Watch spread: bejewelled timepieces that bear the gifts of nature
With dials made from precious stones, these pretty timepieces attract even the attention of our most exotic feathered friends.
Height of craft
Jaeger-LeCoultre demonstrates its horological chops with this recent edition of the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3. As if a multi-axis Gyrotourbillon and a chronograph with a jumping minutes display weren’t impressive enough, this 43.5mm pink gold timepiece also features three intricate dials – one of which is inlaid with meteorite. Originally part of the Gibeon meteorite, which was found in Namibia, the stone also decorates the hand-wound movement’s bridges and plates.
It’s not easy to hold your own against a ring of brilliant-cut diamonds, each of which is emphasised by an individual crown setting. But that’s exactly what the shimmering opal dial of this L’Heure du Diamant watch by Chopard does. The blue- green iridescence of this stone is caused by its light-diffracting internal structure. Going beyond being just a visual statement, this 30mm white gold watch is also powered by an in-house self-winding movement.
Dark and mysterious
Known for its mastery of mineral dials, Jaquet Droz uses an unusual stone for this iteration of the self-winding Grande Seconde Off-Centred – black jade. The stone has a unique sheen thanks to the presence of metal in its structure – which also makes it particularly tough to cut (to just 1mm thick) and polish. The minimalist dial is complemented by a 43mm case in warm red gold.
On the move
Louis Vuitton’s Escale Spin Time Meteorite features its classic Spin Time movement, which debuted in 2009. It tells time via rotating cubes that are further decorated with motifs inspired by the brand’s luggage. A meteorite dial sets the stage for this playful movement, which shows the correct hour via the rotating cubes, one cube at a time. Minutes are indicated via the central hand. The automatic timepiece comes in a 41mm titanium case topped with a pink gold bezel.
Out of this world
Launched last year with an aventurine or meteorite dial, the Hermes’ Arceau L’heure de la Lune features time and date displays that rotate around the dial to reveal the moon phases in the northern and southern hemispheres. This year, the brand follows up with five editions with stunning new stone dials, including lunar meteorite and even Martian meteorite, lapis lazuli, and Blue Pearl stone (a Norwegian granite) shown here. This 43mm automatic watch comes in a white gold case.
Audemars Piguet proves that a watch can glisten without an excessive number of diamonds. The Millenary Frosted Gold Opal Dial, which measures 39.5mm, features two opal dials – one for the hours and minutes dial, and one for the seconds subdial. These iridescent faces form a whimsical contrast to the hand-wound movement visible beneath. Adding to the glimmer is the frosted pink gold case, achieved by a gold-hammering technique.
Twist in the tale
Piaget has been adding extra flair to its ultra-thin Altiplano Tourbillon timepieces with unique dial decorations. Malachite marquetry takes centre stage in this hand- wound timepiece, which comes in a 41mm red gold case. With hard stone already a challenge to cut, and stone sculptor Herve Obligi takes things to the next level by piecing together small pieces of malachite to create a mesmerising tableu.
Catch the wave
Dive watches with blue dials are common, but one with a dial made of lapis lazuli is decidedly rare. Fusing luxurious flamboyance with the sporty style of its dive watch introduced in 1957, Omega’s Seamaster 300 Lapis Lazuli sports a face crafted from the deep-blue metamorphic rock. Powered by an anti-magnetic automatic movement, this 41mm yellow gold watch is water-resistant to 300m.