How To Wear “Greenery,” The Color Of The Year, using $1.5-Million In Emerald Jewelry

Emerald and diamond bracelet by Roberto Coin.

A lot of Pantone-posing happens around the time of year when the Pantone Color Institute announces its annual Colors of the Year. Greenery, the top tone of 2017, is showing up in everything from nail polish to sofas and coffee makers, but really, is there any better way to express the natural warmth of green than with emeralds, which after all come from the earth? Especially if they are designed in floral or leaf compositions, like this $1-million suite of jewelry by Roberto Coin or this $500,000 trio of treasures from the Chopard Green Carpet collection.

Emerald earrings from the Chopard Green Carpet collection.

Chopard’s Palm D’Or-inspired jewelry watch, with matching ring and earrings, celebrates Chopard’s 20th anniversary of its sponsorship of the Cannes Film Festival and its top award. The company designed and produces the gold Palm D’Or statue, and repeats the motif in this jewelry collection. Drenched with over 90 carats of emeralds, the jewelry watch is part of the brand’s Green Carpet collection, named for the brand’s commitment to combining sustainable luxury and red-carpet glamour. It is set with 11.7 carats of emeralds sourced from Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia, which adheres to environmentally and socially responsible mining principles.

Emerald ring from the Chopard Green Carpet collection.

The gems are prong-set rather than surrounded by metal in order to let in as much light as possible through the pavilions, which is in turn reflected out through the table. The watch is priced at $297,000. The matching ring is 18k white gold, set with 3.1 carats of marquise-cut emeralds, priced at $51,310. The earrings are set with 11.8 carats of marquise-cut emeralds, priced at $151,890.

Emerald and diamond necklace by Roberto Coin.

The emeralds in Roberto Coin’s dazzling necklace, bracelet and earrings ensemble were also sourced in Zambia. Zambian emeralds are the stars of the gem world right now because of their high clarity and stunning bluish-green color – and their greater affordability compared to Colombian emeralds. The matching necklace, bracelet and earrings are collectively priced at just under $1-million. Together they contain 91.6 carats of emeralds and 68.15 carats of diamonds.

Emerald and diamond necklace by Roberto Coin.

The bib-style necklace contains 63 carats of emeralds cut into oval, emerald, marquise and round shapes, and 48 carats of round and marquise cut diamonds. It is priced at $650,000. The chandelier-style earrings contain 12.50 carats of emeralds and 7.7 carats of diamonds, and is priced at $150,000. The bracelet contains 16.10 carats of emeralds cut in oval, emerald, marquise and round shapes, and 12.45 carats of marquise and round shaped diamonds, priced $159,000.

Emerald and diamond earrings by Roberto Coin.

The power of these emeralds to improve not only your appearance but your mood is best described by Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute: “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. It satisfies our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite.”

Emerald and diamond bracelet by Roberto Coin.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph For Ladies: Because Women Also Drive

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph for ladies.

There is more to Chopard for women than Happy Diamonds and high jewelry watches. The ladies’ Mille Miglia is a smaller, diamond-set version of this year’ special-edition Mille Miglia for men, a mechanical sports watch with substance. Chopard has been a supporter of the Mille Miglia, a scenic, 1,000-mile race from Brescia to Rome, since 1988, and each year introduces a new special-edition timepiece in commemoration. A couple of years ago, Chopard started producing ladies’ Mille Miglia editions, and this year the men’s and ladies’ are identified as a duo.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph for ladies.

Essentially they are the same model, but the ladies’ is 39mm compared to the men’s, which is 42mm. The ladies’ model has a mother-of-pearl dial with or without a diamond-set bezel (the two elements that most often distinguish a ladies’ watch from a men’s watch), and the men’s has a black or silver dial. Both contain the same COSC-certified automatic chronograph movement, ETA Caliber 2894-2. The rubber strap is inspired by the tread on 1960s Dunlop racing tires. Hands and indexes are coated with Super-LumiNova. Prices range from $4,800 to $12,140.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph; men's on the left, ladies' on the right.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph; men’s on the left, ladies’ on the right.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies' without diamonds.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies’ without diamonds.


Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies’

Baselworld 2017: The Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time Lets You Have It Your Way


Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time

Bulgari has found a way to give buyers 312 options in one timepiece. The company that has made horological history with the world’s smallest tourbillon and minute repeate, and introduced a ladies’ complications, including the Serpenti Incantati Tourbillon and the Lucea Moon Phase, has now created the ultimate fashion watch. The Serpenti Twist Your Time program literally lets you co-design a watch with Bulgari, and you even get to engrave your own name, in the font of your choice, on the caseback.

There are 312 possible variations.

Variations using different case, strap, dial, gemsetting and caseback engraving options add up to 312 possible variations. Bulgari has even developed an app to facilitate the selection process, so you can watch your watch being created on-screen and change your mind about the combination as many times as you want. The 27mm case can be steel or pink gold, with or without diamonds. Dials are black, red, green or white, in mother-of-pearl, sunburst guilloché or lacquer. Strap options include calfskin or exotic Karung (snakeskin) in several color choices – Karung in black, red, white, green or chestnut brown; calfskin in sapphire blue, agate white, ruby red, sandy beige, black or emerald green. Since they are double-wraparound style, the colored straps make a strong statement, and two of them are included with each watch. By the way, they are easily interchangeable, even by a tired journalist on the final day of Baselworld, which you can see here:


Bulgari has created an app for choosing your combination.

Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time

One of the options is to engrave the caseback with your name, in the font of your choice.

Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time.

The Serpenti Twist Your Time contains a quartz movement, and it is water resistant to 50 meters. The program is being rolled out in a select number of brand boutiques this year.

Baselworld 2017: Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G with flawless gems and a legendary caliber

Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

Patek Philippe’s best men’s debuts at Baselworld 2017 – including the wonderful Ref. 5320 Perpetual Calendar – had to compete for the spotlight with the sensational Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava. I have seen many gem set watches from Patek with impressive carat content and perfectly executed setting, but never have I seen something this creative. It is spectacular without being over the top, which is pure Patek, and a loupe will tell you that it is set with perfect, perfectly-matched gemstones: 149 flawless diamonds and 182 pink sapphires in several shades, for a total aggregate weight of 4.35 carats. The background on the upper dial is natural pink mother-of-pearl, which is rare. It is also delicate, so it is a testament to the steady hand of the engraver that the mother-of-pearl is carved with feather motifs. Another subtle but exquisite detail is the engraving on the 18k gold hands, also to resemble feathers.

Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

The movement is the ultra-thin automatic Caliber 240 with an integrated micro-rotor, silicon-based components and a 70-hour power reserve. Patek celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 240 this year. Remarkably, the movement was developed at the height of the quartz crisis in 1977, when men’s wristwatches were much smaller than they are today. Any movement developed at that time had to be slim to compete with the much smaller proportions made possible by quartz technology.

Automatic Caliber 240 in the Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

Creating a slim automatic was a particular challenge. The key to keeping it slim was a small off-center rotor, recessed into the plate. The micro-rotor kept the 240 to the proportions of a manual-wound movement (it is 2.53mm thick), and today it is a mainstay of the slim Calatrava collection. It has also served as the base for several high complications, including the Celestial Ref.5102 and the World Time Ref. 5110, as well as several perpetual calendars. The Caliber 240 is used in three variations in new introductions this year from Patek Philippe, including the high jewelry Ref. 4899-900G – for which the 240 is perfect, allowing space for the gemsetter to work his magic.

Even the buckle is set.

Case side of the Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava. Perfectly integrated strap.

Baselworld 2017: The Flirty Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

The moon phase indicator on the Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase is small, but very special: it is feminized.  If you look closely, you will see that the moon has eyelashes and, what’s that? – a beauty spot. The latter is a historical reference to ladies of the aristocracy, whose placement of beauty marks conveyed secret messages at royal court – the watch is part of the historically inspired Villeret collection after all. The artificial mole or beauty spot (known as a mouche for its similarity to a fly) was regarded in 18th century France as symbolizing a playfully teasing attitude. Mouches were used by ladies of the Court as messages to their suitors that differed according to where these coquettish signs were placed. The caliber 913QL, with a 40-hour power reserve, is based on an ultra-slim automatic movement introduced last year specifically for ladies’ watches. It is fitted this year with a moon phase module, a wheel with 59 cogs covering two complete 29.5 day lunar cycles. The moon phase is a signature complication of the Blancpain brand.

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

The movement has a glucydur balance wheel with gold micrometric regulating screws as well as a silicon balance spring, which contribute to accuracy and reduce the need for maintenance. Silicon’s low density makes it lighter and thus more shock-resistant, as well as impervious to magnetic fields. The sapphire caseback reveals a red gold oscillating weight with a snailed bevel, polished chamfers and straight and circular côtes de Genève patterns. This is a very small watch (29.20mm) considering there is a moon phase plus a seconds hand, evidence of Blancpain’s commitment to producing size-appropriate high-grade calibers dedicated to ladies’ watches in its elite collections. The bezel is set with 48 diamonds. There are two references, one in 18k gold, priced at $19,900, and in steel at $16,600. It is delivered with five different straps.

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

The Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase has a feminized look, including eyelashes and a beauty mole.

Baselworld 2017: Dior VIII Grand Bal Pièce Unique Galaxie Grus

Dior timepieces are often dismissed as fashion watches because Dior is a fashion maison and the watches often contain quartz movements. However, there is a distinction to be made: Fendi is a fashion brand; Guess is a fashion brand. Dior is haute horology.

Dior VIII Grand Bal Pièce Unique Galaxie Grus.

Dior VIII Grand Bal Pièce Unique Galaxie Grus.

The Grand Bal Pièce Unique Galaxie Grus, for example, is a work of high metiers, set with 420 diamonds totaling 2.42 carats. Some of the diamonds are set into the crystal, a delicate process with a high breakage rate, and the dial is composed of Australian opal and hand-engraved gold. The rotor (the brand uses Zenith movements) appears on the dial side, and is also decorated.

Grand Soir Botanic

DiorGrand Soir Botanic

Another unique Dior piece, the Grand Soir Botanic, is set with 7.24 carats of diamonds, 1.07 carats of yellow, blue and pink sapphires, as well as rubies and emeralds. The mesh-textured strap is made with the same technical fabric used on Dior’s Fusion sneakers. I guess that makes it a “fashion” watch by some definitions, but those sneakers cost $1,100.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Moonphase.

Hublot Adds Color Therapy To Its List of Watchmaking Accomplishments: Spirit of Big Bang Moonphase

Hublot Big Bang Moonphase.

Friends constantly tell me I should wear more color instead of black, which isn’t really a color, and I’m thinking about setting up a running tab with Hublot in order to shush my critic once and for all. Of all the watch brands out there that aren’t afraid of color, Hublot is the most fearless. Remember the neon-colored Tutti-Frutti of 2015, and the ultraviolet gemstone bezels and clashing straps of the Big Bang Pop Art Fusion from 2014? Or the colored fur on the Cuddly Cuff collection introduced in January. Hublot continually defies the purists, inviting them to turn up their noses at yet another avant garde gush of color. This year it’s the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Moonphase, in shades of blue, purple, orange and pink. Read more