Tracking down the most spectacular diamond watches is one of our favourite missions at The Jewellery Editor, and Baselworld 2015 proved extremely fertile hunting ground, with diamonds for every style and taste. In our new video you will find five truly spectacular creations, from a stylish secret watch hiding a dainty bejewelled dial to an outrageous timekeeper set with an equally outrageous amount of diamonds.
Breguet showed us several high jewellery timepieces inspired by Queen Marie-Antoinette's quill ink pen, but nothing prepared us for the surprise hidden beneath a black velvet cloth. Like most of Breguet's ladies' watches, it was egg-shaped, but the display of more than 1,000 tremulous baguette-cut mobile diamonds flowing from the centre of the watch, aptly christened "B Crazy", was mesmerising. Like a chrysanthemum flower with icy petals, tier upon tier of mobile diamond petals stir with every movement, bringing life and an astonishing amount of light, thanks to the 70.00 carats of diamonds decorating this high jewellery masterpiece.
It's not hush-hush that secret watches are back in vogue. Almost every high jewellery maison has one hidden up its sleeve, and this year Chanel watches pays tribute to the comet motif created by Mademoiselle Chanel in 1932 for her Bijoux de Diamants collection. The high jewellery Comète Secret watch is like wearing a strip of the Milky Way on your wrist, with its sparkling constellation of 2,319 diamonds and blue sapphires. At its centre is a dazzling diamond comet, crowned with a 1.00 carat brilliant-cut diamond, which is the secret door to the time. To reveal the sapphire-pavéd dial, you slide one of the smaller comets to displace the central comet.
When it comes to Graff watches Fascination timepiece, the choice of adjectives starts to wear thin. How to describe this wondrous 152.96 carat cluster of the very finest white diamonds crowned in the centre by an exquisitely rare 38.13 carat D Flawless pear-shaped diamond cut and polished by Graff. Laurence Graff, founder and chairman of Graff Diamonds, played an important role in the creation of the Fascination watch and wanted the piece to be transformable, allowing it to be worn in a variety of ways, so the pear-shaped diamond at the heart of the bracelet can be placed in a special shank and worn as a ring. In yet another transformation, a diamond-pavéd watch can be inserted into the bracelet to replace the diamond to create a once-in-a-lifetime high jewellery timepiece.
On a slightly smaller and undoubtedly more wearable scale, the Art Deco timepiece by Harry Winston watches takes us back to the Roaring 20s. The wonderful architecture of the platinum bracelet, set with 246 large brilliant-cut and seven baguette-cut diamonds, allows the bracelet to sit perfectly and lightly on the wrist. The elongated, emerald-shaped case, also set with diamonds, gives way to a dainty mother-of-pearl dial with hour and minute functions.
Jacob & Co. watches are not for the wallflowers of this world. Led by Jacob Arabo, who likes to be seen with his glamorous jet-set clients, the pieces issued from this New York jeweller are larger-than-life. The name of Jacob's latest collaboration with Italian jet-setter and entrepreneur Flavio Briatore, The Billionaire, just about sums up the attitude of this spectacular skeletonised watch with a bracelet set with 260 carats of emerald-cut diamonds. The skeletonised dial, which whirls with the beauty of a tourbillon powered by a complex and specially designed hand-wound movement, has been designed so as not to detract from the magnificent bracelet. These are most definitely high jewellery watches for connoisseurs with a streak of exhibitionism.