in poise and expression of the animals. This year’s piece combines relief engraving with the traditional art of paper cutting. In addition, Grand Feu enamel was used to create the backdrop of a blue or bronze-toned dial. Using the Calibre 2460 G4 allows for a view that is not obscured by hour and minute hands.

Piaget Altiplano Cloisonné EnamelPiaget-Monkey-Business

After the dragon, snake, horse, and goat, Piaget gives the monkey a go in this 12-year series. World-renowned master enameller, Anita Porchet, graciously loaned her skills to the manufacture, presenting a dial that resembles a traditional Chinese watercolour painting. Here, Porchet used the cloisonné technique with the Grand Feu method and her initials have been painted by hand at five o’clock. Only 38 pieces have been produced.

Story Credits

This story was first published in World of Watches.

In Pictures: 9 High Jewelry Pieces to Inspire

Born out of the most imaginative minds, set with spectacular gems mined from the furthest corners of the earth and engineered by the nimblest hands, the high jewelry collections you’re about to see will, quite literally, take your breath away. Our friends at L’Officiel Singapore curated and shot this selection to celebrate their ninth anniversary in 2016.

Tiffany & Co.

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Arrows 18k gold clip with amethysts, diamonds and sapphires.

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Arrows 18k gold clip with amethysts, diamonds and sapphires.

The New York label calls this one of late French jeweller Jean Schlumberger’s most brilliant designs for the house. Handcrafted by artisans, it was, in 2014, made a part of the Blue Book, an annual high jewelry collection celebrating the setting of flawless diamonds and coloured gemstones in Tiffany & Co.’s present-day creations. A large 20.06-carat amethyst sits in the middle of the unique clip, while 18k gold arrows appear to pierce through its fully-pavéd heart.

 

Chanel

From top: Signature Morganite white gold secret watch with diamonds and morganite, and Les Éternelles de Chanel white gold secret watch with diamonds and pink sapphires.

From top: Signature Morganite white gold secret watch with diamonds and morganite, and Les Éternelles de Chanel white gold secret watch with diamonds and pink sapphires.

What appear to be cuff bracelets are in fact secret watches, each designed after things – namely, the camellia, the comet and the feather – that inspired late founder Gabrielle Chanel. This year, the Parisian house adds a fourth piece to its Les Éternelles de Chanel collection, which, through a neat pattern of diamond-set squares, tells the story of the star quilting technique that Chanel has long been known for. At the heart of the ticker sits a 43.66-carat pink morganite pyramid that, when pressed, reveals a small, elegant dial.

 

Bulgari

Giardini Italiani white gold earrings with brilliant-cut diamonds and Colombian emeralds, and Giardini Italiani white gold convertible necklace-brooch with brilliant-cut diamonds and rubies.

Giardini Italiani white gold earrings with brilliant-cut diamonds and Colombian emeralds, and Giardini Italiani white gold convertible necklace-brooch with brilliant-cut diamonds and rubies.

In this staggering collection are 100 beautiful one-of-a-kind interpretations of what you’d find in an Italian Renaissance garden. Aptly named Giardini Italiani or, Italian Gardens, the Roman house’s latest high jewelry collection has reimagined Colombian emeralds, brilliant-cut diamonds, pink spinels and even a 400-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, among other precious stones, as romantic flower beds, geometric hedges and water cascading off decadent fountains.

 

Chopard

High Jewelry Collection white gold and titanium brooch with amethysts, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, spinels, tsavorites and rubies.

High Jewelry Collection white gold and titanium brooch with amethysts, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, spinels, tsavorites and rubies.

A year after joining the French Couture Federation as jeweller, Chopard has unveiled three unique cuff bracelets handcrafted by artisans in its Geneva Haute Joaillerie ateliers. Our top pick: an ingenious piece that the Swiss maison describesx as “a flight towards spring” – it sports a pair of transformable, iridescent butterflies decked in precious stones. The first has wings that double as earrings while the second detaches to become a brooch.

 

Dior

Clockwise: Granville Tourmaline Verte yellow gold ring with beryls, diamonds, iolites, spessartite garnet, red spinels, rubellite and tourmalines, Granville Peridot yellow gold ring with diamonds, mandarin garnets, peridot, sapphires, and tourmalines, and Granville Tourmaline Verte pink gold ring with aquamarines, chrysoberyls, diamonds, pink spinels, spessartite garnets and tourmalines.

Clockwise: Granville Tourmaline Verte yellow gold ring with beryls, diamonds, iolites, spessartite garnet, red spinels, rubellite and tourmalines, Granville Peridot yellow gold ring with diamonds, mandarin garnets, peridot, sapphires, and tourmalines, and Granville Tourmaline Verte pink gold ring with aquamarines, chrysoberyls, diamonds, pink spinels, spessartite garnets and tourmalines.

Here, Monsieur Dior’s growing up years in Granville on the coast of Normandy were the source of inspiration. Head of fine jewelry Victoire de Castellane captures the playful spirit of childhood games in 12 one-of-a-kind creations. According to the designer, colorful cuts of her favorite stones – aquamarine, beryl, chrysoberyl, rubellite, tanzanite and tourmaline – are arranged with “a sense of equilibrium” in asymmetrical patterns, so no one shade dominates the other.

 

Louis Vuitton

Excelsior white gold ring with diamonds and indigolite tourmalines.

Excelsior white gold ring with diamonds and indigolite tourmalines.

Fluid lines of ’30s Streamline Moderne make a sensual comeback in Acte V/The Escape, Louis Vuitton’s sixth high jewelry collection. Rounded silhouettes borrowed from aeronautics and the hulls of transatlantic steamships are incorporated into the collection, which feature vibrant-color gems (including a 32-carat Paraiba tourmaline and 30-carat Australian Lightning Ridge opal) and a specially-reworked, softer version of the French house’s signature “V” motif.

 

Van Cleef & Arpels

Spanish Ballerina platinum and gold clip with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and Ballerina platinum brooch with diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

Spanish Ballerina platinum and gold clip with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and Ballerina platinum brooch with diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

Born out of Louis Arpels’ passion for dance, many of the Parisian jeweler’s creations feature ballerinas as recurring icons. First shown in New York in the ’40s, ballerina clips – adorned in precious headdresses and tutus composed of colored gems – were a hit with collectors, who were besotted with the elegant costumes and graceful poses. A specially curated selection will be displayed at the Art Science Museum from April 23 to August 14 as part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ The Art & Science of Gems exhibition.

 

Boucheron

Hirunda the Swallows white gold earrings with diamonds and black lacquer, and Chinha the Eagle white gold ring with diamonds, sapphires and a cabochon tanzanite.

Hirunda the Swallows white gold earrings with diamonds and black lacquer, and Chinha the Eagle white gold ring with diamonds, sapphires and a cabochon tanzanite.

Rich in virtues – bravery, hope and peace – and lavish in build, with no surface left unset, animal-inspired jewel talismans are touted by Boucheron as both precious and protective companions, and have been a part of its emblematic lines since 1858. This year, the French jeweler’s ever-growing Animaux de Collection (it currently features 20 creatures) welcomes a new member, Chinha the eagle, whose regality is translated as an oversized white gold ring anchored with a large cabochon tanzanite.

 

Chaumet

Lumières d’Eau platinum and white gold necklace with frosted rock crystals and diamonds.

Lumières d’Eau platinum and white gold necklace with frosted rock crystals and diamonds.

Divided into 12 sets, a number recalling the address of Chaumet’s Place Vendôme boutique, the Lumières d’Eau collection exquisitely expresses water in its various states. White Ethiopian opals, pearls, lapis lazuli and emeralds conjure vivid images of gleaming lights on the South Seas, the soft tones of the aurora borealis and crashing waves under an aquamarine sky. A highlight of the high jewelry collection, this piece – featuring blocks of diamond-set and frosted rock crystals on a sleek collar necklace – depicts icicles, and embodies the frozen strength of water.

Story Credits
Text by Kenny Loh
Art Direction by Stephanie Lim
Digital Imaging by c.w.

This article was originally published in L’Officiel Singapore

In Pictures: Many Facets of Iroshini Chua

Dr Iroshini Chua wears many hats as a mother of two, family physician, travel columnist, high society fixture, party planner, accomplished home chef, charity crusader, style influencer, among others. The multi-hyphenate is also well known for her good taste in accessories and her love of gemstones. She has designed jewelry as a hobby business in the past, and is planning to launch her own brand in the near future. We asked her to share a few secrets on how she balances style and comfort so effortlessly.

Hostess With The Mostest

Special thanks to The St. Regis Singapore for hosting the photo shoot at its lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, which features a master bedroom, living room, dining room, executive office, gym, and terrace. Displayed on the premises are prized artworks by masters including Marc Chagall, Mark Tobey, Le Pho, and Sam Francis. Hand-painted silk panels adorn the walls, while custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow. Other highlights include a luxurious bedroom and a beautiful master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi and separate jet massage shower with marble steam chamber.

Special thanks to The St. Regis Singapore for hosting the photo shoot at its lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, which features a master bedroom, living room, dining room, executive office, gym, and terrace. Displayed on the premises are prized artworks by masters including Marc Chagall, Mark Tobey, Le Pho, and Sam Francis. Hand-painted silk panels adorn the walls, while custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow. Other highlights include a luxurious bedroom and a beautiful master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi and separate jet massage shower with marble steam chamber.

Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra one-motif white gold and diamond long necklace, Perlée white gold hoop earrings, Cadenas white gold and diamond watch; Emporio Armani embroidered cotton-mix pleated dress.

Career Woman

Christian Dior La Mini D de Dior 19mm watch, Rose Dior Pré Catalan pink gold and amethyst necklace, earrings, and ring, polyamide-mix pleated dress.

Christian Dior La Mini D de Dior 19mm watch, Rose Dior Pré Catalan pink gold and amethyst necklace, earrings, and ring, polyamide-mix pleated dress.

“I like wearing timeless and feminine clothes and jewelry that can easily take me from the clinic to an evening engagement.”

Mummy Duty

The Presidential Suite is part of The St. Regis Singapore’s Suite Society programme, which also features the Manhattan, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Astoria, and King Cole Suites. Guests who book them are offered exclusive access to exceptional dining and lifestyle privileges.

The Presidential Suite is part of The St. Regis Singapore’s Suite Society program, which also features the Manhattan, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Astoria, and King Cole Suites. Guests who book them are offered exclusive access to exceptional dining and lifestyle privileges.

Audemars Piguet Ladies Royal Oak Self-winding 37mm diamond watch; Chanel pearl sautoir; Iroshini’s own pearl and diamond ring; Christian Dior printed cotton-knit top and viscose-mix skirt.

Jet-setter

Available across all St. Regis properties around the world, the St. Regis Aficionado programme provides guests with exceptional bespoke experiences, such as private access to the world’s premier lifestyle collections and auctions, tasting rare private vintages, and getting a custom-tailored garment made.

Available across all St. Regis properties around the world, the St. Regis Aficionado programme provides guests with exceptional bespoke experiences, such as private access to the world’s premier lifestyle collections and auctions, tasting rare private vintages, and getting a custom-tailored garment made.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Small Model 33mm watch with diamonds; Iroshini’s own yellow sapphire ring, blue sapphire earrings; Ondademar silk kimono, cotton camisole, woven hat, heels.

“I love to discover new destinations, and I holiday at resorts about eight to 10 times a year. I don’t believe one should eschew style for comfort or vice-versa. This resort outfit is my perfect solution as it is comfortable for lounging by the pool as well as a chic ensemble for the restaurants. Matching it well is this Vacheron Constantin watch, which is so versatile and offers a pop of color.”

Lady Of Leisure

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant collection white gold necklace with 4.85 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery white gold ring with 13.6 carats of yellow diamonds and 1.28 carats of white diamonds, High Jewellery white gold and diamond ear studs; Diane von Furstenberg appliqué cotton-mix dress; Wedgwood Daisy Tea Story teacup and saucer set.

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant collection white gold necklace with 4.85 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery white gold ring with 13.6 carats of yellow diamonds and 1.28 carats of white diamonds, High Jewellery white gold and diamond ear studs; Diane von Furstenberg appliqué cotton-mix dress; Wedgwood Daisy Tea Story teacup and saucer set.

“I believe that diamonds can be beautifully paired with a busy print or loud colors to pull an entire look together without competing with them. This way, each can be admired in its own right.”

Belle Of The Ball

Home to one of the finest private art collections in Southeast Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum-quality art. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Hotel guests are invited to partake in The Art of Living tour around the hotel, conducted by the hotel butlers at 6pm daily.

Home to one of the finest private art collections in Southeast Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum-quality art. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Hotel guests are invited to partake in The Art of Living tour around the hotel, conducted by the hotel butlers at 6pm daily.

Piaget Extremely Piaget white gold ear cuff with 3.19 carats of diamonds and 12.76 carats of blue sapphires, Extremely Piaget white gold necklace with diamonds totalling 52.43 carats, a 20.06-carat cushion-cut sapphire, and a 7.35-carat pear-shaped blue sapphire, Limelight white gold secret watch with Polynesian mother-of-pearl and 506 multi-cut diamonds totaling 76.24 carats; Iroshini’s own Tex Saverio silk-mix laser-cut applique tiered gown; Jimmy Choo red suede clutch.

Party Princess

At The St. Regis Singapore, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler Service, which includes food and beverage requests, unpacking and packing of luggage, garment pressing, and the e-butler option for access to the butler service, from within or outside the hotel, at any hour 
via e-mail.

At The St. Regis Singapore, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler Service, which includes food and beverage requests, unpacking and packing of luggage, garment pressing, and the e-butler option for access to the butler service, from within or outside the hotel, at any hour 
via e-mail.

Cartier Panthère Captive de Cartier white gold watch with diamonds, emeralds, and onyx, Panthère de Cartier yellow gold earrings with tsavorites and diamonds, Panthère de Cartier yellow gold bracelets, one with tsavorites and onyx, the other with black lacquer, tsavorites, diamonds, and onyx; Iroshini’s own Tex Saverio polyester-mix laser-cut top; Marciano cotton-mix shorts; Ash gladiator heels

“My wardrobe contains edgy and architectural pieces for night outs. They allow me to have fun with fashion and be experimental. The iconic panther motif on the timepiece and jewels packs a punch and makes the entire look more impactful.”

Story Credits

Text by Yanni tan

Images by Wong Wei Liang

Styling by Vernon Sim

Styling Assistance by Christine Lim

Hair by Eileen Koh

Makeup by Amy Chow, using Chanel colors

Location The Presidential Suite at the St. Regis Singapore

This story first appeared in WOW Jewelry, Singapore.

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chrono – BaselWorld 2016

At Chopard, we are torn between spending more time with the L.U.C collection or discussing their delicious jewelry temptations. Well, I am personally fond of perpetual calendars so I must congratulate the Fleurier manufacture on two related brand firsts: a new perpetual calendar in stainless steel and a perpetual calendar with chronograph. It is of course appropriate to look into L.U.C once more this year because it is the 20th anniversary of the manufacture in Fleurier, which was established in 1996. The multi-complication L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is actually the first time the perpetual calendar and the chronograph have existed together in a Chopard case. Even the 150th anniversary piece for Chopard itself, the All in One watch, did not feature this combination.

Here’s what the press release tells us about the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono:

An authentic collector’s watch for modern gentlemen, the new L.U.C Perpetual Chrono from Chopard combines a hand-wound chronograph and a finely crafted perpetual calendar within an unprecedented L.U.C movement, Calibre 3.10-L. The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono flaunts one of the most sophisticated styles and constructions in the world of Haute Horlogerie, while meeting the highest technical ethical and aesthetic standards. Issued in two series of 20 pieces in “Fairmined” 18-carat white gold and in “Fairmined” 18-carat rose gold, it is intended for watchmaking connoisseurs and devotees of exceptional objects

BaselWorld 2016 Day 1: Wearable Technology

Do people really want to know more about cars and gadgets than watches? This raised the heat at dinner with an old friend, formerly of Chopard, at BaselWorld last night. It was Day Zero, otherwise known as Press Day, and it came to a nice close at our usual Thai restaurant at Basel, courtesy of Chopard Asia. More on this conversation later. First, we have news from Hublot to reveal with regards to the 10th anniversary of the All Black watch, and a little bit about gadgets, in the way of smart watches from both Bulgari and Hublot.

Watchmaking titan Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Watch Division, started talking about the Connected watch at the Hublot press conference, forgetting briefly that he was not at TAG Heuer (Biver is also CEO of TAG Heuer)! It was a lively moment but also gave Biver a moment to reflect on why Hublot would not make such a watch. “Hublot is about making yesterday eternal. One thousand years from now your Hublot watch will still work and we will still be able to service it. This is not true of (wearable) technology because technology will kill it.” Wise words to begin BaselWorld 2016 with. He had no issue though with Hublot integrating wearable tech into the strap, particularly because Hublot has a interchangeable strap feature that “even a child can use” as he put it.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black

Oh yes, the All Black watch… Simply put, it is a sapphire case much like the one shown in Geneva except here it has been transformed into a totally black watch. Take a look for yourself right here. Anyway, here is what the press release has to say about it:

“Transcending the materials used in its creation, the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black is crafted from blocks of sapphire crystal – sapphire that has been coated with metal. Enhanced by black, this sapphire maintains its transparent properties in a subtle balancing act.

Transferring the expertise amassed from machining very hard materials such as Magic Gold, Hublot has developed its industrial mastery of an extremely complex material, one of the hardest, most scratch-resistant and transparent in existence – sapphire. This method of machining sapphire enables Hublot to render this material — which can only be cut by diamond — more accessible, transforming its status as something unique, only seen in private collections, by using it to create a limited edition of 500 pieces. By sculpting sapphire into the complex shape of its iconic Big Bang case, Hublot is achieving a double feat with the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black.

Transparency combined with skeleton work allows the workings of the Unico manufacture movement to be laid bare. This complete visibility means that the column wheel positioned on the dial side is now no longer the only feature of the movement which can be seen. Even the strap combines transparency with the signature all black style.”

Moving on to Bulgari, the news is all about the new ultra-thin minute repeater and a new round Serpenti (which you do have to see to understand) but first, there was once more news on smart watches. Jean-Christophe Babin, Bulgari CEO, announced that the Italian firm was indeed moving on industrialize production of the Diagono Magnesium concept, a mechanical watch that is able to handle e-payment safely and securely. Basically this is an NFC-enabled watch that will integrate a microchip within the case, which it will share with a properly Swiss mechanical movement.

Bulgari Serpenti Incantati

Bulgari Serpenti Incantati

Well there is no watch yet to show but we do have images of the round Serpenti so take a look. Here is what the press release says about this very lovely timepiece, on the skeleton Tourbillon in particular.

“Serpenti Incantati gives a new lease on life to this animal symbol. After coiling around the wrist, the snake is now reinvented by wrapping itself for the very first time around the case of a round watch: the reptile literally twines itself around the watch dial, admirably framing an entirely skeleton-worked Manufacture tourbillon calibre. This airily graceful movement is a work of art: the mainplate and bridges are crafted in pink or white gold, the flanks are straight-grained, the rims and sinks are all chamfered and systematically polished. The steel parts are complemented by the kind of surface finishes cherished by Haute Horlogerie: circular graining and snailing set the finishing touches to this precious craftsmanship contributing to a spectacular result.”

As for that minute repeater, we will do another post on it soon. As for the conversation on cars and gadgets versus watches, well, I have a feeling that the gadget/watch dichotomy will loom large over the entire fair.