Baselworld 2016 was an explosion of novelties and designs, yet if the task was to select ladies watches that embody the juxtaposition of art, craftsmanship, storytelling and design, which would make it to the top of the tree?
- The Tree of Life by Kerbedanz
Firstly, it would be the Tree of Life by Kerbedanz. The tree of life may have a slightly different meaning depending where our spiritual and geographical axes meet and greet. Yet in both Eastern and Western myths, this mystical concept represents the interconnectedness of all life and forms of creation.
The tree in the Kerbedanz watch reveals itself in a somewhat inwards motion, neither straight nor inverted. Rather introverted and humble, this hand-sculpted gold tree adorns the green enamelled dial and is framed by a round case entirely set with green emeralds. It bears fruit, not the forbidden but the delectable ones, diamond chatons exquisitely embedded into the gold and enamel. Thankfully, there is nothing humble about its craftsmanship. It is meticulous and artistically over the top. Even the original Technotime base has been punctiliously decorated to match the rest of the design. In both Eastern and Western mythology, the Tree of Life is often reversed. The light of life comes from above and penetrates down, with its branches as the root of life, to which Dante refers as the tree which ‘lives from its top’. The Kerbedanz tree lives from its top, and it is, indeed, the very top of the tree.
- ALESSIO BOSCHI Cedar necklace
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but on her wings.”
Secondly, CHANEL’s flying birds gave me butterflies in the stomach.
The Mademoiselle Privé collection undoubtedly adds another chapter to CHANEL’s creative history, opening the door to the intimate world of Gabrielle Chanel and the cherished objects she surrounded herself with – birds among other things.
- CHANEL Mademoiselle Privé Flying Birds
Created by the hands of the finest master artisans it uncovers new ground for expressing the know-how of the Métiers d’Art craftsmanship used in fine watchmaking and high jewellery. Using the sculpted gold technique to sublimate the scenes on onyx dials, gold is shaped, engraved and oxidised to give a natural appearance to the bird, flower and tree motifs. With its infinite lightness, CHANEL birds, flowers and branches, inspired by the famous Coromandel lacquer panels, appear quite naturally relaxed, composing the scene of the dial. Birds sit on a tree branch yet with each movement of the wrist, they will tremble and fly away. This simple pleasure takes three weeks to bring to fruition. These are not just birds sitting on a tree. They are top of the tree, exquisite and free.
- Looking at the embroidery in Dolce & Gabbana’s SERA collection 2016 one almost gets the feeling that CHANEL artisans secretly escaped Maison’s castle at night and met and conspired with D&G designers. Or do great minds create alike?