The Haute Five of Baselworld: Focus on Gem-Studded Watches


When watchmaking and creativity come together in the world of haute horlogerie, it inevitably results in the most inspiring marvels, sculpted amidst a world of unparalleled fantasy, and speckled with coloured gemstones and sparkling white diamonds. Now that Baselworld 2016 has wrapped up on a shimmering note, we have decided to unveil the most glamorous gem-studded watches that are every bit precious and have dazzled their way to our hearts.

For the first time ever, Chanel decided to soak up inspiration from the iconic matelassé (quilted pattern) for its new high jewellery collection. The new precious secret watches are incredibly articulated to echo the quilted signature motif and the pattern spreads all over the Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Diamant high jewellery timepiece. The rose-cut diamond – weighing a delightful 5.26 carats – adorning the secret cover of the sleek geometric cuff, flips open to reveal a petite diamond pavéd dial. And did our hearts skip a beat as we spotted this stunning timepiece? You know the answer!


the Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Diamant high jewellery timepiece

The Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Diamant high jewellery timepiece 



Didn’t we mention we’d only talk about precious creations? Here’s one that belongs to the Precious Chopard collection launched at Baselworld. Handpicked beautiful stones comprising brilliant and pear-cut diamonds as well as sumptuous pastel blue sapphires of brilliant, pear and marquise-cuts, all set in 18k white gold, bring this gorgeous piece to life. The scalloped motif encircling the Precious Chopard’s watch face, and extending along the bracelet, are evocative of dainty lacework. Adding more drama and shimmer are the baguette-cut matching gems that huddle around the dainty floral corolla, which is snow-set with tiny sapphires and diamonds. A perfect addition to the spring-summer wardrobe! Admittedly, on our wish list!


The Constellation jewellery collection seems to be the perfect muse, as Graff illuminates the Celestial diamond timepiece just the way millions of stars illuminate the inky night sky – an electrifying effect no doubt. And what better way to achieve this sparkling spectacle than by developing a signature setting of the House into a striking and sculptural statement timepiece? A myriad of fancy-shaped diamonds, meticulously set in white gold at arresting angles, create a visual statement and recreate the brilliance of the stars as you wrap the bracelet around your wrist. Additionally, the diamond paved dial and individual diamonds on the bracelet are highlighted by a halo of sparkling melee stones. Exemplary craftsmanship – we’d snap that in a heartbeat!


Left: Precious Chopard watch by Chopard with sapphires and diamonds; Right: Celestial watch by Graff Diamonds made entirely of diamonds

Left: Precious Chopard watch by Chopard with sapphires and diamonds; Right: Celestial watch by Graff Diamonds made entirely of diamonds

The Twist Automatic by Harry Winston is like a garland strung together with pretty flowers and the beautiful bracelet timepiece has been inspired by the Maison’s high jewellery bracelet that dates back to the 1960s. The watch hypnotises you with a spinning motif on the dial, embellished with rubies and diamonds.


As many as 178 marquise-cut white diamonds and 110 rich-red rubies are seen fluidly weaving in and out of a near-invisible diamond trellis and what we find particularly enchanting is the placement of the gems to create volume – the craftsmen have placed the two lateral rows of marquise stones lower than the central rows. The organic design inspired by nature flows into an ethereally alluring horological creation. This gorgeous twist, sprinkled with diamonds and rubies, has tied our heart into knots!


The Twist Automatic by Harry Winston

The Twist Automatic by Harry Winston

Jacob Arabo’s Jacob & Co. is known for its ravishing gems and colourful watches, especially the Arelquino that was launched last year. This year too, Jacob&Co didn’t disappoint. For creative inspiration, the rainbow-hued new variants of the earlier model turned to Commedia dell’arte – a theatre form that took shape in Italy and gained popularity across Europe.


Inspired by the harlequin character and the multi-coloured costumes adorned with diamond-shapes, the Arlequino watch is undoubtedly a celebration of colour. Diamonds, rubies and pink, blue, green and orange sapphires in varying hues and shades have been integrated into the mystery setting that conceals the metal, thereby allowing the colours to shine through. We are all about colour and more colour and the Arelquino is on our glitz radar! 

The Twist Automatic by Harry Winston

Arlequino multi-gem watches by Jacob&Co