Excellence Revisited: Crown Jewels

  • Jonathon Keats

An eminent London diamond merchant since 1789, Backes & Strauss approaches the wristwatch as a piece of fine jewelry. Produced in collaboration with Geneva’s Franck Muller Watchland, which manufactures the movements and completes assembly, Backes & Strauss watches (+44.20.7839.8709, www.backesandstrauss?.com) sparkle with diamonds set in 18-karat-gold cases shaped to accentuate the multifaceted gems’ play of light. The initial designs, which debuted in 2006, reference London’s Regency-era architecture. For example, the circular form of the Piccadilly is based on John Nash’s Piccadilly Circus, a defining London landmark since 1819. The Berkeley takes its geometry from Berkeley Square, landscaped by Palladian master William Kent in the year that Backes & Strauss was founded. This year, Backes & Strauss introduces the 1609 AD (left), named for the year when Thomas Harriett, an English astronomer, made the first drawings of the moon—before Galileo. The new model’s moon-phase indicator is embellished with a 17-star constellation mapped out in ideal-cut diamonds.

Read Next Article >>
When asked to describe the idea behind Dream Watch 5, De Bethune’s latest and highly unorthodox...
Armin Strom advances the art of skeleton watches with modern machinery...
Artisans play with mother-of-pearl techniques to achieve magnificent, modern masterpieces...
The company partnered with L’Épée 1839 to create the science fiction–inspired timepiece…
Now in its second year, the show saw the debut of a number of significant new timepieces…
Photo by Ted Morrison
Global Thinking Greubel Forsey first attracted notice a decade ago by reviving 200-year-old English...
The new watch’s movement is outfitted with lightweight silicon components…
The new Graham Tourbillon Orrery celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Orrery, the tabletop...
The first in a series of three limited editions, the Bugatti Mythe helps celebrate the companies’...
The timepiece includes design elements inspired by the iconic vehicles…