“I was always a child with a rich imagination: I would sit for hours, assembling and dismantling little objects, moulding tiny pieces of jewellery from wax. After training in the art of jewellery, I finally found a way to express my own natural gift: the gift of handicraft. The opportunity to observe and to work with fantastic jewellers in Valenza only aroused my interest in jewellery further. My passion for jewellery creation grew and strengthened within me, pushing me to learn all of its techniques and secrets to the full,” explains Carlo Palmiero.
In discovering the artisanal skills and secrets of others, Carlo Palmiero – as a contemporary jewellery artist - did not decide to stop there, but went further by creating his own jewellery watch novelties. After creating jewellery watches over the past 8 years, Carlo was inspired to create a unique and patented technology exclusively belonging to Palmiero, which could be seen in the ‘Alter’ watches exhibited at Baselworld in 2017. The mechanism allows the watch face be changed, and for the dial to adopt a new appearance with each of its three possible settings.
The first model was produced in two variations; one in white gold, blue sapphires and diamonds, and the other in rose gold, pink sapphires and diamonds. Designed exclusively for women, this piece garnered rave reviews from its target demographic. For Baselworld 2018, Carlo Palmiero decided to utilise this unique technology within a larger, more androgynous model - creating the ‘Alter Man' collection. The line features a selection of watches in muted colours: white, pink, yellow gold and colourless diamonds.
Like their feminine counterparts, only a limited number of ‘Alter Man’ watches will be produced, with just 50 of each colour and gemstone variation being created in Palmiero’s workshops. They have three possible variations of ‘faces’ due to the three-sided pyramid design of the dial piece; one has large Roman numerals on a surface of polished gold, the second has a lattice engraving with small diamonds instead of numbers, and the third is entirely encrusted with diamonds. In contrast to the women’s model, the men’s watch is equipped with a double-sided gold bracelet, which can be reversed to turn the simple gold design into a diamond embellished evening attire option. The accuracy of the watch is guaranteed by a reliable Swiss mechanism.
Of course Carlo Palmiero does not leave his female clients without a special jewellery surprise. Another innovation of the ‘Alter’ collection is the ‘Alter Ego’; a model which is available in smaller sizes for women. The 39 millimetre dial is suited even to the most delicate wrist and - at first glance - entirely replicates the technology of last year’s ‘Alter’ model. In actual fact, Carlo Palmiero and his team have had to work tirelessly to recreate the same idea in miniature form: the internal mechanism for this model could not be simply adapted – it had to be made again from scratch!
In Palmiero’s latest watches, new technologies have been masterfully embodied and refined with elegance, without compromising comfort. The more delicate ‘Alter Ego’ model is noteworthy for featuring all the same characteristics of its larger counterpart, as well as possessing its own feminine colour palette; pink gold dripping in pink sapphires and colourless diamonds.
When we met during the Baselworld exhibit, Carlo Palmiero emphasised that he has no interest in trying to compete with watch brands. After all, ‘Alter’ is not a collection of watches – it is a jewellery art collection comprised of pieces which tell the time.