The House of Boucheron is known not only for its rich history but also its innovative spirit; Frédéric Boucheron developed new gem cutting, engraving and setting techniques and he was also the first jeweller to open a store on the famous Place Vendôme.
Nature often served as the source of inspiration for Boucheron who also made his creations even more exciting by using unexpected material combinations.
The majority of watches and jewellery pieces on show at Basel were also inspired by natural motifs; we could see imaginative adaptations of abundant and diverse leaf and flower patterns, beetles and colorful members of the flora and fauna.
The “Collection of Animals” have a creative and artistically executed design. The Cypris ring shapes a swan, in black and an other in white; when worn together the pair of swans turn towards each other. The collection also includes jewels depicting a hedgehog, chameleon, zebra, Pegasus, turtle, flamingo, owl, frog and the list continues. One of my favourites is the Hathi ring, an elephant set with diamonds, sapphires, in white gold. The elephant, as the symbol of wisdom, the story of the Maison as well as its attraction to the mythical Far East all served as inspiration for the ring.
The iconic snake motif symbolizing eternity appears on the pieces of the Serpent series. The yellow and white gold pieces are set with pavé diamonds; the collection includes a ring, earrings, necklaces, bracelets in various thicknesses as well as a jewel watch.
Quatre is the brand’s easily identifiable emblematic series. The Quatre ring is made of four different golds with four patterns; it is set with pavé diamonds in yellow gold, pink gold, white gold and Boucheron gold. In addition to white gold the Quatre Black edition is completed with Boucheron black gold, the White edition with ceramic (Quatre White: yellow gold, white gold, pink gold and ceramic).
Frédéric Boucheron chose the Latin script found on the small cannon at the Place du Palais-Royal “Horas non numero nisi serenas”, meaning “I count only the joyful hours” as the motto for his watch making. The watches reflect this attitude, whether they be the refined and elegant Épure watches, the feminine and diverse Reflet pieces or the Épure d’Art és Ajourée creations with their artistic and enthralling craftsmanship.
All seven pieces of the Épure d’Art are the work of a master artisan and showcase amazing inlay work in a miniature space. Before his travels, Frédéric sent a bouquet of pansies to his wife Gabrielle, to remind her of how much he thinks of her. The dial of the “Je pense á toi” showcases a white gold pansy motif that is as delicate as lace, set with 250 diamonds. Another exceptional piece from this collection is the grape leaf pattern Épure Tourbillon Vitis. The bunch of grapes is created from just one piece of mother-of-pearl that is sculpted into many tiny grapes. The artistic design of the watch is crowned with the engraved flying tourbillon.
New pieces have also been added to the Ajourée collection. In these pieces a small, mother-of-pearl watch is encased in a bejewelled dial with wing motifs (Bouquet d’Ailes), a slithering snake (Amvara), and a peacock (Héra).
The Scarab beetle (Khépri) also appears on one of the pieces in the Épure d’Art collection; however the Khépri á Secret is a true masterpiece. This is a beetle-shaped diamond jewel-watch, where the wings of the beetle open in a fine and slow manner thanks to a unique watch movement. “Light pressure on the head of the little messenger – formed by a blue sapphire cabochon – triggers a cam mechanism that synchronizes the opening of the four wings: the gadroon-sculpted upper wings in mother-of-pearl open and reveal underneath smaller wings in openwork set with diamonds and blue sapphires.”
Browsing through the outstanding jewel and watch creations of the Maison I believed – if only for the time being – that it really is only the joyful hours that count.
Photo credits: Boucheron, Loupiosity.com.
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