Aventurine lights up the women’s watch world
Legend has it that aventurine came about after a happy accident in Murano’s 17th-century glass-making workshops. A clumsy workman is said to have dropped copper filings into his molten glass, resulting in a material flecked with shimmering golden particles. Its name comes from the Italian ‘a ventura’, meaning ‘by chance’.
Later, a variety of quartz with brilliant inclusions was also named aventurine; but it’s the Murano-made original that is typically used in watch dials, prized for its consistency of colour and sparkle.
Indigo aventurine glass often features in celestial-inspired models, such as Bulgari’s new Divas’ Dream, in which its midnight-blue finish calls to mind the skies of Rome, set with diamond constellations.
More pared back but no less elegant is Boucheron’s Bleu de Jodhpur Reflet, in which a single brilliant-cut diamond beams like a full moon against a lustrous aventurine night sky. Harry Winston, meanwhile, uses the material to blanket the entire dial of its Premier Precious Moon Phase, where two mother-of-pearl moons play a game of hide-and-seek over the course of the lunar cycle.
Audemars Piguet’s cocktail time
In general, women are denied a view of the inner workings of watches. But Audemars Piguet’s skeletonised ladies’ Millenary collection aims to change all that. Here, the calibre 4101 was built back-to-front in order to display components usually kept hidden.
This year, the Millenary’s mechanical smarts are complemented by Polish mesh bracelets. Similar in appearance to Milanese straps, the Polish finish sees a rolled-up gold fibre threaded by hand in alternating directions (Milanese threads face one way), for a vintage look in keeping with its distinctive oval face.
Available in white or pink gold, a third new addition features an opal dial and a case of ‘frosted’ pink gold: a surface achieved by beating the metal with a diamond-tipped pneumatic tool.
First used on the Royal Oak in collaboration with Carolina Bucci, whose ancestors perfected this ‘Florentine technique’, the lustrous finish hammers home the Millenary’s cocktail-watch credentials.