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Any watch and jewelry brand seeking maximum exposure to convey its core message would be wise to invite Julia Roberts, because who wouldn’t want to show up for a glimpse of one of the world’s biggest movie stars?
That was key to Chopard’s strategy at the annual Watches and Wonders trade show in Geneva (March 27 to April 2), when the Oscar-winning actress was indeed the star attraction of the brand’s stand-up-only keynote presentation. Roberts appears in the luxury house’s current “Chopard Loves Cinema” campaign, directed by James Gray, but instead of discussing the behind-the-scenes details of high net worth advertising, she supported the initiative that ranks highest within the house : sustainability, as Chopard continues its efforts to make 100 percent of its designs from ethically sourced gold, diamonds and gemstones, as well as the brand’s own recycled Lucent Steel.
“Being sustainable, being pioneers in this way, is something that people really admire and look for,” Roberts said at the event. “People here know that consumers ask very smart questions and make purchases based on more than meets the eye; those days are over. For Chopard, this is just the beginning, and I think other people will say they should get involved. It is their moral obligation and it is also good for business.”
Still, Chopard was just one of many stories in a week of great watchmaking debuts. In the designs for women, the overarching theme focused on exceptional craftsmanship in refined pieces that suited a wide range of aesthetics. Here are 10 of the best women’s watches of the week.
Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles
Chanel debuted a variety of timepieces that honor the codes of the house, from pieces splashed with stars to secret watches hidden behind the golden lion that symbolizes Coco Chanel’s astrological sign Leo. But the collection that captivated many editors was a limited selection of designs based on the pincushion on the wrists of lesson small main dishes, the seamstresses who excel in couture handicraft in the studio’s workrooms. The Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles watches consist of five designs each limited to 20 pieces; four are rooted in handicraft themes, like the lace design seen here, crafted through a trio of Metiers d’Art techniques to create camellias embellished with gold beads and five diamonds. Other dial motifs explore a deconstructed Chanel jacket, a group of quilted handbags, and Chanel chains and Byzantine brooches, while the fifth design is a snow-covered diamond dial that evokes sequins on a black fabric. Housed in a 55mm 18-karat yellow gold case, each watch features a domed crystal and hands made to resemble sewing needles, all set on a black grosgrain strap. Price on request; at chanel.com
Piaget High Jewelery Sautoir Watch
The long necklaces, often adorned with pendants, known as sautoirs, were everywhere in Geneva and all served as a frame for an elegant watch treatment. At Piaget, iconic 1969 designs inspired a group of sautoirs and cuff watches, including this one High jewelry Sautoir watch in 18k yellow gold, crafted with twisted wires to resemble rope-like links and tassels embellished with diamonds, all to highlight the engraved gold oval dial, which is turned upside down for easy readability by the wearer. Price on request; bee piaget.com
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie of Rose
Enchantment is a theme fondly told at Van Cleef & Arpels, from a butterfly that can emerge from the center of a bouquet of flowers on a vending machine to the fairies that populate the watches collectively known as the poetic complications of the house. On this 33mm Lady Féerie of Rose timepiece, the house has put one of its signature three-dimensional fairies, here embellished with diamonds and pink sapphires, on a dial made of mother-of-pearl and opaque and plique-a-jour enamel in tonal shades of white, pink and deep plum. The self-winding mechanical movement displays the spring hours, while the fairy’s wand points the wearer to the retrograde minutes. Price on request; bee vanclefarpels.com
Cartier collision [Un]Limited
Cartier debuted a healthy selection of new timepieces from the Tank, Panthère, Santos, and Pasha collections, but a resounding favorite among editors was this high-jeweled watch called To collide [Un]Limited, which represents the pinnacle of the house’s Clash collection. Geometric shapes made of coral, chrysoprase, spinels and tsavorites are combined with diamonds totaling 10.1 carats, all set in rhodium-plated 18-karat rose gold to create a bracelet watch that balances chic modernity with a palette that infuses is of 1930s glamour. Limited to 30 pieces, price on request; bee cartier. com
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso One Precious Colors
The latest of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Reverso watches features a protective case that, as the name implies, allows the wearer to flip or reverse the dial to reveal a lid that features a graphic Art Deco treatment. emphasizes. The Reverso One precious colours is based on the Art Deco movement of the 1920s, the decade prior to the debut of the original Reverso in 1931. The pattern of the 40 x 20 mm case is crafted in a miniature geometric pattern with grand-feu enamel in tonal shades of green, accented with white diamonds and set in 18k white gold on a green alligator bracelet. Price on request; bee jaeger-lecoultre.com
Hermes Arceau Petite Lune
Planets and stars are made of aragonite, opal, freshwater mother-of-pearl, aventurine and diamonds to form the dial of the latest Hermès Arceau Petite Lune, which has a moon phase function at the 10:30 position. The self-winding mechanical movement is housed in a 38 mm 18-carat white gold case, embellished with 70 round-cut diamonds on the bezel. The sapphire blue crocodile strap is also made in the house’s watchmaking workshops. $49,020; similar styles on hermes.com
Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas Infinity
Bulgari released its first Serpenti rolled gold watch in 1948, but the Rome-based house has never rested on the laurels of one of its most iconic designs. To celebrate Serpenti’s 75th anniversary, Bulgari’s artisans have perfected the ability to place diamonds on coils of 18-karat gold, forming an alluring, continuous curve as they wrap around the wrist, while also feel smooth. Baptized the Serpenti Tubogas Infinityis the quartz-powered watch crafted in 18k rose gold with a diamond-set dial and is available in both the single-wrap version seen here and a double-wrap version. $66,000 for the single coil; bee bulgari.com
Chopard Happy Sports
Indeed, Chopard’s announcement that it was expanding its use of Lucent Steel, manufactured with 80 percent recycled materials, to watches beyond the Alpine Eagle collection was the most significant sustainability statement of the week. Chopard co-chairs Caroline Scheufele and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele said the house’s plan is to use Lucent Steel for all steel watch cases and bracelets by the end of 2023, while increasing the amount of recycled materials in Lucent Steel to 90 percent by 2025 . This just released Happy Sport watch is a step in that direction: the two-tone 33mm case is made of 18-karat ethical rose gold and Lucent Steel and houses an automatic movement, a blue and purple guilloche dial and five dancing diamonds, the signature element of Happy Sport designs. all on a purple alligator leather strap with mother-of-pearl finish. Price on request; bee chopard. com
Dolce & Gabbana Anna watch
In a suite with a spectacular view of Lake Geneva, Dolce & Gabbana presented its latest designs for watches and jewelry, including this Anna timepiece, focusing on tonal pink tourmalines in mixed cuts, which are then placed in different settings, made of 18-carat red gold by the house’s master goldsmiths in the Italian workshops. A quartz movement and a diamond-paved dial are housed in the 34mm case, also ringed with pink tourmalines; an alternate style is available that emphasizes citrines. $223,300; at saksfifthavenue.com
Gucci G-timeless planetarium
Indeed, celestial themes were prominent at waiting appointments in Geneva, and that extended to Gucci, which staged its presentation in a historic lakeside villa. In the midst of opulent, wallpapered rooms that remind you of The White Lotussecond season, Gucci debuted high-watchmaking pieces like this G-timeless planetarium, centered on the house’s Dancing Hours Flying Tourbillon, GGC.1976.DS, a designation derived from the Orion Nebula. Around this diamond-embellished tourbillon, a dozen stones — made up of topaz, peridot, amethyst, and Ethiopian opals — represent the hours; when the crown is pressed, each stone rotates on its own as the group rotates clockwise around the dial. Price on request; available exclusively at Gucci, Place Vendôme, Paris