Shine time: The best fine jewellery watches
by Zoe Dickens
Can’t choose between a chic black tie watch and the best contemporary jewels for cocktail hour? In recent years a surge in super high-end horology means it's now possible to have both thanks to the timepieces combining exquisite complications and even more exquisite emeralds, diamonds and other precious stone and metals. The recent high jewellery collections, which were unveiled during Couture Week in January, brought with them a wave of glorious new watches so let your timepiece do the talking with our edit of the most incredible fine jewellery watches on the market.
Chanel L'Espirit du Lion Protective
Unveiled in January 2018 as part of Chanel's most recent high jewellery collection, L'Espirit du Lion, the Protective watch features an open bracelet design that wraps elegantly around the wrist. Incorporating the collection's signature lion motif - an emblem with which Gabrielle Chanel worked and became greatly associated with during her lifetime - the 18 karat white gold timepiece features 465 brilliant-cut diamonds and one large round-cut diamond.
Case: Round, white gold and diamond
Stones: 466 diamonds
Van Cleef & Arpels Garden Myosotis
Debuted at the SIHH 2018 watch fair, Van Cleef & Arpels new Garden collection brings together the house's indisputable gem setting expertise and horology know-how in a series of timepieces dedicated to the mystery and beauty of mother nature. One of a pair - the other featuring an emerald and diamond daisy design - the Myosotis watch pays homage to the romance and tenderness of the forget-me-not in a palette of pastel hues. When laid flat the flowers are picked out in a bouquet of blue and yellow sapphires but, when wrapped around the wrist, a bed of pink sapphires is revealed highlighting the house's mastery of intricate and complex pieces.
Case: Round, 18 karat white and yellow gold
Stones: Blue, pink and yellow sapphires and diamonds
Despite being unveiled at Baselworld a full three years ago there are still few fine jewellery watches that can rival the Graff Hallucination. Thought to be the most valuable watch in the world, the Hallucination features over 110 carats of rare coloured diamonds and represents thousands of hours of skilled craftsmanship.
Case: Round, platinum and diamond
Stones: 110 carats of fancy vivid yellow, fancy intense pink, fancy intense blue, fancy light pink, fancy light grey blue, fancy green and fancy orange diamonds
Price: Estimated $55 million
The first timepiece from G, the fine jewellery house created by British designer Glenn Spiro, Reveal is inspired by the brand's signature rings of the same name. Based on the form of the Lotus flower, the Reveal watch is available in a range of five limited edition pieces, with a blue, pink, green, black or red strap, and with stones including diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and tsavorites accordingly. However, the truly mesmerising aspect of the Reveal watch is its capacity to transform. Using a twisting mechanism the enclosed petals of the lotus bloom open to reveal a delicate bejewelled watch face beneath.
Case: Round, 18 karat white and rose gold with titanium
Stones: Diamond, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and tsavorites
Boucheron Plume de Paon
As much as fine jewellery bracelet as it is a watch, Boucheron's Plume de Paon is inspired by Frédéric Boucheron's iconic necklace of the same name which was designed to wrap around the neck like a question mark. Further inspiration comes from the tropical peacocks that roam the gardens of India's Umaid Bhawan while marble marquetry plays tribute to the world's famous palaces.
Case: Unique, white gold, marble and diamond
Stones: White diamonds
Bulgari Cerchi Astrale
For those who like to add a little colour with their accessories Bulgari’s Cerchi Astrale is the ideal watch/jewel combination. A little more subtle than many fine jewellery watches, diamonds and precious coloured gemstone are restricted to the feminine 36mm yellow gold case while the timepiece is finished with a simple black satin strap to contrast with the vivid hues of the stones. Incredibly it's also water resistant to 50 metres.
Case: 36mm round, 18 carat yellow gold
Stones: Diamonds, fancy-cut coloured gemstones