The return of the pendant watch

Pendant watches are back in vogue. We reveal the most fashionable ways to wear time beyond the wrist.

Roger Dubuis’ Velvet Ribbon pearl sautoir necklace watch

What goes around comes around and the pendant watches of yesteryear are back on women’s necks. From the revival of the lorgnette to the abundance of secret watches, masquerading time in a piece of jewellery is a prevailing trend.

The mystery of Cartier’s movements

Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré pendant watch
Designed to evoke the outstretched wings of a butterfly, Cartier’s pendant watch dangles with a stunning and detachable 25.93-carat Sri Lanka sapphire (€1.5 million).

A giant on the jewellery scene, Cartier is master of combining dazzling high jewellery with watchmaking theatrics as you can see in the hypnotising Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré pendant watch, above. A combination of diamonds, sapphires and onyx - designed to evoke the outstretched wings of a butterfly - form the body of the pendant with its detachable 25.93-carat Sri Lanka sapphire dangling graciously below. Beyond the dazzling beauty of this piece you will notice a whirling double tourbillon suspended in the void at the top of the pendant. Known as a mystery tourbillon, as it appears to float in space, this extraordinary complication has been one of Cartier’s most famous hat tricks since 1912.

The Panthère Mystérieuse pendant watch, below, is unequivocally Cartier.  A lithe diamond-studded panther perches on a swing that surrounds a semi-translucent agate medallion framed by diamonds and obsidian.  Transfixed by the mysteriously floating hands of the watch, the panther's emerald eyes gaze at the hour and minute hands sweeping magically around the dial.

Panthère Mystérieuse pendant watch
Cartier’s Panthère Mystérieuse pendant watch is home to a lithe diamond-studded panther perching on the bezel (€780,000).

Harry Winston’s romantic Rosebud pendant watch

Harry Winston hopes we will be love-struck by the Rosebud heart-shaped pendant watch, below, perhaps the most romantic way of wearing time. The stylised white gold heart is pierced by Cupid's magical arrow decorated with Harry Winston’s signature cluster technique in which diamonds are set at varying angles to increase the voltage of the stones.  For even more fun, a simple clip allows you to wear your heart on your sleeve, on an elegant black satin strap.

Rosebud Heart high jewellery pendant watch
Harry Winston’s stylized white gold heart pendant watch with a natural mother-of-pearl dial is set alight with brilliant-cut diamonds and pierced by Cupid’s bow (POA). 

Roger Dubuis and the year of the Velvet Diva

Women, or rather divas, were in the limelight in 2016 at Roger Dubuis with glamorous Hollywood-style creations marrying the best of high jewellery with high-end horology. The Velvet Ribbon pearl sautoir necklace, below, literally leaves time dangling in the form of  a pendant watch swaying from a strand of creamy white Akoya pearls and inky black onyx beads. The case and dial are encrusted with 918 baguette-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds and the manual-winding movement is certified with Seal of Geneva.  For added razzamatazz, the onyx and pearl tassel will move to the beat of its owner.

Velvet Ribbon pearl pendant watch
Hollywood glamour captured by Roger Dubuis’ Velvet Ribbon pearl sautoir necklace letting time dangle from the end of a strand of Akoya pearls and black onyx beads (£367,000).

The Pendentif Boule by Hermès

This colourful spherical Pendentif Boule pendant watch showcases the skills of Hermès’ enamellers. Cloisonné enamelling decorates one half of the white gold globe. This complex technique uses tiny white gold cloisons or partitions, which in this case, have been carefully erected on the domed surface.  Different colours of enamel are then applied to each chamber and fired at high temperatures. Dangling from the white gold chain of the Pendentif Boule, below, the globe whirls and twirls show off its two faces: a multi-coloured floral pattern on one side and a pretty white-of-mother watch dial on the other. 

Pendentif Boule watch
Hermès’ Pendentif Boule whirls and twirls showing off its two faces: a multi-coloured enamel floral pattern on one side and a pretty white-of-mother watch (POA).

Splash out with Piaget’s Sunny Side of Life

Inspired by those swank Californian pool parties of the late 1960s and 1970s, Piaget’s Sunny Side of Life collection is an ode to pleasure and flamboyance.  This stunning sautoir pendant watch, below, captures the electric blue waters of a swimming pool with its lapis lazuli stones harnessed in the twisted white gold links and separated by diamonds for a flash of brilliant sunlight. A halo of diamonds surrounds the oval-shaped case of the watch which depicts the hours and minutes upside down so you can consult them at a glance. 

Sunny Side of Life diamond and lapis lazuli sautoir watch
Piaget’s sautoir pendant watch captures the electric blue waters of a swimming pool with its lapis lazuli stones harnessed in the twisted white gold links and separated by diamonds (POA).

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