The Salon Internationale de Haute Horlogerie 2013 saw the unveiling of another watch collection by Montblanc that honours the memory of Princess Grace of Monaco. Inspired by the 'Rose de Monaco', a pink bloom created in 1956 to commemorate Grace Kelly's marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, the collection takes its cues from the shapes of rose petals and the flower's sinuous forms. Softly glowing mother-of-pearl dials and delicate, petal-shaped bracelet links give this collection an air of femininity, and each watch is graced with the clear sparkle of top-quality white diamonds. The white-gold high jewellery watch, called 'Pétales de Roses', is a one-off: a unique piece that will never be repeated. Most distinctive is the variety of diamond cuts used to set the entire watch, from dial to case to bracelet. The bezel shimmers with a spiral of 44 graduated baguette-cut diamonds that total just over 4ct. The effect is of a tapering swirl of light, further enhanced by the fire of 130 brilliant-cut diamonds set into the inner rim of the bezel, also known as the flange.
The dial - set with 79 brilliant diamonds of varying sizes in rose-petal shapes that echo the links of the bracelet - is equally precious. Setting diamonds into the slender mother-of-pearl dial was particularly tricky, making the work of the gem-setter extremely challenging. Using different diamond cuts to create movement and drama, the gem-setter has quite literally played with light. Incorporating a range of diamonds cuts and playing with their differing scintillations is a trend increasingly seen in high jewellery and, now, watches. The bracelet is a series of rose petal-shaped links set with an impressive 553 diamonds. All the diamonds are Top Wesselton quailty, an old system used for grading the finest white diamonds.
The watch is powered by an automatic winding mechanical movement, which gathers energy from the movement of your wrist. This superior calibre is a fitting complement to the precious exterior of the watch and will be appreciated by connoisseurs who demand beauty on the outside as well as the inside of their watch. The back of the case is engraved with the Princess Grace monogram.
Equally exquisite is the 'Pétales Entrelacés' one-off watch, which also plays with the theme of rose petals, this time in red gold and with a slightly simpler bracelet and more restrained diamond settings. Like the white gold 'Pétales de Roses' it, too, has an automatic winding mechanical movement.
The Princesse Grace de Monaco in red gold has a mother-of-pearl dial featuring a diamond bezel and hour markers, and is a watch that could be worn everyday. The white alligator strap is in perfect harmony with the elegance of the case and dial, warmed by the glow of the single pink sapphire at 6 o'clock, reminiscent of the 'Rose de Monaco'. Like the other two watches mentioned previously, it is powered by a mechanical self-winding movement.
In return for using Grace Kelly as the inspiration for a collection of watches - as well as jewels and pens - named 'A Tribute to Grace', Montblanc supports the Princess Grace Foundation in the USA, which gives emerging young artists a helping hand. A subject close to Montblanc's heart, art is an important facet of its culture. The company supports both artists and patrons around the world and has an impressive collection of contemporary art on show in its boutiques and offices.