Out of the Blue

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus | Gübelin -

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

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