The pendant watch has its roots within the Seventeenth century — and has sparked a number of waves of recognition through the years, together with the belle époque of the nineteenth century, the Artwork Nouveau interval of the early twentieth century and the Seventies.
Now the model is again, with luxurious watchmakers from Jaeger-LeCoultre to Chanel introducing designs impressed by historical past however with modern panache.
“If you look back to the beginning of portable timepieces,” mentioned Paul Boutros, deputy chairman and head of watches for the Americas at Phillips public sale home in New York Metropolis, “the pendant watch really began as a matter of convenience, a way to transport a watch in a way that looked like jewelry and made a statement.”
In that interval, watches had been all handmade and really expensive — so it was rich males who devised methods of attaching their timepieces to chains or lengths of ribbon so that they could possibly be worn across the neck or hung from a belt for all to see.
By the nineteenth century, ladies had watches and started attaching them to lengthy swaying necklaces, known as sautoirs in French, which frequently had been embellished with diamonds and different gem stones.
Then, “in the 1960s and especially the ’70s,” Mr. Boutros mentioned, watchmaking manufacturers that additionally made jewellery launched some elaborate pendant watches. For instance, in 1971 Piaget made a sautoir watch with a tiger’s-eye dial and beads on a gold chain that offered in 2015 for 23,750 Swiss francs (now the equal of $26,515) at a Phillips public sale.
“Sautoirs bring together Piaget’s mastery of ultrathin watch movements and expertise in gold craftsmanship,” Jean-Bernard Forot, head of patrimony for Piaget, mentioned throughout a telephone interview from the corporate’s headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates, simply exterior Geneva. “This is shown in the creation of the pendants in the ’60s during an amazing period of creativity. We called these long pieces ‘Swinging Sautoirs’ and they became the perfect emblem for the beautiful jet-set society of the time who kept asking for more.”
On the 2023 Watches & Wonders Geneva, the model unveiled three one-of-a-kind Piaget Sautoir watches (costs on utility) in addition to updates of a few of its most evocative designs from the previous.
One Piaget Sautoir is a twisted double-strand 18-karat gold chain, which took 130 hours to make, that includes a 25.38-carat oval cabochon-cut Zambian emerald and an oval 18-karat yellow-gold quartz watch with a malachite dial and a bezel set with diamonds and emeralds.
The second was embellished with turquoise and the third, a selected problem to the artisans, was an 18-karat braided gold chain with 6.41 carats of diamonds. Based on Mr. Forot, it took seven months to make the third Sautoir as a result of the model “had lost the technique from the ’60s. They patiently found the techniques again, threading the gold by hand into these tiny chains and adding the modern eye on it to make it even more perfect.”
Most of the time, a contemporary pendant watch can be a secret watch, the trade’s time period for timepieces with covers that may be moved apart to disclose the time. The model permits the dial cowl to be embellished with diamonds and different gems, engraving, marquetry or different inventive gildings to intensify the sense that the piece is true jewellery, in addition to a watch.
This yr, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Jaeger-LeCoultre all launched sautoir necklaces with hidden dials.
Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé Lion assortment, which debuted at Watches and Wonders Geneva, consists of an 18-karat yellow-gold pendant watch with a black lacquer dial, lined with the diamond-set face of a lion on a black background that may be swiveled apart to disclose the time. The quartz watch is accented with 336 diamonds totaling 7.90 carats and hangs on a necklace of black onyx, gold beads and diamonds. Solely 20 will likely be made (worth on utility).
“A sautoir that secretly tells the time,” Arnaud Chastaingt, director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio, wrote in an e mail, “means a lot of inventiveness to integrate a caliber, to dissimulate the dial, to work the hinges.”
The lion motif was chosen, the model mentioned, as a result of Leo was its founder’s astrological signal. “Gabrielle Chanel’s personal universe remains endlessly a source of true inspiration to me,” Mr. Chastaingt wrote. “I love the idea of this lion’s face, dear to Mademoiselle Chanel, beautifully and secretly keeping the time.”
Additionally at Watches and Wonders Geneva, Van Cleef & Arpels launched six variations of sautoir secret watches in its Perlée assortment. Every one has a 90-centimeter (35.4-inch) 18-karat gold chain that culminates in a 25-millimeter spherical secret watch with a mother-of-pearl dial surrounded by a diamond-studded gold bezel.
Three variations function gem-set dial covers. Two, in 18-karat yellow gold, function emeralds or sapphires; the third, in 18-karat rose gold, has rubies. The opposite three use cabochon-cut gemstone slabs to cowl their dials: pale blue chalcedony with 18-karat white gold, rose quartz with 18-karat rose gold or blue sodalite with 18-karat yellow gold.
“At Van Cleef & Arpels, we see watches from a jeweler’s perspective and combine the reading of time with the notion of adornment,” Nicolas Bos, the home’s president and chief government, wrote in an e mail. This offers rise to necklaces, brooches, bracelets and generally even rings fitted with a dial.”
Mr. Bos famous that the primary Perlée pendant secret watches had been launched in 2019, however had been impressed by the model’s Seventeenth-century origins in addition to the lapel watches and chatelaines (clusters of chains to hold keys and different home goods) that Van Cleef & Arpels made previously.
“Today,” he wrote, “these references give rise to delicate and unexpected interpretations with creations that allow for a playful vision of time, a time that is both personal and secret.”
In Historical past
Bulgari additionally tapped its historical past this yr with its one-of-a-kind Secret Watch Necklace Cameo Imperiale, launched in Might throughout the home’s excessive jewellery occasion in Venice.
Impressed by the Monete Bulgari collections of the Nineteen Sixties, which featured historical Roman and Greek cash, the home had artisans in Torre del Greco, Italy, a standard middle of cameo carving, create a cameo portrait of Cleopatra. The picture of the Egyptian queen then was surrounded with diamonds and pink and blue sapphires, making a watch cowl that resembles an elaborate coin.
The manual-wind watch comprises an in-house Tourbillon Lumière BVL 208 caliber skeletonized motion, seen by its clear sapphire crystal. The 56-millimeter case and the chain, each in 18-karat rose gold, are set with diamonds and rubies (worth on utility).
“Coins are symbols of evolution, they are an authentic and tangible part of our history, they are captivating as they come from so many centuries ago,” Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s product creation government director, wrote in an e mail. “At Bulgari, we love playing with objects, approaching them differently and creating new ways of wearing jewelry and watches. This pendant watch is a fusion between a jewel and a timepiece.”
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s famed Reverso watch, first created in 1931, has the key watch idea in its very design: an oblong timepiece whose case could be pushed to 1 aspect, flipped after which pushed again into place to show the opposite aspect.
Within the case of the Reverso Secret Necklace, a restricted version that debuted at Watches and Wonders Geneva, the case again is ready with diamonds and onyx in a geometrical floral motif whereas the dial aspect is rendered in rose gold, diamonds and black onyx. The oblong watch is powered by the model’s Calibre 846, an in-house 93-part manual-wind motion made for the Reverso line (worth on utility).
The 90-centimeter chain, created in 18-karat pink gold and set with diamonds and black onyx beads, was impressed by the twisted black twine generally used because the strap for girls’s Reverso watches of the Thirties. Lariat-style diamond-set lugs hug the watch, which has two tassels accented with diamonds and elongated onyx drops.
In whole, the model mentioned, greater than 3,000 diamonds weighing a complete of 18 carats had been used on the Reverso Secret Necklace, and it requires greater than 300 hours of gem-setting work.
“With a strong Reverso heritage, and historic pendant watch know-how, we see that there is still a strong market for exclusive watches that bring together the impressive worlds of high-watchmaking and high jewelry in one,” Catherine Rénier, the model’s chief government, mentioned throughout an interview at Watches and Wonders Geneva. “The Reverso Secret Necklace has reopened a creative realm at Jaeger-LeCoultre, therefore we will continue to design and create more Reverso Secret Necklace expressions in the future.”