No stranger to masculine timepieces, with the powerful, unconventional forms of the Instrumento, Occhio or Otturatore, de Grisogono has nonetheless chosen to “lighten up” this year. Granted, the Meccanico dG Reloaded, with its signature dual display, one analogue and one mechanical-digital to track time in two zones, returns with a moulded carbon fibre case that soaks up light, a trick learned from the Tonda by Night, but this is just for starters. The real new releases are elsewhere, among the brand’s collections for women.
First the Tondo Tourbillon Gioiello. Swathed in gems and with a skeleton movement, this lady’s timepiece goes even further in its exploration of the métiers d’art and introduces a mainplate which has been enamelled in two colours on both sides. Knowing that enamel must be fired multiple times, it’s hard to imagine how one side remains unaltered while the other is still being worked on. Pressed with questions, de Grisogono’s new head of watches, Michel Nieto, still declines to reveal the secret behind this limited edition of thirty, already on its way to the markets.
Grapes of… joy
But de Grisogono has done more than simply revisit its existing collections. As Michel Nieto observes, the brand is bringing watchmaking and jewellery closer together, beginning with a new collection by the name of Grappoli. A shower of briolette precious stones surrounds the case. Each stone has a pierced gold cap which attaches it to the case while leaving the stones free to quiver with the movements of the wrist. The dial and bezel are snow-set with the same stones – orange or blue sapphires, emeralds or amethysts – to create an expanse of colour, with contrast created through volume. “We were looking to surprise with something that isn’t necessarily part of de Grisogono’s jewellery tradition,” comments Michel Nieto. Mission accomplished with watches that make time almost a secondary consideration but the all-important pretext to feast on gems.
Allegra, the second unveiling of the year, is named after the daughter of Fawaz Gruosi, who created the brand in 1993. It started out as a jewellery collection. Says Michel Nieto, “Fawaz Gruosi worked for three years to complement the jewellery with watches. Personally I’d imagined a slimmer design, but when we viewed the first prototypes I could immediately see I was wrong. Once again we are bringing something completely new to the market, a powerful design that can be interpreted in all manner of ways. Already we’re getting requests for personalised bracelets.” Allegra is again a jewel that gives the time, as much bracelet as watch. Its twenty interwoven strands of leather hark back to the 1930s when the stars of the silver screen wore precious timepieces on cords. This new collection, which includes versions with gemset cases and bracelets, recalls the days of dolce vita, a time of carefree enjoyment and, why not, luxury for the pleasure of luxury.