Natural stones in watches – Heart of stone Replica Watches Online Safe
Mineral dials are one of the stylistic hallmarks of modern watchmaking. They became popular in the second half of the 20th century, with two distinct currents: on the one hand, natural minerals, and on the other, extra-terrestrial rocks, mainly meteorites, which made their debut on watch dials a little later.
Piaget, a pioneer
The former category was for a long time a signature of Piaget, which since 1963 has offered a variety of mineral dials featuring more than thirty different stones. The Andy Warhol model is particularly well known. Not only did he bring the mineral dial to the attention of the wider world, he also proved that they were equally suited to men and women.
In 2018, Piaget has unveiled two new interpretations, this time on its flagship model, the Altiplano. The manufacture has gone further than simply cutting a single slice of stone; this model features stone marquetry by Master of Art (that’s an official title) Hervé Obligi. The first model is in malachite, with the second in lapis lazuli.
Altiplano High Jewellery lapis lazuli marquetry tourbillon © Piaget
Montblanc very rarely uses stone, which made it particularly surprising at the SIHH 2018, to discover an exceptional piece, a limited-edition pocket watch to celebrate the 160th anniversary of Minerva, with a mineral dial. The Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition, with a blue dumortierite dial, can be worn in the waistcoat, on the wrist (although at 60 mm, it’s a stretch) or placed on a table to facilitate the use of its integrated compass.
Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition © Montblanc
One of the advantages of mineral dials is that they can be adapted to suit any watch or any style. The shape and the colour will suggest the direction. Paler, more pastel-hued stones are often preferred for women’s collections, although Van Cleef & Arpels bucked this trend in its latest Sweet Alhambra watches, which marry yellow gold with malachite, lapis lazuli and turquoise.
Sweet Alhambra, turquoise © Van Cleef & Arpels
A meteorite on the wrist
Mineral dials have long been something of a specialty of both Bulgari and Jaquet Droz. For the latter, the Petite Heure Minute is a favourite setting because of its very modestly sized counter, located at 12 o’clock, which leaves plenty of room to give the dial material full expression. We have already seen two examples in 2018, with dials made of cuprite and astorite, two highly unusual minerals.
Petite Heure – Minute Astorite © Jaquet Droz
Like Jaquet Droz, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the rare maisons that chooses to carve watch dials out of meteorite. Because of their silvery grey inclusions and architectural geometry, meteorites are becoming increasingly attractive to watchmakers. However, in addition to their aesthetic differences, meteorites have different compositions (metal or chondrite) that offer specific challenges to the dial maker. The same applies to “terrestrial” minerals such as malachite. It is extremely fragile, and around 80 dials are produced for every 50 that find their way into a watch! In the end, the value of a mineral dial lies not in its beauty alone, but also in how difficult it is to work. And that’s what makes it an exercise in superlative skill and craftsmanship.
Piaget combines its expertise in ultra-thin moves with its fearless use of color to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Altiplano model. The seven bits in the new Piaget Watch Rose Gold Replica Altiplano 60th Anniversary collection, introduced at the SIHH in January, range in size from 34mm to 43mm. One of the great things about the new versions is that they are not necessarily gender-specific. I say not necessarily because while Piaget especially refers to the 34mm dimensions as a ladies’ watch, I saw a guy try it on at the presentation from Geneva, and it looked great. The dial is billed as pink, but it is really more reddish, and red has long been a guy’s timepiece colour as well as a woman’s. The attractiveness of these watches is the dial therapy. Piaget chose main colors in subtle graduated hues radiating out from the dial which, combined with the minimalist design, seems almost bold. As Piaget says, it is a fashion “stripped of anything superfluous,” and that it’s. There are lots of purists out there who do not need to view even a date window, and you will find options for them here (as well as people who favor the date window). The primary colours are what make the show universally appealing to either sex. A lighter hue of red (pink) would be too womanly, as would a lighter blue or green.
Master Calendar, stainless steel © Jaeger LeCoultre