Swarovski has this magical ability to create virtually anything using crystals. In recent years, creative director Nathalie Colin has dreamt up an idyllic tropical paradise complete with vibrant jewel-set critters and flowers; displays of tribal-like baubles inspired by an African adventure; and, most recently, a super colourful, imaginary underwater kingdom. So when the Austrian label announced its first automatic timepiece for women, chances were, it was going to look pretty spectacular.
4,000 gleaming crystals? Check. Swiss-made calibre? Check. The vision of a guest designer? Check. The Crystalline Hours is Swarovski’s biggest, boldest watchmaking act yet.
And pretty spectacular the new Crystalline Hours is. Embellished on the watch’s dial are a whopping 4,000 faceted crystals arranged in a random but clever pattern that reflects light at different angles for a shimmering appeal.
“When we started the design phase, we wondered how to feature as many crystals as possible within such a limited space, without compromising on the understated elegance of the watch,” creative director Nathalie Colin recalls. “We came up with this idea to reverse proportions and focus on a transparent case which would allow a front and back view of both the movement and the crystals on the dial. I love the idea that not everything gets revealed at first glance; it is more mysterious,” she adds.
The Crystalline Hours is the fruit of an outstanding collaboration between Swarovski and Eric Giroud – the acclaimed Geneva-based product designer who has worked on several designs for Harry Winston and MB&F – and houses a Swiss-made automatic calibre in a classic 38mm rose-gold-toned or stainless steel case.
1. The new Crystalline Hours by Swarovski through the eyes of Australian Instagram superstar Margaret Zhang, who shot the brand’s Fall-winter ’16 campaign. 2. The Crystalline Hours is Swarovski’s first automatic watch for women. 3. 4,000 crystals – the most Swarovski has ever set on a timepiece – decorate the dial of the Crystalline Hours. Steel with crystals and leather strap.