Mod­ern MAS­TER­PIECES

What makes for good de­sign? These con­tem­po­rary cre­ations from em­i­nent watch and jew­ellery brands each give a dif­fer­ent an­swer

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Feature - Text and Co­or­di­na­tion Ni­co­lette Wong Pho­tog­ra­phy Dar­ren Gabriel Leow Fash­ion Di­rec­tion Desmond Lim

There is no ques­tion that good de­sign should be both beau­ti­ful and func­tional, but as with ev­ery­thing in life, the devil is in the de­tails. In the watch and jew­ellery world, cre­at­ing de­signs that cleave to a brand’s her­itage and iden­tity are es­pe­cially im­por­tant—but they can­not sim­ply con­tinue do­ing so with­out push­ing the bound­aries of mod­ern de­sign. When the Patek Philippe Cala­trava Pilot Travel Time Ref 5524 de­buted in 2015 (then in white gold with a dif­fer­ent dial colour­way), it caused quite the stir. Its bold, sporty aes­thetic was vastly dif­fer­ent from any of Patek Philippe’s con­tem­po­rary of­fer­ings at the time. A few years on, how­ever, the watch has be­come a cel­e­brated part of the brand’s oeu­vre. Patek Philippe even cre­ated the Ref 7234, a smaller fem­i­nine ver­sion of the Ref 5524 that houses the same high-per­for­mance move­ment. An­other ex­am­ple is the Bvl­gari Octo Finis­simo Au­to­matic, which strikes an ex­cel­lent bal­ance be­tween en­gi­neer­ing and aes­thetic con­cerns. It set the world record for the thinnest au­to­matic move­ment when it de­buted last year in ti­ta­nium, and this year’s it­er­a­tion in rose gold with a unique sand­blasted fin­ish, is aes­thet­i­cally even more pleas­ing to the eye. Be­sides these time­pieces, our cover cou­ple, Al­fred Chua and An­nie Seow, also had their eyes on other items in the shoot. An­nie, who is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Mi­croland, was enamoured with the Pan­thère de Cartier neck­lace, which has the house’s iconic pan­ther mo­tif. Al­fred, the founder and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The Wok Peo­ple (and watch en­thu­si­ast), made time for the Aude­mars Piguet Royal Oak Per­pet­ual Calendar. It just goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the be­holder, and there is plenty of room for dif­fer­ent def­i­ni­tions of good de­sign in this world.

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