The nights will start drawing in soon, and with the longer low-lit hours comes the chance for jewellery watches to shine again. So now’s the time to consider your watch wardrobe for the Autumn/Winter seasons and maybe set things up with a bit of sparkle. There’s always a spectacular choice of options when watchmakers and jewellers combine their talents to help us tell the time. Here’s a look at just a few watches with the timeless appeal that comes from wearing a watch that also a piece of jewellery.
Like a dash of Roman panache with your watch? Then look no further than Bulgari, where serpents weave their way around the wrist. Representing wisdom, vitality and seduction the serpent first appeared in Bulgari’s jewellery collection way back in the 1940s in the form of a yellow-gold watch, distinguishable by its hand-coiled precious metal—or tubogas—bracelet.
Brothers Giorgio and Constantino Bulgari were tapping into Rome’s newfound craving for modernity. “The piece was born out of a search for an object that was not meant to be that showy, but rather functional and modern.”
That concept still underpins more recent models, which now encompass examples like this fabulous snake in stainless steel. The sinuous form of the snake elegantly wraps around the wrist. And this particular artful creation bears all the unmistakable signatures of the Bulgari brand; high-quality materials, finishing and utterly glamorous details. Shop the Bulgari Sepentine watch here.
Made Of Love
The name Van Cleef & Arpels is synonymous with the most exquisite jewellery in the world. Feminine and refined, their style has always been distinct from everyone else’s.
Favored by Grace Kelly, Jackie Onassis, the Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, and members of royalty, Van Cleef & Arpels established themselves as a pillar of the jewellery world with their brilliantly creative and timeless pieces.
Naturally, the jeweller brings this same craftsmanship and wonderment to the measurement of time. Van Cleef & Arpels has always been inspired by the unique creative energy of love, and if you love diamonds (who doesn’t) then this bold and unusual piece will appeal. Shop our Van Cleef & Arpels Triple Bracelet Diamond watch here.
The Crowning Jewel
The Rolex Pearlmaster collection, known as the brand’s “crowning jewellery watch”, dresses up the Oyster Perpetual with precious stones. But don’t be deceived by the Pearlmaster’s luxury appeal. As a bona fide Oyster Perpetual, this stunning diamond encrusted Pearlmaster can handle depths of 100 metres and, like all its brothers and sisters, is certified as a Superlative Chronometer by Rolex. But, getting back to the luxury for a moment, take some time to be amazed by the degree of attention to detail in this watch.
Horological gem-setting is a very specific variation on the gem-cutter and jeweller’s art and has its own particular demands. The stones must be of a very exact size and when they are set side by side like this there is no wriggle room at all in shape, size or geometry; the fit and colour match of the stones has to be exact. If they weren’t you’d see it, and what you can see here is perfection in the jeweller’s art, framing and enhancing a superbly made mechanical automatic wristwatch. Shop our Rolex Pearlmaster Diamond 29 watch here.
There’s something about vintage diamonds on a beautiful vintage watch that’s instantly appealing; a look that says quality that’s stood the test of time.
Like the Rolex Pearlmaster and the Van Cleef & Arpels, all excellent examples of the gem-cutter’s trade, this vintage Vacheron Constantin presents an array of amazing diamonds - and a mother-of-pearl dial - to catch the eye. Getting this many high quality diamonds together generally involves a huge amount of work, and waste. As a rule, you can end up losing up to half of the carat weight of a stone before you get a finished product. Vacheron Constantin is one of the best-known Swiss luxury watchmakers in the world and has the distinction of being the oldest continuously-operating watchmaking firm, with roots tracing back to the mid-16th century.
You can see that experience and dedication to quality here is this fabulously well made, mechanically irreproachable, and just a straight up beautiful watch. Shop our Vacheron Constantin Asymmetric MCMLXXII Diamond watch here.
A Very Popular Panther
How to explain the Panthère's enduring allure? Throughout Cartier’s history the sleekest feline has been a symbol and muse for their jewellery collections and advertising campaigns. Many jewellery houses have been inspired by the big cats but Cartier did it first and did it best. Since its introduction the Cartier Panthère range has been a magnet for discerning celebrities and counts Mick Jagger, Michelle Obama, Princess Caroline of Monaco among its legion of A-list fans.
This 18k yellow gold Panthère ‘Lakarda’ has a white Cartier dial, glowing green eyes in certified emeralds and a black Onyx nose. The finely crafted 18k yellow gold linked bracelet is set to a stiff curl. However, the interior of the bracelet completely hides a tough steel spring system, enabling you to uncurl it for ease of removal - without damaging the shape.
Next time you’re invited to a gala party dah-ling, why not step out in one of these? And even if you’re not invited, any of these watches will bring a more than welcome touch of luxury to the dullest autumn day. See our extensive collection of pre-owned diamond-studded watches here.