Snow-set jewellery watches made for the winter season
It's that time of the year again, and while we may not get any snow here in the tropics, what's stopping us to enjoy the cold vicariously — and luxuriously — with gorgeous diamonds snow-set on a high jewellery timepiece? Snow-setting is where gemstones of varying sizes huddle together perfectly, as if for warmth, leaving no perceivable gaps in between; resulting in a shimmering sparkling surface that resembles freshly fallen snow. The sheer number of stones required for this technique, and the dexterity required to fit them all without showing any of the material underneath, calls for immense gem-setting savoir-faire. No matter the size, each gem is set to shine with maximum brilliance, so they all come together to form a glittering precious mosaic.
For the most luxuriously appointed wintry timepieces, check out my seven picks:
1. Breguet High Jewellery Petite Fleur
Looking like a flower that's been touched by Elsa, this timepiece hides an element of surprise: It's 43 baguette-diamond petals flutter and sway with every swing of the wrist, giving you more bling for your buck. A set of hidden pivots enable this vivacious feature. The petals surround a dial set with 141 snow-set diamonds and a further 48 inverted-set diamonds.
2. Bulgari Serpenti Incantati
Everyone's favourite snake-inspired watch has been updated with new variations. This one has the serpent encircling the dial sensuously and then coiling just once around the wrist. Splendid with 251 brilliant-cut diamonds on the case and bracelet, it has a further 116 snow-set on the dial. Its articulated bracelet hugs the wrist perfectly, like a real snake could.
3. Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel Sculpted Gold Flying Birds
A collection of five models, each depicting a different scene, these watches combine the heritage of the Chanel maison with traditional gold relief engraving. Sculpted gold birds literally spread their wings as if ready to fly, thanks to hidden trembler springs pivoting the wings. Cases in beige gold with snow-set brilliant cut diamonds complete the timepieces.
4. Chopard Precious Chopard
As intricate as a snowflake, this timepiece is formed of a latticework of pear-shaped, tapered baguette-cut, marquise-cut, and brilliant-cut diamonds, while the floral motif at its core is covered with snow-set diamonds and then surrounded by more baguette-cut stones. Clearly meant for aficionados of this precious hardstone, it comes with matching earrings, necklaces, and rings completing the parure.
5. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 7021/1G-001
Fully frosted with brilliant-cut diamonds, this ladies' Nautilus takes sporty luxe to the next level. Using what Patek Philippe calls the gridless technique, which is similar to snow-setting, the stones are individually cut and adjusted so that every nook and cranny is perfectly paved — except the caseback, but we doubt you'll mind that very much because through the sapphire crystal, you'll see the beautifully finished Calibre 324.
6. Vacheron Constantin Heures Créatives Heure Audacieuse
Every watch has a buckle, but only this buckle has a watch. Inspired by a historical watch from the 70s' that has a belt motif, this luxurious timepiece shows off an audacious style embodied by the women of that era. Completely avant-garde, it's va-va-voom design bridges modernity with classicism. The buckle motif serves as the case and comes with a black varnished dial while the hardware is fashioned of white gold and carpeted with snow-set brilliant-cut diamonds.
7. Van Cleef & Arpels Sweet Charms Pavé Watch
This is going to be the lucky charm to end all lucky charms. We're talking about the tassel on this timepiece, which is generously formed of brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds. It swivels freely and playfully around the case, which is set fully with more brilliant and baguette diamonds. Snow-set diamonds on its dial and buckle complete the dazzling architecture of precious stones.
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