“I’ve loved Chinese screens since I was 18. I almost fainted with happiness the first time I saw a Coromandel in a Chinese shop. Screens were the first thing I bought,” said Gabrielle Chanel. Inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel’s love for the Orient, and the famous Coromandel lacquer panels in her Rue Cambon apartment, Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé jewellery watch collection is a true work of art. Limited to five unique pieces, each of the watches in the Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel Sculpted Gold and Flying Birds collection features an elegant 37.5mm beige gold case snow-set with 80 brilliant-cut diamonds and a chic black Mississippiensis alligator strap.
The unsurpassed skill and know-how of the Métiers d’Art craftsmen is showcased through the Grand Feu enamel and sculpted gold on the onyx dial. Grand Feu enamelling is a technique of miniature painting, where various layers of paint are applied to the enamel base, then red to reveal the nuances of colours. The birds, engraved mother-of-pearl flowers and branches on the dial are sublimated with 18-karat beige gold to create even more layers of depth and texture.
Used in the 18th and 19th centuries, the ancient “tremblant” technique is where some parts of a jewel are attached to a trembler system to create movement when the jewel is worn—here, the birds move according to your wrist movements. It takes three weeks to engrave the elements, fix the birds and test the trembler spring for each timepiece, before it is finally ready to take flight from the hands of the craftsman and onto your wrist.
By Debby Kwong
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