EUROPA STAR JEWELS Summer issue 2016

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TRENDS & COLOURS: Summer 2016 issue |

delight automatic

Gwyneth Paltrow

live your passion

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016 is very much a feminine year for the watchmaking industry, with a growing trend towards women’s watches – a promising market, yet to be conquered despite the industry decline in recent years. A recent report by Mainfirst Bank reveals that female references are now dominant in three major watch companies: Cartier (from 59% of the brand’s references last year to 61% this year), Omega (40% to 54%) and Longines (44% to 53%). Among a panel of top brands, “Patek Philippe was the only brand which lowered its female weighting, albeit from a high base,” the report says. Both Rolex and Tudor have on their part increased the number of female references, which account for around a third of their total revenue. Cartier remains the behemoth in this segment. Their female reference weighting is now above 50% when we average out the data of Omega, Cartier, Longines, Patek Philippe and Rolex. This translates into business opportunities, analysts say, because brands with a higher female product weighting are likely to outperform their peers, noting that “both Richemont and Swatch Group continue to lead the industry in providing above average product offerings for female consumers.” While the industry remains overwhelmingly masculine, an adjustment is coming in favour of ladies’ models and creativity. One of the best and boldest examples at the last edition of Baselworld, among many feminine novelties, was to be found at Breguet’s booth: the introduction of a feminine model in its prestigious Tradition collection, a real piece of Haute Horlogerie and a true commitment to high complications for women. At Blancpain, the vintage trend matched the feminine trend with the re-edition of the Ladybird, a watch first launched in 1956. Harry Winston also appealed to the hearts of women with new entries, notably in its Premier collection (the Moon Phase).

he watch industry has been and remains predominantly a man’s world. Strolling from booth to booth at Baselworld you are served champagne by a young beautiful woman in heels, you are dazzled by an eloquent female PR agent (also in heels); but when you shake the boss’ hand, it is that of a man. Nevertheless, there is an interesting dynamic as the female market outperforms the male one, and both established and emerging brands are working diligently to ride this wave by introducing complicated and jewelled watch pieces aimed for the female taste. The female taste, however, has shifted as women are opting for larger and more masculine designs. Unsurprisingly, the minimalist ‘boyfriend look’ championed by street-style fashionistas and runway designers has found its way into the watch industry, with giants like Chanel investing in a BOY.FRIEND watch. The jewellery world, on the other hand, is somewhat dithering, not just in revenue. Despite considerably more female designers and owners in the industry, we still see over-sexualised campaigns with women wearing nothing but pearls. When women gather, we share life stories, ambitions and style, not our nude selves. That is not to say that women are not in touch with their natural bodies. Appreciation for nature has never been more acute as modern lives are becoming increasingly hectic and strenuous. As you will see in this issue, nature remains a predominant source of creative energy for designers too. But a tree watch, a snake necklace, those exquisite frog earrings - they only make sense in the context of women’s aspirations. Nudity is not an aspiration. Elegance is. When Yves Saint Laurent asked “Isn’t elegance forgetting what one is wearing?” nudity was furthest from his mind. Our Jewels supplement brings forth extraordinary watch and jewellery designs that will make you forget what you are wearing but others will see elegance.

Serge Maillard

Jeta B



a window to elegance The ambition of Flavio Pellegrini, the venerable Swiss watchmaker’s new president, is to take the company back to its core values. He hopes to recapture the ladies’ market with models that combine beauty and precision with a design that is guaranteed to stand the test of time. This year’s exclusive and limited series pays tribute to the company’s historic connection with architecture. Behind the scenes, an immense effort is under way to clarify the brand’s identity. | by Serge Maillard


ombining beauty and utility, merging form and function, leaving a mark on the collective unconscious, standing the test of time, ensuring timelessness while acknowledging current trends... Eugène Blum and Alice Lévy, who founded Ebel in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1911, shared more than just a home town and a generational understanding with architect Le Corbusier. Despite working in different fields, they also had similar ambitions in an age when everything seemed possible. Flavio Pellegrini, the company’s president since 2014, wants to return to the essence of Ebel’s cardinal values: beauty, function, aesthetic refinement and technical precision. “We have a very rich heritage, particularly in women’s watches. But we have to ask the right questions: what is Ebel’s raison d’être? How can the brand stand out from the rest of the watchmaking landscape? I have come to the conclusion that simplicity, purity of


design and technical precision are the true guiding threads of the company’s history. We need to return to our fundamental values.” It was in the Villa Turque, built by Le Corbusier a century ago, and which has been in Ebel’s possession for thirty years, that Flavio Pellegrini delivered his unequivocal message: look out, Ebel is back – and this time we’re here to stay! After a number of difficult years, during which the brand identity seemed to have blurred, and its design lost some of its focus – there’s nothing like an honest appraisal to provoke necessary change – Ebel is seeking to reconquer its place on wrists (75% women’s wrists...) with accessible and elegant watches that have personality.

THE WAVE: A FIRST STEP The company has no lack of heritage on which to build its future. The first step in its renaissance last year was the relaunch of the legendary Wave, with its distinctive undulating bracelet, still a bold design today. The strategy worked: the two Wave collections now account for 80% of the brand’s sales. “My road map was clear: to put Ebel’s destiny back on track,” notes Flavio Pellegrini. “And the way to do that was to focus on the products. Since I arrived, we have reduced the number of references from 120 to 80 models, and the number of collections from seven to four. It was a vital exercise in clarification.” In short, he has re-centred the company on pure watchmaking, rather than simply producing accessories for women. The Wave was the first step. The next will be the relaunch of the Sport Classic next year. “It’s another icon, and I’m convinced it will make an enormous impact. With the current climate, which is more conservative on pricing, but also more ‘human’, the timing is perfect for our collections. As Le Corbusier said: ‘To be modern is not a fashion but a state... He who understands history knows how to find continuity between that which was, that which is, and that which will be.’ Our founders laid the foundations for what our brand is today: watches that can be worn playing tennis or at the opera, for every day as well as for evening wear. Why would we stray from that? Paradoxically, our vintage side also appeals strongly to millennials!”

EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE SIGHTS So, is it possible to construct an identikit portrait of Ebel’s typical client? Flavio Pellegrini is happy to have a go. “She’s probably around 40, and she drives a Mini. She’s a woman of today: she has no need to show off, she’s independent and confident.” Ebel’s priority target markets are Europe and the Middle East. “We are hoping to reactivate our historic markets, like Italy and France, by going through multi-brand retailers; we respect their role and we’re happy to play the game. Our strategy does not include standalone boutiques. Also, as we have no presence in China we don’t have the stock problems of some of our competitors,” notes Flavio Pellegrini. “We have a great deal of freedom and infinite possibilities for innovation.”


LA MAISON EBEL: AN ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL Ebel’s 2016 vintage paints a picture of a transitional year, celebrating a return to core values – the distinctive pairing of aesthetic harmony and precision, which results in a kind of timeless appeal – with a luminous limited series, La Maison Ebel, whose mother-of-pearl dial is inspired by one of the oval windows in the Villa Turque. Three series of fifteen watches are available, in 18K yellow, white and rose gold. The ballet of the small running seconds hand, which appears next to the date in a rounded opening in the dial, is intended to be a reminder that every second counts. These automatic models come with the option of a matching gold bracelet or an alligator leather strap in cognac, midnight blue or burgundy. The moon phase display decorated with a sunburst guilloché motif adds an additional romantic touch, if any were necessary...


The caseback reveals the oscillating weight adorned with the Villa Turque logo, acknowledging the company’s historic links with this building in particular, and with architecture in general. Ebel also signals its attachment to elegance with some particularly refined gem-set models this year. But given that the move is primarily a symbolic one, its scope is necessarily limited. The essence of the brand emerges just as strongly from an affordable model like the Wave, which was relaunched in 2015, pending the arrival of the Sport Classic in 2017. c

Tree of life Kerbedanz S.A. Rue Pury 8, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland


“BANGLEMANIA” and JEWELS OF TIME A family-run business with global ambitions, the Swiss brand presented a wide selection of new watches and jewels at Baselworld. The right move at the right time.

We have been creating jewellery watches for decades now,” says Ludovic Lesur, General Manager of the brand Charriol, based in Geneva. “So it was time to launch jewels that are watches at the same time; we achieve this through the Forever, which bridges our two worlds: jewellery and watchmaking, at the best possible price – a criterion more important than ever!” Presented at the latest edition of Baselworld, this new Forever timepiece comes with a chic bangle strap with slim twisted cables, in line


with the coloured theme found in the jewellery and handbag collections of the same name. Available in stainless steel, yellow gold or rose gold, and worked in a 32 mm size, it also features the Easterninspired diamond-patterned lattice motif which is a strong theme in the Forever jewellery lines. The price point is indeed very interesting for such a watch: from 890 to 990 CHF. The original Forever jewellery collection, with its Thin, Colors and Cuff variants, has also been revisited. In the first line of products, the steel

cable is wound neatly between two rims, rather like the thread on a couturier’s bobbin. The slender modern bangles can be worn as a cluster – a trend Charriol has found a name for: “Banglemania,” which is particularly strong in Europe and America. After all, why wear only one bangle if you have more options to embellish your forearm? An extension of the Forever “Colors” collection sees the bangles worked in bright new colours, overlaid with striking criss-cross steel set with white topaz. Another strong proposition in terms of design is of course the oversized Forever cuff with the Charriol house insignia, which has a vintage, collectible appeal.

THE ICON ON THE MOON Creative Director Coralie Charriol-Paul has been quite active lately, as the brand also launched at Baselworld the new Fabulous jewellery collection, conceived by mixing up Charriol’s hallmark twisted cable motif with a scattering of precious stones. The ensemble harks back to the brand’s Celtic heritage, yet remains forward-looking thanks to pretty, feminine accents, for prices which span from 120 to 610 CHF. 2016 also includes a very special feminine addition to the brand’s

iconic St-Tropez line of timepieces: a dazzling jewellery watch called GlamMoon. The 35 mm timepiece is intended to be the “ultimate dress watch,” displaying a generous cascade of tinted gems – totalizing 1.58 cts. The bezel encircles a shimmering white mother-ofpearl display, set with 12 luxurious white diamond indexes. Another surprise unveiled at Baselworld, the Twist watch inspires a new, more feminine way of wearing a watch: the signature twisted steel cables are now woven into this serpentine timepiece, embellished with yellow gold PVD end-pieces and dainty clips bearing the ‘C’ insignia.

FAMILY BUSINESS Established in 1983 by Philippe Charriol, the brand is still led by its founder, together with family members – wife Marie-Olga Charriol in Public Relations, daughter Coralie Charriol-Paul as Creative Director and son Alexandre Charriol as Visual Director. It has a large presence in the Middle East and Asia and aims to expand into the USA, Central America and the European markets. The brand has a total of 345 standalone boutiques (including 285 stores in China) and 3,800 sales outlets around the world. While the jewellery is crafted in Switzerland and Germany, the timepieces are handmade in Switzerland. c


THE CONTACTLESS CUFF A technological and luxurious breakthrough for the happy few.


new situation has arisen in the luxury industry, where wealthy elegant customers have been enjoying their active lifestyle using technology, but they wanted to do it with the same handcrafted materials that they treasure in their favourite watches and accessories. This situation is about to change. How about wearing your credit card, your apartment access and your supercar keys on your wrist? Would you like them all in an elegant jewellery bracelet, no batteries needed and waterproof? That´s were Armillion comes into play. A team of jewellers, engineers, watchmakers and designers stand behind this Geneva-based brand. Their goal? “To produce a flawless cuff that features cutting edge technology in financial services and security access.” Indeed, an Armillion bracelet has two main functions: contactless payments and keyless access. “We wanted to embrace another way to use modern technologies, beyond smart watches, for users that enjoy an active lifestyle and treasure exclusive materials and gems,” says Carlos Z. Belsué, CMO of Armillion. The first prototypes were presented at Baselworld to a selected group of distributors and editors, and the first units will be in jewellery boutiques in major cities around the world from July 2016.“Our products are created for men and women alike, through a complex production process, that includes luxurious handcrafted materials, and leading edge technology,” says Hugo Pena, COO of Armillion. The company plans to deliver a limited number of pieces for this first year (produced and assembled in Geneva) offering an elegant expression of the success and status that the individuals have earned by using the most exclusive and comfortable payment method ever.

THE SECRET AGENT´S BRACELET Armillion uses a secure technology provided by leading global payment companies to establish an instant bank account assignation: it allows the bracelet to complete the payment, simply by approaching the


wrist to the credit card reader. Security is not an issue, guarantees the brand, because any transaction must be confirmed with a PIN; additionally, unlike credit cards, the bangles do not feature any number, which reduces the likeliness of fraud using ID impersonation. Nowadays, contactless payment is available with almost all credit card readers provided by banks to upscale shops, high-end restaurants and stylish clubs around the world, and also at many ATMs. The Armillion cuff is also equipped with a technology engineered and designed by global security companies that provides secure access to your home, office or chosen location. Armillion’s products can also be combined in a multi-level system, with a PIN or biometric readings for enhanced security. Of course, it will also get you into your supercar or superyacht.

ARMILLION À LA CARTE Armillion has been created using the toughest advanced engineered materials, enveloped in luxurious gold, platinum or titanium. Selected pieces are embellished with a delicate combination of 70 diamonds. Armillion Exclusive has also been created and tailored with different designs and combinations of materials, in limited 10 unit editions, for select prestigious customers. Alternatively, Armillion Unique allows for a customised design and a bespoke choice of materials and gems, to make any ideas come true. The choice is yours. “We provide a unique experience for our members each time they use the Armillion bracelet, whether buying a jeroboam of champagne or a diamond bracelet, or opening their villa with a single gesture,” says Carlos Z. Belsué. c

Armillion will be available to a selection of top jewellery boutiques and distributors in a limited choice of cosmopolitan cities around the world. If you wish to become a representative or distributor of the exclusive products created by the Swiss brand, please contact

“All you need is on your wrist”

ARMILLION Exclusive ‘Diamond Dust’ 10-unit edition




can’t find a watch to match your jewellery,’ a lady customer said to Walter Weinbeck. It was enough to set him on a new path. Goldsmithery has been Walter’s calling from early adulthood. He was only twenty-five years old when he left the studio of the renowned designer Paul Binder to start his own venture. As the last notable ambassador of the Zurich school of goldsmiths inspired by the Bauhaus art movement, Walter has been running his own studio at Grossmünsterplatz for over twenty years now. He lived up to the dream of his 25 year old self. But can he live up to the dreams of this lady customer and design a watch? This challenge gave Walter a new momentum. Countless hours of design, sketch after sketch, meeting after meeting with watch manufacturers in Geneva ...he was after a design that was more intricate and refined than it would appear at first glance. He wanted diamonds to symbolise the hours of the day, but that was just a starting point. In his first watch symbolically named No. 1, twelve diamonds move freely thanks to a sophisticated and patented turn-tilt mechanism.

Recessed behind sapphire crystal and enveloped in concave mirrors, they rotate with each sweep of the hand, dancing gracefully around their axis. Like private dancers, they dazzle for the pleasure of 12 wearers only as it is a limited edition of 12. The watch is not for show but rather for personal glow. Young Walter dreamed of becoming an artist, but on being told it was a career without future, he buried that dream. He became a craftsman instead. Yet his designs always drew inspiration from James Turell’s light installations to Anish Kapoor’s artistic manipulations of materials and space. Indeed, it is hard to look at the positioning of the diamonds in the No. 1 and not think of Turell’s Aten Rein installation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2013) or Kapoor’s sky mirror permanent installation in Nottingham. Merging light, space and time, Walter designed a watch that no only offers a graceful, intimate dance but is also a piece of art in itself. With No.1 Walter has finally lived up to his unspoken dream. He has become an ARTIST! c

Weinbeck’s second watch - Grace appears graciously understated at first glance, yet with movement it becomes playfully bright as the light is reflected from the 24 diamonds surrounded by mirrors and tastefully concealed around the dial. A true delight for those fascinated with light.


Weinbeck No.1 is available in rose and white gold with 12 cut diamonds totalling 3.0 to 3.5 ct. Diameter 36 mm, mechanical Swiss movement, personalized engraving possible on winding rotor. Other gold tones and platinum are available by special order.

Walter Weinbeck Watches GmbH, Grossmßnsterplatz 8, 8001 Zurich – Switzerland




Trasformista Bracelet

by Jeta B

18 carat gold & diamonds


istening to Laura Bicego talking about jewellery design at her booth in Baselworld is a delight in itself. It is as if she is talking about an extra limb, invisible to the ordinary eye. Born into a family of jewellers in Vicenza, Italy, Laura has been living and breathing jewellery all her life. A piece of jewellery is practically her extra limb.

Laura could talk you through the behind the scenes of the incredible craftsmanship required to produce exquisite pieces of her Trasformista collection. Instead, she talks about the luxury of female intuition and the power of jewellery as a form of communication from one strong woman to another. “Look at this, I don’t need a man to help me put it on,” she shows me the patterned design of the clasp made so single women can wear it. It was a new invention to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the perfect mistake. The clasp is really just the cherry on the cake. A simple twisting action of the bracelet turns XIV | A CONVERSATION | EUROPA STAR JEWELS

it into a completely new design. The wearer can decide to show or hide the diamonds, to go simple or go glamorous. Moving jewellery may be a strong trend in the last year but for Laura it is old news. In 1993, three years after launching her brand NANIS, she made a mistake in the production of one of her cashmere pieces: it rolled out on the wrong side of the design. But it was a perfect mistake. It inspired Laura to explore the movement and design properly, coming up with her bestselling Trasformista line.

“My client is a woman with imagination and she wants her jewellery to be feminine but also playful and sexy.” Laura’s eyes sparkle as if she’s given me a secret code to the mystery of the Trasformista woman. Every bracelet comes in a box that opens into a mini screen,

a video showing the client how to move it to get different designs. She coaches her sales people to twist the jewellery, and runs competitions to celebrate the fastest person to spin the bracelet into a new design. “From chiselling in my workshop of 30 people to the 400 sales points around the globe, the passion should be one and the same,” Laura explains. With dealers in the US, Japan, Singapore,Thailand and expanding in the Middle East, Laura’s next step is making her jewellery accessible to young women who cannot afford the price tag of the Trasformista masterpiece. “I am working on something in the 600-1000 euros price range but that carries the design and the feeling of the original collection.” Laura is on another mission to further transform her Trasformista collection. Looks like the Lady TransFormista will never stop? c

by Jeta B


aselworld 2016 was an explosion of novelties and designs, yet if the task was to select ladies watches that embody the juxtaposition of art, craftsmanship, storytelling and design, which would make it to the top of the tree? Firstly, it would be the Tree of Life by Kerbedanz. The tree of life may have a slightly different meaning depending where our spiritual and geographical axes meet and greet. Yet in both Eastern and Western myths, this mystical concept represents the interconnectedness of all life and forms of creation. The tree in the Kerbedanz watch reveals itself in a somewhat inwards motion, neither straight nor inverted. Rather introverted and humble, this hand-sculpted gold tree adorns the green enamelled dial and is framed by a round case entirely set with green emeralds. It bears fruit, not the forbidden but the delectable ones,

diamond chatons exquisitely embedded into the gold and enamel. Thankfully, there is nothing humble about its craftsmanship. It is meticulous and artistically over the top. Even the original Technotime base has been punctiliously decorated to match the rest of the design. In both Eastern and Western mythology, the Tree of Life is often reversed. The light of life comes from above and penetrates down, with its branches as the root of life, to which Dante refers as the tree which ‘lives from its top’. The Kerbedanz tree lives from its top, and it is, indeed, the very top of the tree.


ALESSIO BOSCHI Cedar necklace






Secondly, CHANEL’s flying birds gave me butterflies in the stomach. The Mademoiselle Privé collection undoubtedly adds another chapter to CHANEL’s creative history, opening the door to the intimate world of Gabrielle Chanel and the cherished objects she surrounded herself with – birds among other things. Created by the hands of the finest master artisans it uncovers new ground for expressing the know-how of the Métiers d’Art craftsmanship used in fine watchmaking and high jewellery. Using the sculpted gold technique to sublimate the scenes on onyx dials, gold is shaped, engraved and oxidised to give a natural appearance to the bird, flower and tree motifs. With its infinite lightness, CHANEL birds, flowers and branches, inspired by the famous Coromandel lacquer panels, appear quite naturally relaxed, composing the scene of the dial. Birds sit on a tree branch yet with each movement of the wrist, they will tremble and fly away. This simple pleasure takes three weeks to bring to fruition. These are not just birds sitting on a tree. They are top of the tree, exquisite and free. c

Looking at the embroidery in Dolce & Gabbana’s SERA collection 2016 one almost gets the feeling that CHANEL artisans secretly escaped Maison’s castle at night and met and conspired with D&G designers. Or do great minds create alike?


“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but on her wings.”

CHANEL Mademoiselle PrivĂŠ Flying Birds



Temperley London, Autumn Winter 2016 by Jeta B


n the middle ages, rings with skull motifs and designs were presented as wedding rings and were also handed over to mourners at funerals, which led to the skulls becoming a symbol of death. By the 18th century, the skull had become associated with piracy and it carries the pirate’s charm to this day. Storytelling has mostly men as pirates, but that has not stopped fashion designers drawing inspiration from pirate iconography for feminine collections. The Autumn Winter 2016 Temperley London collection is inspired by pirates and traders of the spice route, their tattoos of victories, loyalties and loves. It is bold yet very feminine. A watch to match? - Indeed. The woman watchmaker Fiona Krüger became fascinated with concepts of time and mortality, which have played an important role in watchmaking since the 1400s. This journey inspired her to develop the iconic SKULL collection. Drawing inspiration from the 17th century skull watch of Mary Queen of


FIONA KRÜGER Petite Skull Silver Scots, the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos and beautifully decorated skeleton movements found in today’s luxury watches, Fiona’s artistic re-interpretation of the skull has resulted in a unique timepiece collection. The petite SKULL collection is particularly feminine and it comes as a limited collection of 18. Hand-made in Switzerland and powered by a Swiss mechanical automatic movement, the watch is fully skeletonised with a custom guilloché oscillating mass. Moving to luxury accessories, Urso Luxury takes the pirate theme to a whole new level of extravagance by honouring Robert Louis Stevenson fans with a complete Treasure Island luxury pen collection. A feast for the fans, indeed. Is it safe to say 2016 is the year of the Pirates of Luxury?


he Treasure Island collection by URSO Luxury is an adventure story of men and pirates sailing the sea with characters brought alive by the popular Robert Louis Stevenson novel of the same name. Inspired by the book, the collection celebrates the successful tradition of the pirate theme iconography, the skulls and hidden treasure maps evoking an epic nautical fantasy about the battle of right and wrong. Above all, the collection is another exciting story of buccaneers and buried treasure and a tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson and his fans across the globe. It is a treasure to behold and collect.


Resin and sterling silver hand-engraved Nib: 18 kt white gold Filling system: converter or ink cartridges Limited editions 88 pcs fp - 88 pcs rb. in sterling silver 44 pcs fp - 44 pcs rb. in solid 18 kt gold and diamonds




ot much is known about the original production of the Swan Lake ballet in 1875 as there are no notes on the techniques used. What is known is that Tchaikovsky had control over the storytelling of the swan, which represented womanhood with its complexities. It was only after Tchaikovsky’s death that Swan Lake gained momentum, and today it is renowned for its demanding technical aspects for ballerinas, a bar that has been set extremely high by Piereina Legnani. There is prestige and pain in achieving artistic perfection with Swan Lake, its psychological and physical challenges perfectly depicted in Darren Aronofsky’s acclaimed Black Swan film, which was nominated for numerous Academy Awards. The perfection expected in Swan Lake interpretations goes beyond ballet and film. At Baselworld 2016, Odile and Odette appear as the main protagonists in high jewellery pieces. XX | TRENDS & COLOURS | EUROPA STAR JEWELS

MAGERIT Amanecer ring Hechizo collection Of particular delight was Magerit’s Amanecer ring from the Hechizo collection depicting a flawless perfection of the gracious posture expected from Odette. Paired with the Mia dress from Alon Livne’s 2016 bridal couture collection, it is the Odette bride par excellence! Then, the night before her wedding, Odette becomes Odile. Her dark side explodes one last time at the bachelorette. She wears a Phoenix dress by Alon Livne with feathered swan shoulders and black swan sapphire earrings by Boucheron to match this wildness. Odette will not be happy about it in the morning. c (JB)

BOUCHERON black sapphire earrings




cross the globe, the universal fairy tale of the frog prince always ends with a kiss. Once upon a time, however, there was no kiss. In a Scottish tale that predates Shakespeare, the girl breaks the spell by cutting off the frog’s head. In a German version, the princess throws the frog against the wall. In other versions, the spell is broken when the frog’s skin is burned. Violence, rather than kissing, seems to have turned the frog into a prince back in the day. The kiss ending we are accustomed to is in fact a modern invention from the written version by the Brothers Grimm, who also popularised Cinderella.


It is precisely this juxtaposition of modern narratives and old folk tales that makes Maria Kovadi’s collection created exclusively for Baselworld quite playful. A yellow gold lady frog goddess stretches out seductively on micro-mosaic lips. In fact, Russian versions tell of a frog princess instead of a prince, who usually marries the youngest son. KISS ME, the collection is called. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a handsome prince, women say jokingly. What if women just want the frog, not the prince? Maria Kovadi’s answer is a playful one again: earrings where frogs carry the heavy weight of an entire pond and a very eager frog prince in the pond, waiting in the shape of a ring. PRECIOUS POND the collection is called.

MARIA KOVADI PRECIOUS POND RING & EARRINGS 18kt gold, chalcedony, sapphires, yellow diamonds and tsavorites (ring)

18kt gold, with diamond and micromosaic

LES INDOMPTABLES DE CARTIER FROG WATCH & BROOCH Gold, diamonds, emeralds, moonstones and sapphires

MARIA KOVADI KISS MY LIPS Coral, 18 kt gold, silver, synthetic rubies, natural ruby, sapphires, and cold enamel

While on the subject of frogs and ponds, the Frog Watch by Cartier launched in 2013 comes to mind. It featured a miniature frog sat on a lily pad, a contour scene easily detached and worn as a brooch. The question remains: Do you want to kiss these frogs or not? I leave you to ponder with Kovadi’s KISS MY LIPS necklace featuring a carved coral frog with synthetic rubies in the lips. There is a single natural ruby - in the heart, of course. You may kiss my lips, Kovadi says, but it’s the heart that matters. c






The 33rd Hong Kong International Jewellery show 2016 organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) was a treasure island for buyers and connoisseurs alike. Booths in the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Extraordinary were not to be missed, but it was the Antiques Hall that stood out. Not because of its extraordinary presentation, but rather because it was bustling with buyers and sellers. Quite clearly, a place of business. Our editor Jeta B conversed with antique dealers Roberto Capra and Gilles Zalulyan.

ROBERTO CAPRA Precious Jewels, New York Born and raised in Italy, Capra learned the business of dealing in antique and vintage jewellery in Hatton Garden, London’s famous jewellery district. Moving to New York in 1992, he founded his own business Precious Jewels. Today, he has built strong relationships with some of the biggest stores in the US and worldwide. A busy booth in Hong Kong? Hong Kong is my best performing market. I have been coming here for fifteen years now, and I have a strong and devoted clientele as a result. Do you trade online? I would rather meet and see my clients face to face. I believe in personal relationships. I do very little online. We are selling unique

pieces of jewellery, after all, not potatoes by the pound.

pieces online as we like our discovery to be a surprise.

Is the Asian market slowing down? Slowing down is relative. In Hong Kong, for example, it means the speed has been reduced from 300 miles an hour to 250 miles an hour.

Is the Asian market slowing down? It is not slowing down anywhere in the world, if quality is what you are after. I see the medium quality market ending soon. Asian customers may have been taken for a ride in the past, but they are ripe now and want the right pieces from a knowledgeable dealer.

What do you buy/sell? Mostly one-of-a-kind signed branded pieces by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari etc. I mostly buy in the US, with 80% of my business coming from shops, dealers and auctions, and 20% from individual collectors. You are a one-man band? You don’t have to have a big operation, just know how to find the right pieces. The great thing with antique dealers is that we share knowledge, that’s why you see us popping in and out of each other’s booths. A piece you kept for yourself? An old papal ring, nothing of great value but I’m a Catholic so it is personal. I often ask my wife if she wants to keep something, but she tells me to sell it and bring back the money instead (laughs..).


GILLES ZALULYAN Palais Royal, Paris A native of Paris, Gilles is a third generation member of a family of jewellers and started working with antique jewellery at the age of thirteen. In 1996, together with Tom Korpershoel, a second-generation jeweller, they founded the Palais Royal Paris at the prestigious antique centre in Paris - Louvre des Antiquaires. A busy booth in Hong Kong? We are known and trusted here. In 2013 we opened the first store in Hong Kong to offer European high quality antique and signed vintage jewellery. We are probably the only antique jeweller based in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and soon Shanghai. Do you trade online? We don’t really put our new

What do you buy/sell? European and North-American pieces dating from the 19th century up to the 21st century made by the major jewellery houses, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron. Also museum pieces like René Lalique, Fabergé, and objets de vertu. You work in partnership? Yes, with my co-founder and friend Tom Korpershek we exchange expertise before purchasing a piece. We also have a special Cartier vintage department where we work with Olivier Bachet, an expert currently writing a book solely on Cartier pieces. A piece you kept for yourself? I wish I did, many of them... but they are in good hands now.

LYDIA COURTEILLE Queen of Sheba Snake Tiara

by Jeta B


s one of the oldest and most powerful mythological symbols, the serpent motif remains popular in modern jewellery, just as it was back in ancient Egypt. It is, perhaps, its dual symbolism of good and evil, love and poison, and regeneration through skin shedding, that keeps alive our obsession with the snake. In Victorian jewellery, the snake became extremely popular after Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria with a serpent emerald engagement ring. The queen believed the snake to be a symbol of eternal love, and consequently, women of the time incorporated the snake in every way possible. Perhaps due to over-saturation, snakes fell out of fashion after the Victorian era, but were resurrected again during the Art Nouveau period by the renowned French jeweller René Jules Lalique, and resurfaced again in the bold over-the-top designs of the 70s and 80s. The snake’s long twistable body and its textured skin, no doubt, provide a great challenge for jewellers but also an immense source of creativity. Big jewellery houses such as Cartier, Bulgari, and Boucheron have embraced the serpent and incorporated it within their maisons’s identity; indulging us with remarkable snake jewellery pieces over decades.

At Baselworld this year, the serpent has made a spectacular comeback with powerful symbolism and creative designs, in both jewellery and watches. One such perfection is Lydia Courteille’s snake tiara from her Queen of Sheba collection, inspired by Ethiopian mythology where the queen is said to have reigned. The tiara is formed elegantly as the two snakes (encrusted with brown diamonds, yellow sapphires and tsavorites) meet as if guarding a large peridot. The snakes coil sinuously, one snake luring the other, both towering over the forbidden apple – the peridot. Who will sin first?




BULGARI Serpenti Incantati

JACOB & CO The Cerastes Necklace



The Jacob & Co have presented Cerastes, the most flexible and dangerous of all serpents. Their white gold Cerastes necklace seemingly slithers its way down from the neck in an curvaceous path pavéd with round white diamonds. The serpent’s head is bejeweled with marquise cut rubies. In watches, Bulgari once again brings life to the seductive snake with Serpenti Incantati celebrating a passionate love affair between haute horlogerie and high jewellery. Coiling around the wrist is old news design so the Maison has the reptile twine itself around the watch dial, literally and beautifully so. Although Bulgari domesticates its serpent, the perpetual movement is kept through the magnifi-cent twirl. Sinfully enchanting, would be our tagline. At the risk of sounding dogmatic, Baselworld 2016 was a real sinner when it came to snake motifs. It was full of sinfully beautiful serpents. The question is, who has sinned most? Judging by the looks, Lydia Courteille’s Bestiary serpent earrings surrounding and licking what look like nipples – have got to be the biggest sinners of all? c




FABERGÉ Mosaic Pendant Treasures Collection

JACOB & CO Brilliant Flying Tourbillon Arlequino Collection by Tru Lavina


ear Secret Agents,

We can now take pride in having spread our Colour Revolution at the world’s most luxurious watch and jewellery fair: Baselworld. I did not bow unless blinded by a rainbow explosion of colours. The first explosion that nearly left me blind, was at the Fabergé booth when the Mosaic Pendant from the Treasures Collection was unveiled. In true Fabergé spirit, the precious coloured gemstones were invisibly-set, a gem-setting technique that the House of Fabergé pioneered in the early 20th century. It uses single-faceted gemstones, perfectly calibrated in a narrow ribbon-like row, allowing the gold setting to remain invisible. That is how the flawless mosaic patterned finish is created.


Flawless, it was. Colourful it was. Happy I was. Colour me happy? The second explosion where I almost lost a limb, was at the Jacob & Co booth, when the Brilliant Flying Tourbillon from their Arlequino Collection came out of the drawer. Inspired by the Harlequin character in the commedia dell’arte with its multicoloured costume decorated with diamond shapes, the watch trim offers a combination of diamonds, rubies and pink, blue, green and orange sapphires all selected for their colour intensity. Intense it was. Colourful it was. Happy I was. Colour me happy? Vive la Colour Revolution! Colourful high jewellery to the people! c @trulavina is a parody style blogger inspiring everyone to wear colours instead of black.


SEPTEMBER 03-07, 2016



Fall Winter Season




CHANEL Sous le Signe du Lion ring & earrings 18 carat yellow gold

VERSUS VERSACE Covent Garden Collection by Jeta B


ittle needs to be said about the the lion iconography, as the King of the Jungle stands for power and strength, and has often appeared in regal and state symbols. In Venice, the proud image of the lion is everywhere, looking down from buildings or standing on fluted columns, proud and stoic. Could counting the lions of Venice could be a travel hobby? It was not a surprise to see that Chanel had chosen the lion seal as the new symbol of its in-house watch movements, as seen in the calibre of its first watch for men Monsieur de Chanel, at Baselworld 2016. But there is another lion I would like to draw attention to, in fashion watches. At Baselworld, the Versus Versace Covent Garden Collection, inspired by the


London neighbourhood with the same name did not go unnoticed. This exquisite 34 mm two-hand configuration features a unique faceted top ring that artfully reflects the light and gives the bezel the appearance of a precious stone. The beautifully crafted bezel encircles a stunning white guilloché dial with raised metallic indices and the iconic Versus lion at 6 o’clock. For the price of 150 euros, what is there not to like? To those ladies who own gold pieces from Chanel’s line ‘Sous le Signe du Lion’ that echo Coco’s love for the lion, the Versace Covent Garden Collection is a great way to extend the life of your jewellery into many colours. White, red or navy blue. This re-vamp will only cost you 450 euros, for all three colours. Selecting the lion as a logo extends the life of your designs, or makes the design itself more powerful. To paraphrase Bill Clinton: It’s the King of the Jungle, stupid. c

BANGLEMANIA BANGLEMANIA jewelry collection Booth B19147 |

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