Taking inspiration from the private life of Coco Chanel, the French luxury house’s new timepiece collection, named ‘Mademoiselle Privé’ after the legendary designer, boasts an opulent selection of jewellery watches. Among them, the Coromandel Glyptic timepiece is particularly fascinating: It features avian-themed graphics drawn from the coromandel screens that Coco loved so much. These beautifully lacquered screens held artistic interpretations from ancient mythology, and were expressed in the form of Orientalist symbols such as perfectly poised birds in hardwood trees, something that was reinterpreted for the Coromandel Glyptic.
Painstakingly transposed onto the watch dials by top-notch craftsmen from the illustrious House of Lesage, the silk, diamonds and pearls are deftly embroidered onto the watch’s dial and comes encased in 18-carat gold. The delicate branches of the sculpted gold Coromandel watches are embossed with a simulated bark pattern, while the ancient jewellery techinque of glyptic sculpting is used to transform gemstones such as cornaline into majestic birds—the different techniques adding texture and realism to each display. The crafting of each individual watch takes over a hundred hours to create and, coupled with an immense attention to detail, gives the Coromandel Glyptic timepiece depth and incomparable individuality.
Text by Tanya Anthony