15 MIN­UTES WITH ... MARIA DOUL­TON

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Hour Glass Presents -

The co-founder and ed­i­tor-in-chief of TheJewelleryEdi­tor.com shares her favourite time­pieces, the big­gest trends, and how to cu­rate the ul­ti­mate watch col­lec­tion. By Amy Yas­mine.

What are the big­gest trends to have emerged this year?

2017 is all about the look of a watch. From Louis Vuit­ton to Gucci and Ralph Lau­ren, the watch of­fer­ing is closer than ever to the cat­walk. Go­ing a step fur­ther, the new Bul­gari Ser­penti al­lows you to cus­tomise not just the strap but also the dial colour, gem set­tings, en­grav­ing, and the case metal. Louis Vuit­ton of­fers the eas­i­est strapchang­ing sys­tem and there will be a strap for every new leather goods launch, giv­ing a whole new mean­ing to out­fit match­ing. Like­wise, coloured di­als for both men and women are on the rise. There is hardly a brand out there with­out a rain­bow of dial op­tions; Pi­aget, Hermès, Jaeger-LeCoul­tre, and Parmi­giani Fleurier are bright­en­ing up wrists around the world.

Name your top three picks from this year’s re­leases?

Chanel’s Made­moi­selle J12 for its sense of hu­mour, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 7130 for the most de­sir­able women’s World Time watch, and Dior’s Grand Bal watches for their in­tri­cacy and crafts­man­ship.

How about the great­est high­lights from Basel­world and SIHH?

At SIHH, Vacheron Con­stantin’s Coper­ni­cus and Van Cleef & Ar­pels’s Fée On­dine clock cer­tainly caught my eye. The same goes for H. Moser & Cie.’s Swiss cheese watch, which was some­thing of an in­side joke and a state­ment about the new “Made in Switzer­land” leg­is­la­tion. From Basel­world, how­ever, Bul­gari’s Octo Finis­simo, the thinnest au­to­matic move­ment in the world, made quite an im­pres­sion.

Pieces most worth in­vest­ing in this year?

Rolex’s gold Day­tona is most in­vestable as it is avail­able to pur­chase, and is even more de­sir­able, un­like the steel ver­sion, which has an eightyear wait­ing list. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 50th an­niver­sary watch also holds quite well on its own, as spe­cial edi­tions tend to hold their price bet­ter. On an­other note, Patek Philippe has the best record for hold­ing its value at auc­tions, so the new per­pet­ual cal­en­dar would surely be a good in­vest­ment.

Which watch Man­u­fac­ture or mai­son sur­prised you with their re­cent cre­ations this year?

Fabergé most cer­tainly caught my eye with its Dal­liance watch, cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with hip de­signer Fiona Krüger. An­other stand­out is IWC’s Da Vinci col­lec­tion, aimed ex­clu­sively at women, when pre­vi­ously, the brand had po­si­tioned it­self as purely a men’s watch com­pany.

How do you think women’s pref­er­ences in time­pieces have evolved through­out the years?

For sev­eral years now, watch houses have un­der­stood that women are in­ter­ested in me­chan­i­cal watches. While ini­tially over­com­pen­sated with highly me­chan­i­cal watches for women that looked like a smaller ver­sion of a man’s watch, now they are be­ing con­ceived spe­cially for women. This is why we are see­ing great de­sign with sound me­chan­i­cal hearts in the women’s watch arena.

Three things to con­sider when it comes to cu­rat­ing your per­sonal time­piece col­lec­tion?

One, al­ways buy from a rep­utable house, as re­li­a­bil­ity is the essence of time­keep­ing, and ser­vic­ing is key to main­tain­ing a me­chan­i­cal watch. Two, choose a watch that matches your life­style. If you are sporty, look for in­ter­est­ing div­ing watches, or if you are more into glam­our, then hunt out jew­ellery watches. It’s good to have a mix of clas­si­cal and con­tem­po­rary de­signs, and to avoid the pre­dictable line-up of icons. Fi­nally, look for in­ter­change­able straps or other per­son­al­i­sa­tion op­tions to make your watch unique to you.

What would be the time­piece equiv­a­lent of the LBD?

Chaumet’s Liens watch be­cause of its strong, clean lines and orig­i­nal shape, which never looks out of place.

What sets an ex­cep­tional time­piece apart from a great time­piece?

A brand that can com­bine ex­cel­lent crafts­man­ship with con­tem­po­rary de­sign, and make watch­mak­ing rel­e­vant, is ex­cep­tional. I don’t favour crafts­man­ship for the sake of it, but find­ing ways to cre­ate beauty in new forms. Houses that achieve the fine bal­ance in­clude Chanel, Hermès, Ulysse Nardin, H. Moser & Cie., Parmi­giani Fleurier, and Cartier.

What is it about ar­ti­sanal crafts­man­ship that piques your in­ter­est?

I am in­ter­ested to see how tex­tile di­als evolve. It is not just Chanel that has picked up the em­broi­dery nee­dle but oth­ers in­clud­ing Harry Win­ston and Hublot. I am also in­trigued by the dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als such as butterfly and bee­tle wings. What will they think of next?

Maria Doul­ton, haute hor­logerie and joail­lerie’s lead­ing lady

Watch­mak­ing’s peren­nial chameleon, Jaeger-LeCoul­tre’s Rev­erso Clas­sic

Maria Doul­ton counts Patek Philippe’s Ref. 7130 as the most de­sir­able World Time piece for ladies IWC’s lat­est Da Vinci col­lec­tion made its mark as its first time­piece col­lec­tion crafted ex­clu­sively for women

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