By Rebecca Doulton
If you are in need of some alternative Mother's Day ideas, how about a flower that will never fade, in the form of these exquisite high jewellery ladies' watches.
Van Cleef & Arpels watches has expanded its Charms collection with three new ladies' timepieces decorated with allegorical flowers representing hope, love and desire. The Charms Extraordinaire Amour watch, decorated with cyclamens, wallflowers and forget-me-nots, is said to symbolise memory, beauty and lasting sentiments - a most appropriate message for this special day. Set against a sculpted mother-of-pearl dial, the flowers come to life thanks to the miniature painting and cabochonné enamelling, which is essentially a thick layer of enamel to create a relief effect on the dial. Picking out the delicate colours of the flowers, the bezel of the 38mm rose gold case is set with pink sapphires and diamonds, and the dangling charm orbiting the dial is decorated with pink sapphires and yellow spessartite garnet.
Coco Chanel's favourite flower was the camellia, and as a permanent motif at Chanel watches, it opens its petals once again as part of the high jewellery Mademoiselle Privé collection. The camellia on the dial is the work of a master craftsman who has recreated the volume of the billowing petals by sculpting milky white mother-of-pearl discs and layering them on top of one another. The gorgeous flower is sheltered by a sky of 330 brilliant-cut diamonds on the dial. As a high jewellery ladies' watch, the 37.5mm white gold case houses an automatic movement and is enhanced with diamonds on the bezel and the buckle.
Cartier watches' new Maison des Métiers d'Art is a haven for rare artistic crafts. The new Ballon Blue Orchid ladies' watch attests to the extraordinary skills of Cartier's craftsmen by combining the ancient art of granulation - the creation of a surface pattern on jewellery with tiny balls refined by Etruscan goldsmiths - as a background to the lavish orchids made from engraved mother-of-pearl on the dial, accentuated with red enamel lips. The 42mm yellow gold case with its automatic mechanical movement might seem large to some women, but with so much artistry on the dial, it would be a shame to limit the view.
Roses always top the list of Mother's Day ideas and Piaget watches is the jeweller most closely associated with this flower. So much so that there is even an Yves Piaget rose, an award-winning peony-shaped rose. The Piaget Limelight Blooming Rose is an elegant high jewellery ladies' watch with a marvellous twist. By swivelling the bezel, the wearer can choose whether to reveal four or six diamond-studded petals, constantly changing the appearance of the watch. Sparkling with 269 grain-set diamonds, the magical bezel offsets the black or white lacquered dial to grandiose effect.