New Watch Collection Glows in the Dark
by roberta naas
Tondo by Night, de Grisogono ($9,400– $17,500).
As glamour-loving women know, not every timepiece is serious and conservative. Some are downright whimsical, such as the hit Tondo by Night watches from de Grisogono. Unveiled last year, the collection has just begun to make its way into luxury jewelry stores in the last few months. In addition to being mechanical works of art, these timepieces possess an unusual quality in the luxury watch world that begs them to be worn.
Designed by Fawaz Gruosi, the founder and president of de Grisogono, the Tondo by Night is intended to be a capricious, playful timepiece that stores light during the day and then frees it after the sun goes down. The case is created from a pearly photoluminescent fiberglass composite—with pieces of mother-of-pearl blended into the fiberglass for extra shimmer—then further bedecked with color-coordinated gemstones.
“It has such wide appeal because it is fashionable, hefty, and different from everything else on the market,” Gruosi says. “Still, I never dreamed Tondo by Night would be such an amazing success. The demand is much higher than what I produced, which was extremely unexpected.”
Each Tondo by Night watch is equipped with an exclusive in-house mechanical movement, specially developed to display the gem-set oscillating weight on the front side. Built in collaboration with an outside lab, the Tondo by Night timepieces are offered in an array of colors, each with a row of 48 gemstones on the bezel, plus another 60 on the dial (and a black diamond on the crown). The colors include white with white diamonds, yellow with yellow sapphires, pink with pink sapphires, green with tsavorites, purple with amethysts, and orange with orange sapphires. And three new shades were unveiled at the Baselworld show in April: a vivid green case with a tourmaline bezel, a blue case with a blue sapphire bezel, and a coral case with a spinel bezel. The most expensive watch in the collection is currently the white (diamond) version, which retails for $17,500.
“I dedicate this watch to happy summer days and glamorous nightlife,” Gruosi says. “It’s not only a luxury timepiece but also can be worn as a magnificent jewelry piece, with a twist.”