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“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?" We, truth be told, we’re unable to decide. As such, we’re leaving the decision to you. Here are five good-lookers from the recent Baselworld Fair that would make great arm candy on any woman’s wrist. Some of them are just as beautiful on the inside as out, and house impressive movements within their cases, too.
1. Mademoiselle Prive Coromandel Glyptic
In the world of Chanel timepieces, “Mademoiselle Prive" denotes the jewellery watch collection that explores the symbols and motifs most cherished by Gabrielle Chanel. The Coromandel Glyptic series takes inspiration from the Chinese coromandel screens she loved, which are still standing in her apartment on 31 rue Cambon in Paris to this day. Carved out of precious gems and gold using the glyptic technique, an ancient art the Egyptians excelled in, the designs found on these screens are transformed into realistic renderings on the dials of the Coromandel Glyptic watches. Available in three dial designs, each timepiece comes in an 18k beige gold case, with a diamond-set bezel and black alligator strap.
2. Premier Delicate Silk Automatic 36mm
The Premier Collection was the American jeweller’s first foray into watchmaking in 1989, and today, has become a mainstay in the brand’s horological offerings. Following the success of the Premier Precious Weaving, which had silk woven through mother-of-pearl on the dials, and Premier Precious Butterfly, which used iridescent pigments harvested from butterfly wings, the brand has launched yet another Premier timepiece featuring unusual art. Silk weaving and embossing are combined to create dials that recall the rich decorations found in European palaces. As with all Premier automatic timepieces, the model’s 36mm case houses a HW2008 automatic calibre.
3. Mastergraff Floral Tourbillon
The Mastergraff Floral Tourbillon brings a wholly feminine interpretation to the tourbillon timepiece, which is all too often seen as a preserve of the men’s collections. Flowers, hand-cut in white gold then coloured by high fire enamel and hand painting, are rendered realistically on a mother-of-pearl dial in a process that can take up to 50 hours to complete. Not just plain sculptures, the blooms at eight, nine, and 12 o’clock turn with the wearer’s movements in a hypnotic dance. Even the watch’s hands have been given a feminine touch, voluptuous and softly rounded as they are. This spectacle is framed by a 38mm diamond-set white gold case, perfectly sized for feminine wrists.
4. Grand Bal Piece Unique Galaxie
It’s said that Monsieur Dior was a superstitious gentleman, and believed that the constellations held the secrets to his destiny. Dior’s new Grand Bal collection takes inspiration from the founder’s fascination with the stars and puts them on the dials of 10 watches, each an exclusive one-off piece. Hand-engraved gold is layered over fiery opal marquetry creating an iridescent background for the oscillating weight, which is located on the dial instead of under, as is a signature of the Grand Bal collection. A disc of clear sapphire crystal glass, the weight is set with scattered white diamonds to represent the stars. Turn over the timepiece and another exquisite detail is revealed; each case back is decorated with an engraving of a constellation, like a secret divine guide that protects the wearer.
5. LUC XP Esprit du Fleurier Peony
Fleurier in Switzerland is known as the village of flowers, named for the wild flowers that take over the banks of its three rivers every spring. It was here that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president, established the brand’s haute horology workshop in 1996. Within this timepiece beats the LUC 96.23-L self-winding movement, equipped with the patented Twin technology – two stacked coaxial barrels that provide an impressive 65-hour power reserve. The dial carries Fleurisanne engraving, a technique that involves strategically removing material so that the raised metal left behind is decorative. In this case, the gold was shaped to form peonies as a tribute to the brand’s connections with China. The peony is a favourite flower of the Chinese elite, who began collecting Chopard’s masterpieces as far back as the 19th century. Only eight pieces of the watch are available worldwide.