This weekend Monaco will hear more than its normal share of roaring engines as the Top Marques supercar show brings to town the most unabashedly exotic and expensive array of boys' toys. Alongside these playthings of billionaires will also be equally supercharged watches including an offering of Backes & Strauss's diamond-set timepieces.
The show, now in its fourth year, is where you will find cars with price tags of over a million dollars and watches to match. While the super rich from around the globe flock to the tiny state to test drive a Ferrari, Bugatti, Aston Martin or a Rolls Royce on a section of the Monaco Gran Prix circuit they could also try on a watch to match the cars in opulence, or something for the wife who has endured hours of car gazing.
Backes & Strauss is on hand with an array of beautiful diamond-set watches, some of which are even available in 'his and her' versions. Founded in London in 1789, Backes & Strauss has a long and rich history of selling diamonds as well as jewellery and more recently watches. The extensive archives of this historic house are today a rich source of inspiration for the firm. The watches you will see in Monaco are inspired by Regency London and the legacy of later regents.
The different models take their names from the squares and streets that are the heritage of the Prince Regent who transformed London with his vision for a more elegant city with sweeping avenues and an architecture of clean lines guided by classical rigour. From the age of excess and elegance come watches in keeping with our times. Examples of Backes & Strauss jewels were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the Crystal Palace designed by the great Joseph Paxton.
Such was the quality of the jewellery from this diamond house that one of the firm's bracelets is to be found in the British Museum. Today Backes & Strauss is known for the high-quality of its diamonds as well as the mastery of the 'ideal cut' that creates a halo of eight hearts in the diamond also known as the 'hearts and arrows' effect. The best Backes & Strauss diamonds are selected to grace the watches that in turn have been designed to echo the geometric symmetry of the 'ideal cut' diamond. And what better place to try on a Backes & Strauss watch than in the bright sunshine of Monaco in between shopping for a new supercar or mega-yacht?
The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco where the Top Marques event takes place bringing together fast cars and racy watches
Backes & Strauss Piccadilly 45 in 18kt rose gold with one row of ideal cut brilliant diamonds, 45 diamonds weighing 8.67cts, retailing at £85,800.00
Backes & Strauss. The Jewel in the Crown. Every Backes & Strauss watch has at least one diamond, set into the crown by hand; it is the Backes & Strauss signature “The Jewel in the Crown” which is designed to look like the pavilion of a diamond. The pavilion is the lower portion of the diamond, below the girdle, sometimes referred to as the base.
Backes & Strauss. The Piccadilly 40. Rose gold and diamonds. Tan alligator skin strap. Price from £64,290.00
Backes & Strauss. Left: The Regent Classic 4047, The Jewel in the Crown is the only diamond on the Classic, black alligator skin strap. Price from £15,860.00. Right: The Regent Diamond Dial 3643 with diamonds and mother of pearl. Price from £30,000.00.
Backes & Strauss Victoria Blue Heart watch that supports the UN's Blue Heart anti-human trafficking campaign