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?