Timepieces Dripping in Diamonds
by roberta naas
Diamond timepieces have entranced women for centuries, first as pendants and chatelaines and later as wristwatches. Today, top watchmakers are taking this concept to new heights as they offer exquisite diamond watches that allow women to dazzle at this season’s holiday fêtes.
Creating high-diamond watches is no easy task. It takes time to collect all the proper cuts, colors, and clarities that work together in a timepiece. In many cases, the diamond cuts used for watches are different than those used for jewelry, and the same is true of the setting. In fact, myriad diamond settings are used in watchmaking to create flowing ribbons, scintillating flowers, and shimmering diamond-paved dials.
Often these watches command hundreds of hours of patience by the master gem setter to tweak the settings and perfectly place each diamond by hand. That sensational work is what makes these watches so much more personal and individualized—creating a treasured item for the woman lucky enough to wear one.
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT:
1. This Van Cleef & Arpels Farandole timepiece (price on request) is crafted in 18k white gold, with a diamond pavé dial and a diamond bracelet consisting of a medley of fancy-cut diamonds that include round, marquise, and pear cuts. It houses a Swiss quartz movement.
2. From Cartier, this ultrafeminine Crash watch ($140,000) is crafted in 18k white gold and meticulously rendered with diamonds. It houses a mechanical manual-wind movement.
3. From Graff Diamonds, this LadyGraff watch ($550,000) is expertly set with 61 diamonds on the dial and 109 diamonds on the bracelet for a total of more than 43 carats. It houses a quartz movement and is created in a limited edition of 20 pieces.
photography by jeff crawford; styling by terry lewis