Some categories vying for the prestigious prizes at the forthcoming GPHG 2023 (scheduled to be held on 9 November) score heavy on the complications front while others double up as bejewelled objects of wonder, showcasing the highest standards of artistic crafts in the realm of watchmaking. GMT India takes a closer look at the nominees for two such categories: Jewellery and Artistic Crafts.
The nominees in the Jewellery category are as follows.
Bvlgari Serpenti Cleopatra (Ref. 103654)
The Serpenti collection — that has, over time, turned almost synonymous with the brand’s identity — is a unique celebration of all things serpentine. This model, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of the Serpenti’s identity, celebrates a contemporary expression of Italian design in jewellery and the unmatched expertise of Swiss watchmaking. The high jewellery timepiece also draws its design inspiration from manchettes that have graced wrists for centuries, including Queen Cleopatra’s. Sized at 10.80 x 17.25 mm, it’s crafted in pink gold and set with topaz, rubellites, tanzanites, amethysts, and pavé-set diamonds on the bracelet, the case and the dial, amounting to 147 carats in total.
Chopard Pure Happiness (Ref. 204092-1001)
Chopard’s heritage of dancing diamonds remains at the heart of this jewellery timepiece. Created by the highly skilled artisans from the Maison’s Haute Joaillerie workshops, the model flaunts a stunning array of pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds around the dial, carefully assembled in a design that is both graceful and feminine. The satin strap further enhances the luxurious appeal. The entire watch is made of Fairmined-certified ethical 18-carat white gold while the diamonds are sourced from suppliers, certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council: responsible materials that reflect Chopard's commitment to sustainable luxury. The 32.5 mm piece is a one-of-a-kind limited edition.
Damiani Margherita Watch (Ref. 30048100)
A timepiece that in every way embodies the rich ethos of the brand’s Margherita collection, this sports a design that puts emphasis on the allure of white gold and diamonds while evoking the shape of stylised daisies on the one hand and a snow crystal on the other. Adorned with an astounding 2,315 colourless diamonds (amounting to a total of 12.80 carats) and 55 fancy yellow diamonds (amounting to a total of 2.40 carats), the 17 mm model instantly dazzles onlookers. It is a shining reminder of the creative and technical mastery of the master goldsmiths of Maison Damiani.
This bold, dazzling timepiece is centred around the Dancing Hours Flying Tourbillon, GGC.1976.DS — named after one of our galaxy’s brightest nebulae. The tourbillon sits front and centre on the dial, set with a diamond-studded star, outlined beautifully by the 40 mm pink gold case. The start-and-stop function on the crown activates a rotation of 12 sunset-inspired stones, rubies, fire opals, pink tourmaline and mandarin garnet, each one spinning on itself in nine seconds and orbiting clockwise around the dial in 90 seconds. The leather bracelet complements the model beautifully, allowing the dial to shine through.
Piaget Swinging Sautoir (Ref. G0A48060)
Presented by the brand at Watches and Wonders this year, this sautoir watch is a contemporary take on one of the brand’s signatures from the 1960s and 1970s. Centred around a rare and stunning 25.38 ct oval cabochon Zambian emerald, the draped chain (it took 130 hours of work) is entirely handmade from twisted gold circular links, connected by diamonds and interspersed with emeralds. The oval case is a Piaget signature too and the malachite dial pays homage to the brand’s revolutionary creations from the 1960s while highlighting the Maison’s incredible skills. It is finished with a three-strand fringe, a silky cascade of diamonds, tipped with cabochon emeralds.
Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret (Ref. VCARPCVB00)
Graceful and sophisticated, this stunning model stays true to the Maison’s long-standing tradition of secret watches. It pays tribute to the Ludo collection that was created in 1934 and inspired by the world of couture. The one-of-a-kind timepiece spotlights one of the Maison's emblematic savoir-faire: the Mystery Set. On this secret watch (sized at 14 x 31 mm), the mother-of-pearl dial is concealed beneath the Mystery Set emeralds, a feat that embodies the high jewellery expertise of the Maison. The intense colour effect of the bracelet, with its hexagonal mesh in yellow gold paired with star-set emeralds, instantly evokes a sense of awe.
The nominees in the Artistic Crafts category are as follows.
ANDERSEN Genève Jumping Hours (Ref. Rising Sun Edition (634RS))
A limited edition of 50 pieces, this is the brand’s latest interpretation of the Jumping Hours complication, in which the hour is displayed through a window in the dial — ‘jumping’ from one hour to the next on the hour — while minutes are indicated by a hand. The timepiece pairs a hand-finished platinum case with a dial of 18 ct pink gold: a subtle and beautiful combination that allows the jumping hour complication to take centre stage. The hour is displayed through the window at 12 o’clock while the minutes indicator is on a subdial at 6 o’clock, displayed by a white gold hand. The dial sports a stunning “losanges magiques” pattern while a “clous” pattern occupies the minutes subdial. The manual winding Frédéric Piguet 11.50 movement (offering a power reserve of up to 72 hours) is encircled by a ring of 21ct BlueGold, produced via a unique heat treating process.
Louis Moinet Savanna Tourbillon Tiger (Ref. LM-135.50.TI)
A beautiful, regal tiger graces the dial of this special Louis Moinet creation. As part of the brand’s Savanna Tourbillon collection, the timepiece (housed in an 18 ct rose gold 40 mm case) pays homage to wilderness and nature. Created by a highly-skilled micro-painter, the dial includes 81 pieces across four levels that are put together in the way of a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece had to be painted individually in precise micro-painted strokes, after which the pieces were meticulously reassembled to form the puzzle dial. The flying tourbillon is situated at 6 o’clock, driven by a hand-wound mechanism, equipped with twin barrels installed "volte-face”, or head to tail, allowing them to release their energy simultaneously and delivering 96 hours of power reserve.
Limited to eight pieces only, this 41 mm timepiece forms part of Piaget’s Metaphoria collection that draws inspiration from nature. Cased in white gold, the Undulata flaunts a splendid Marquetry dial by French artist Rose Saneuil. She subtly mixed the green, blue and iridescent hues with a variety of textures, carefully cutting each element before incrusting them one at a time on the dial — a diligent operation of precision that required her to spend over 44 hours working on the dial. Several layers of wood, straw and leather have also been added, patiently assembled by hand, to ensure a one-of-a-kind effect for the signature Piaget flying tourbillon manufacture movement that offers a power reserve of 55 hours.
Rudis Sylva Hymne d’Orient (Unique Reference)
This hand-engraved unique model by Rudis Sylva, cased in pink gold, features some striking one-of-a-kind ornamentation on the dial. There’s a diamond nestled in a lotus flower, a vase from which azure water is poured, a sculpted moon with craters, and an aventurine sky. The koi carp is chiselled from gold and decorated with subtly rendered barbels; the lotus flower — that appears to be floating in translucent blue water — is crafted from 5N gold. The water itself pours from a gold vase and the dark sky, dotted subtly with stars, forms the background for the moon that remains at the centre of the time display at 12 o’clock.
Sarpaneva Watches Näkki
Sized at 42 mm, this watch captures the mystical appeal of a water spirit called Näkki, an elusive, enigmatic creature from Scandinavian folklore. Inspired by the works of Finnish designer and illustrator Ville Tietäväinen, the highly complex dial is hand-painted and multi-layered with a Super-LumiNova® coating that, at night, brings the Näkki to life. According to folk legends, the water spirit emerges on moonless nights to draw people into its watery realms. The back of the watch reveals the self-winding movement that offers a power reserve of 42 hours. The unique phases of the moon complication (29.5 days) are directly integrated into the movement.
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Duo de Lions (Ref. VCARPBKA00)
Featuring a couple of lions at sunrise, this 33 mm timepiece draws inspiration from two sources that are dear to the Maison: love and nature. The resting lions on the dial appear to be basking in the sun’s rays as a mountain rises in the distance, a landscape that echoes Tanzania's Kilimanjaro. The complex miniature painting is brought to life by several specialised techniques, including gem-setting and gold engraving. While the white mother-of-pearl adds a realistic touch to the clouds, the parterre set with diamonds and pink sapphires ensures a distinct sparkle. The leather strap is just right against the white gold of the case, allowing the extraordinary dial to shine bright.