Watches For 2012

Sara Fifi Castany


There was nothing demure or subtle about this year’s crop of women’s watches. Dripping in diamonds with master art details, these luxury timepieces are worthy of being worn as priceless jewels.

Harry Winston’s Premier Feather Collection

Harry Winston creations are always attention-grabbers and the unveiling of the four watches featured in their Premier Feather Collection has created plenty of excitement. The stunning combinations of diamonds, precious stones and artistry serve to showcase the fine skills of both watchmaking and feather art, which require meticulous work and manual dexterity.

To create the feathered dials, Harry Winston enlisted the unique talent of French master plumassière, Nelly Saunier, who creates extraordinary pieces for some of the most renowned couture houses. It takes a seven-hour process to skillfully set each peacock feather to create this breathtaking dial. “Feathers always conjure up a sense of fantasy in people,” Saunier said. “They seem to carry with them fabulous stories.” Each of the watches are quartz movement and cased in 18k white or rose gold set with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds at 1.45ct and brilliant-cut diamond crown. The collection features models in silver pheasant feathers, Lady Amherst pheasant feathers, peacock feathers, or ring-necked pheasant feathers.

Bulgari Serpenti

Richard Burton use to joke that “Bulgari” was the only word Elizabeth Taylor knew in Italian. In her book My Love Affair With Jewelry, the actress recounted how she discovered Bulgari while filming Cleopatra in Italy, and the masterpieces designed for Burton to give to Taylor are as famous as their love affair. A selection from her personal collection of Bulgari jewels was on show as part of the Italian house’s 125th anniversary exhibition that toured the world.

Recently, the company presented a new model of the Serpenti watch inspired by those belonging to Elizabeth Taylor. The signature Bulgari snake, a symbol of eternal youth, is a quartz watch with an 18kt pink gold case, set with round brilliant-cut diamonds. It features a black sapphire dial and a one-twirl 18kt pink gold bracelet, set with round brilliant-cut diamonds and onyx. It is a watch that Elizabeth Taylor would have rushed to add to her collection.

Chanel’s Camélia Flying Tourbillion

To celebrate 25 years in the timekeeping industry, Chanel presented the limited edition Camélia Flying Tourbillion. Inspired by the shape of the Place Vendôme and Chanel’s iconic Chanel No. 5 bottle, this jeweled stunner is incased in 18k white gold and surrounded by 101 5.7ct of baguette-cut diamonds. Furthermore, it shows off 15 diamonds on the hands and 127 brilliant-cut diamonds throughout the watch. Created through collaboration between Chanel and the Swiss watchmakers Renaud & Papai, its exceptional tourbillion was designed to look like a camellia, Coco Chanel’s favorite flower. This dazzling jewel serves as further testament that the fashion house is here to stay as a power player in the luxury watch industry.

Now for the bad news, only 20 have been made.

Chopard Happy Sport Oval

From the moment Chopard launched its Happy Diamond collection in 1976, women everywhere fell in love with the “free-floating” diamonds in the watches. It’s what increased the company’s popularity in the jewelry world, expanding the unique diamond feature to other accessories and leading to the development of their luxury sports watch line, Happy Sport. The latest addition to the collection is Happy Sport Oval, showcasing a slimmer, oval dial made of white mother of pearl, highlighting seven “free-floating” diamonds. It has a quartz mechanism and the case is made of 18k pink gold. The watch is available in two versions: with a smooth polished bezel or one encrusted with diamonds.

Maybe it’s the way the moving diamonds glisten in the light, or its elegant design, but whatever the attraction, sporting this watch on your wrist will surely up your happiness quotient.

Versace Vanitas Collection

The Versace style has always expressed a perfect harmony between the classical and the modern, and its unique brand of Italian glamour was evident in their latest collection of fine watches. While most luxury watch companies have presented serious and bejeweled timepieces, the ultra feminine and colorful watches of Versace’s new Vanitas Collection was a breath of fresh air. It was inspired by a detail on one of Versace’s signature handbags. Two metal studs used in the popular bag that display the company’s signature portrayal of Caravaggio’s Medusa, now appear on the watch’s crocodile pattern band. This quartz model incased in gold, features their classic “Greca” pattern dial, and is available with or without diamonds.

It’s the perfect wristwatch for passionate followers of la dolce vita.


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