By Rebecca Doulton
Our gemstone for the month of May, chosen because of the colours we associate with sunny May skies and the promise of summer, are blue sapphires. In the triumvirate of coloured gemstones, sapphires are not limited to luxury jewellery and have found a welcome home on the dials and cases of these high jewellery watches for women.
Chanel dazzled us this year at Baselworld with its Les Éternelles de Chanel collection of three scintillating high jewellery watches, drawing on Gabrielle Chanel's beloved motifs of camellias, feathers and comets. This Comète Secret watch literally wraps the wrist with a brilliant night sky of blue sapphires, diamonds and comets. To view the time, depress the small star with a sapphire heart and gaze at how the large comet, set with a brilliant-cut diamond, orbits to one side of the blue sapphire baguette-pavéd dial.
Swiss brand de GRISOGONO is all about voluptuousness and temptation, and the Grappoli watch is a perfect ambassador for this philosophy. Grappoli - which in Italian means a bunch or cluster, usually of grapes - is a fitting name for these mouth-watering high jewellery ladies' watches, dripping with juicy blue sapphires.
The 854 blue sapphires snow-set on the dial and the bezel are quite something. Quite another is the 70 briolette-cut blue sapphires that dangle from the bezel and jiggle in time to your movements. Different sized briolette-cut sapphires are sewn on the case modules allowing them to sway and refract light from all their facets. Echoing the exuberant nature of this de GRISOGONO watch, the bubbly night-blue galuchat strap, with its sprinkling of 138 sapphires, completes this study in blue.
If the Grappoli watch is a little unorthodox for your taste, Dior watches has a dainty bracelet model in the La D de Dior Précieuse collection, with an attractive vintage aesthetic. It's the kind of watch you can imagine Grace Kelly slipping on with her Dior evening gow and features 65 sapphires arching across the bracelet and circling the bezel, set into a bed of 999 snow-set diamonds. Its diminutive 21mm case will prove an ideal companion for those elegant nights out or for just looking lovely as you help James Stewart spy on his neighbour in the classic Hitchcock film, Rear Window.
Meanwhile, the 25mm Graff Halo watch also transmits an air of retro chic with its refined jewelled bracelet, alternating blue sapphire links and diamonds. The fully pavéd diamond dial is framed by two rows of vibrant blue sapphires that swirl around the centre.
Shining in their own azure glow or combined with icy white diamonds, blue sapphires add an unprecedented level of depth and glamour to these high jewellery watches.
The Graff Halo, presented in a small 25mm white gold case, combines diamonds and blue sapphires to create a refined cocktail watch.
Chanel Comète Secret watch uses a comet with a large 1.00 carat diamond in its centre to shield the dial. By pushing one of the smaller stars, the comet moves to one side to reveal the secret baguette-cut emeralds on the dial.
The Chanel Les Éternelles de Chanel Comète Secret watch is like wearing the Milky Way on your wrist with its profusion of diamonds and sapphires.
The Dior La D de Dior Précieuse high jewellery watch features 65 sapphires arching across the bracelet and circling the bezel, set into a bed of 999 snow-set diamonds.
The de GRISOGONO Grappoli watch is a real show-stopper, with 854 snow-set sapphires on the dial and bezel, and 70 mobile briolette-cut sapphires dangling from the case.
The Dior La D de Dior Précieuse high jewellery watch has a fantastic retro appeal and is the kind of watch you can imagine Grace Kelly slipping on with her Dior evening gown.