NO­TABLE WRIST-TAKERS

With time­pieces that run the style gamut of aris­to­cratic sporty num­bers to el­e­gant blue-blooded de­signs, Aude­mars Piguet’s fleet of watches is made to suit ev­ery facet of your per­son­al­ity.

Harper's Bazaar (Singapore) - - THE STYLE -

Aude­mars Piguet has never been one to shy away from icon­o­clas­tic de­signs. Hav­ing in­tro­duced its em­blem­atic Royal Oak in 1972 (a watch whose looks were so ground­break­ing, it is said to have di­chotomised the watch world then), the Le Bras­sus Man­u­fac­ture gained a rep­u­ta­tion for de­liv­er­ing the un­ex­pected and never quak­ing be­fore the break­ing of con­ven­tions. Yet, for all that, the watch­maker was still the talk of the town when it un­veiled the Di­a­mond Punk time­piece in 2015.

Look­ing like noth­ing the 142-year-old brand had re­leased be­fore, the ex­traor­di­nary cuff watch pre­sented avant-garde bold­ness where past haute joail­lerie pieces ex­uded el­e­gant fem­i­nin­ity. It was a break from tra­di­tion—a move that Aude­mars Piguet is clearly well ac­quainted with—that threw the spot­light on its gem-set­ting ex­per­tise. Hav­ing gar­nered a for­mi­da­ble rep­u­ta­tion for watch-mak­ing, Aude­mars Piguet was set on re­mind­ing the world of its other strengths as well. The Di­a­mond Punk, the first of a tril­ogy, was the per­fect can­vas to show­case this.

En­veloped en­tirely in di­a­monds, the white gold time­piece breaks out into an ex­plo­sion of lights at ev­ery turn, thanks to 56 geo­met­ric facets that bear a to­tal of 7,848 di­a­monds (33.35 carats) on its sur­face. Even more as­tound­ing is the fact that the di­a­monds have been set by the revered art of snow-set­ting: An ex­tremely dif­fi­cult tech­nique that sees dif­fer­ent-sized di­a­monds be­ing set in a highly cal­i­brated yet ran­dom pat­tern, with very lit­tle gold be­ing seen be­tween the stones. Com­plet­ing the per­fec­tion is a clever se­cret cover that slides seam­lessly to the side to re­veal a dial that bears an ad­di­tional 300 di­a­monds (0.92 carats). A whop­ping 1,440 hours was re­quired to bring the watch into fruition, re­sult­ing in an au­da­cious high jew­ellery se­cret time­piece that only re­veals the time when you want it to.

Con­tin­u­ing the mo­men­tum was Di­a­mond Fury launched a year later. Armed with a name that matches its ag­gres­sive looks, the watch is cloaked in three-di­men­sional ar­row­head shapes that seem to mimic a viper’s scales as it coils around the wrist. Over 1,500 hours and 4,841 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds (26.14 carats) were needed to bring this mys­te­ri­ous and in­trigu­ingly dan­ger­ous-look­ing vi­sion to life. And like its pre­cur­sor, this shim­mer­ing white gold time­piece fea­tures a well-hid­den se­cret panel that flips up to ex­pose a di­a­mond dial with black­ened gold hands.

Cul­mi­nat­ing the tril­ogy of one-of-a-kind time­pieces on a vic­to­ri­ous note is the Di­a­mond Out­rage, which was un­veiled at this year’s Salon In­ter­na­tional De La Haute Hor­logerie (SIHH) to much furore—and with good rea­son. In­spired by the win­tery land­scape of the Val­lée de Joux (a place that Aude­mars Piguet calls home), the youngest of the di­a­mond sis­ters is the most daz­zling of the lot.

It fea­tures a myr­iad of spikes, mea­sur­ing 29.30mm to 40mm, which re­call sta­lac­tites that seem to have been gath­ered for this spe­cific pur­pose. The spikes are sheathed in a blan­ket of di­a­monds that have been mas­ter­fully set with the snow-set­ting tech­nique. A sec­ond glance at the watch’s pointed for­est, how­ever, shows three spikes that bear the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing in­vis­i­bly-set with baguette-cut di­a­monds—show­cas­ing yet an­other revered gem-set­ting tech­nique that al­lows the pre­cious stones to look like they’re held in place by noth­ing else but magic. It’s a highly com­plex and de­mand­ing tech­nique that re­quires the cut­ting of grooves on the un­der­side of the gem so that they can be slid onto a grid of rails that are hid­den be­neath. The­o­ret­i­cally, it sounds sim­ple, yet it takes a gem-set­ter years of prac­tice and ex­pe­ri­ence to garner the skills re­quired for this highly ex­act­ing craft.

Glit­ter­ing glee­fully with an im­pres­sive 9,923 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds ( 50.06 carats) and 354 baguette-cut di­a­monds (15.85 carats), the Di­a­mond Out­rage is also avail­able in a fully set blue sap­phire num­ber that’s dressed with 11,043 bril­liant-cut sap­phires (65.47 carats). The Di­a­mond Punk and Fury are also avail­able in al­ter­na­tive ver­sions graced with di­a­monds and onyx.

Re­mark­able as in­di­vid­u­als, breath­tak­ing as a whole, the Di­a­mond Tril­ogy is an ex­traor­di­nary study that shows the magic that en­sues when the best of haute hor­logerie meets haute joail­lerie. Noth­ing less than the mas­ter­ful or­ches­tra­tion of de­sign­ers, gem­set­ters, en­gravers and watch­mak­ers could have re­sulted in this sym­phony of lights. And with it, Aude­mars Piguet has added yet an­other glo­ri­ous chap­ter to its 134year her­itage of ex­cep­tional time­pieces for women.

White gold and di­a­mond Di­a­mond Fury

An up-close look at the Di­a­mond Fury’s mas­ter­ful gem-set­ting

The Di­a­mond Fury wraps the wrist with its viper-like scales

A Di­a­mond Fury ar­row­head­shaped el­e­ment be­fore di­a­monds are set

A Di­a­mond Fury el­e­ment be­ing heated up

The sap­phire ver­sion of the Di­a­mond Out­rage

White gold and di­a­mond Di­a­mond Out­rage

The spikes of the Di­a­mond Out­rage are of vary­ing heights

The metic­u­lous care to de­tail also ap­plies to the watches’ un­der­car­riage

White gold and di­a­mond Di­a­mond Punk

Set­ting a di­a­mond into the Di­a­mond Fury el­e­ment

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.