By Ase Anderson in London
SalonQP will celebrate the world of high jewellery watches at a new exhibition to be launched next month as part of the luxury watch show in London.
Gems of Time will put the spotlight on a selection of classic and contemporary horological jewels that straddle both function and fashion. It is the first time that women's watches have had their own dedicated space within the SalonQP event.
The exhibition, which has been curated by Telegraph Time editor Caragh McKay, will bring to the fore the creativity and craftsmanship that underpin these sparkling designs. Iconic timepieces by leading jewellery houses such as Piaget, Bulgari and Cartier will rub shoulders with new designs from De Beers and Backes & Strauss. The exhibition will be held at the Saatchi Gallery from 6-8 November, in a space designed by Leila Latchin to resemble a luxurious jewellery box.
Highlights include a set of Bulgari Serpenti watches worn by Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra in 1962 as well as the Harrods Princess diamond and emerald watch created exclusively for the luxury department store by Backes & Strauss with Gemfields to celebrate the Biennale des Antiquaires.
The Aria collection by De Beers is testament to the talent of a new generation of high jewellery watch designers, while the Extremely Piaget cuff watches show how the maison's heritage continues to inspire its latest creations.
Amid all the sparkling gems, visitors can also view the complex technology that makes it possible to marry the worlds of high jewellery and haute horlogerie. Created in 1929, the miniature 101 mechanical movement by Jaeger-LeCoultre is still used in many jewellery watch designs today. It was famously incorporated into the Cartier diamond bracelet that Queen Elizabeth II wore on her coronation day in 1953.
Speaking about the exhibition, Caragh McKay describes the creativity, vision and skill currently seen in the world of high jewellery watch design as "extraordinary". She adds: "Gems of Time will highlight this in a very contemporary way while celebrating the magnificent heritage of great jewelled watch design."
Bulgari Serpenti double spiral bracelet watch with a yellow gold case, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, spessartites, tsavorites and malachite.
De Beers Aria diamond watch set with round brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds totalling 4.35ct in white gold, with a fully diamond paved dial and black satin strap.
Extremely Piaget Cuff watch in hammered yellow gold, set with brilliant-cut diamonds and a natural jade dial. Powered by a Piaget 56P quartz movement.
Piaget Altiplano Stone dial watch with a diamond and sapphire bezel.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101. With 98 components, the miniature Calibre 101 weighs barely one gram and has been the world’s smallest mechanical movement since 1929.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Manchette watch features a random series of polished or diamond-set links concealing the miniature calibre 101 movement.
The Harrods Princess watch by Backes & Strauss in white gold with diamonds and Gemfields emeralds.
Bulgari Serpenti high jewellery snake watch in rose gold with diamonds and turquoise. Telegraph Time editor Caragh McKay, curator of the exhibition, describes the creativity, vision and skill currently seen in the world of high jewellery watch design as “extraordinary”.