Luxury watch brands have been presenting virtual rollouts of their latest timepieces since late April, and in addition to the tourbillons, world timers and chronographs always coveted by collectors, jewelry watches embellished with diamonds and gemstones likewise have been drawing attention for their clever handcraft. Here’s a look at five dazzling debuts:
Maillon de Cartier High-Jewelry Watch
Think of a watch like a bias-cut gown, and that’s the perfect jumping-off point for Cartier’s new timepiece collection, Maillon de Cartier. “Maillon” translates to “link,” and Cartier has taken that simple element to create a bracelet watch that’s artfully torqued and yet smooth on the skin, not unlike a silk fabric cut on the bias. Crafted in 18-karat white, yellow or rose gold, the Maillon de Cartier watches start at $25,100, but at the top end is this high-jewelry style, limited to 20 pieces and priced on request. The 18-karat white gold case, crown, dial and bracelet are set with 301 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 4.84 carats, with an additional 96 tsavorites on the bracelet. The diamonds on the 16mm x 17mm dial are offset with blue and green lacquer. This Maillon de Cartier piece is expected to arrive in boutiques in September.
Dior Grand Soir Reine Des Abeilles
At the House of Christian Dior, all roads lead to the legendary couturier’s garden, and that’s true of its latest timepiece collection. Inspired by the idea of the bees that could be found hovering among Monsieur Dior’s famed roses, watchmakers created a series of 14 timepieces, each one of a kind and featuring a unique gemstone-embellished bee on its dial. This “Reine Des Abeilles,” or “Queen of Bees” piece ($350,000), with its off-center quartz movement at the 12 o’clock position, is crafted in 18-karat yellow gold and fully embellished with white diamonds, with a 36mm snow-set diamond dial adorned with a bee rendered in white, yellow and pink gold and set with round-, triangle- and pear-cut diamonds, as well as white mother-of-pearl and gold foil. Price upon request.
Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient
Piaget has been crafting its Limelight Gala watches since the 1960s, using elements like diamonds and ornamental stones to create luxe women’s timepieces. Among the newest styles is one that takes its cue from an iconic 1973 design. The 32mm Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient showcases a bezel set with 20 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 1.46 carats and 22 brilliant-cut sapphires in gradient shades of blue, totaling 4.01 carats, all surrounding an engraved dial of blue enamel. The Palace Décor bracelet, meanwhile, requires eight hours of hand-engraving. Price upon request.
Graff Peony Secret Watch
Among the London-based diamond house’s debuts for 2020 is this secret watch as part of its latest Peony jewelry and timepiece collection. This one-of-a-kind piece features 380 white diamonds in custom cuts totaling 30.86 carats, layered to create a 3D effect on an 18-karat white gold bangle and a pavé diamond dial. Price upon request.
Vacheron Constantin Egérie Moon Phase Jewelry Timepiece
A mother-of-pearl moon appears from behind translucent sapphire-crystal clouds on the 37mm Egérie Moon Phase Jewelry Timepiece by Vacheron Constantin. The mechanical, self-winding watch in 18-karat white gold is fully embellished with 1,345 diamonds totaling roughly 11.95 carats. Limited in production, the piece is priced at $164,000 and is expected to arrive in Vacheron Constantin boutiques between late May and early June.