Out of the Blue
Inspired by the beauty of Paraiba tourmalines, Gübelin presents a one-of-a-kind collection, with a beautiful timepiece designed in collaboration with Roger Dubuis to match
ime and again, women are drawn to jewellery that reminds them of the sea. Maybe it is the beauty of the colours that range from pale turquoise to midnight blue. Maybe it is the flattering light that blue and green stones bathe the skin in, or maybe it is down to the simple fact that being by the sea makes us happy, and people want to recreate that feeling in their everyday lives.
The latest brand to launch such a collection is Gübelin, which has partnered with Roger Dubuis to create a limited-edition watch made of 47 Paraiba tourmalines and 212 diamonds. Called Velvet Paraiba, Gübelin found inspiration for this beautiful watch from looking at the complex colours and reflections deep inside a tourmaline, which reminded the designers of the currents of the ocean. Excitingly, this landmark collaboration also marks the first time that Roger Dubuis has worked with a jewellery brand to create a timepiece.
“It is part of our ‘deeply inspired’ philosophy, which characterises the company at all levels and stands for the combination of beauty and knowledge. As a member of the sixth generation of our company, I am very proud of how we bring together beauty, knowledge and craftsmanship,” says Raphael Gübelin, president of the eponymous family business and a man who has been instrumental in making this collaboration happen.
But before we learn more about the exquisite watch, it is important to understand the history of the tourmaline, which was only discovered 30 years ago but has since become one of the most fashionable gems in the world (and as soon as you hold one up close, you will know why).
Paraiba tourmalines were first discovered in the 1980s in a mine in the Brazilian state of the same name. The late Eduard Josef Gübelin, one of the most renowned gemmologists of the 20th century, said that seeing this gem for the first time was one of the highlights of his long and fascinating career. He described them as being like a “flashlight of blue turquoise” or a “busily flickering mint green— an incomprehensible expressiveness exaggerated into the realms of the artificial.”
And he is correct, there is something other-worldly about the unusual shading of Paraiba tourmalines, and it is their potent combination of copper and manganese that creates hues of luminous blue and green. As well as Brazil, tourmalines are now also mined in Mozambique and Nigeria.
Born out of this exotic story is the Velvet Paraiba watch, which contains more jewels than your average timepiece. Its bezel is set with 46 round Paraiba tourmalines, the mother-of-pearl face is adorned with diamond-set ornaments and the crown includes a 0.15-carat cabochon-cut Paraiba tourmaline. The strap is an intense turquoise to match the gems themselves, with a diamond-encrusted clasp. This timepiece is as clever as it is beautiful—the inner workings and the watch itself are from the Roger Dubuis manufacture, which was awarded the Geneva Seal for excellence in watchmaking.
Alongside the watch, the Swiss brand is also releasing a Grace of the Sea Anemone jewellery range inspired by this colourful creature known as the “flower of the sea,” with its tentacles waving gently in the currents. The bracelet is made with white gold, seven tourmalines and 375 diamonds, while a ring and a pair of matching earrings feature two tourmalines and 266 diamonds. This is a truly unique collection with just eight watches available worldwide. The exquisite creations will be available exclusively in the Gübelin boutiques in Lucerne, Geneva and at the very special occasion of the launch of the Grace of the Sea Anemone line at the Gübelin Salon in Hong Kong.
So for anyone who misses the dazzling reflection of light bouncing off the turquoise seas of summer, ask for the Gübelin and Roger Dubuis Velvet Paraiba watch and matching suite of jewellery for Christmas, and make every day a wondrous holiday.
GRACE OF THE SEA ANEMONE Ring, bracelet and earrings set with Paraiba tourmalines and diamonds, all by Gübelin
TIMELESS CLASSIC Limited edition white gold Velvet Paraiba watch set with 47 Paraiba tourmalines and 212 diamonds by Gübelin and Roger Dubuis