| Hong Kong Jewellery 香港珠寶
News & Highlight


  • Photo 1
  • Photo 2
  • Photo 3
  • Photo 4

The ultimate quest for visibility


Bell & Ross, Girard-Perregaux, H Moser & Cie, Hublot, Jacob & Co and Richard Mille are among the confident watchmakers who have taken the sapphire-case challenge. Though distinctive, they were all made to give full visual access to the respective intricate movements through the intricate openwork dials. Coming as the next brand joining the party, Chanel goes even further with an invisible watch from the J12 series.


Luxury watches are commonly seen in 18-karat gold, platinum, or titanium for those who prefer comfort to substantiality. The heart of the watch - the movement – always come as a humble hidden treasure inside the precious-metal case. The beauty of the intricate inner world of the timepiece was able to meet the eyes of the wearer not until skeletonised watches with an open dial were developed. The adaptable of sapphire crystal to case making has pushed the race of innovation and craftsmanship excellence to a new phase.


Machining a watchcase from a block of sapphire is an art requiring technical refinement and long hours of work due to the second hardest material on earth after diamond. A single error cut means doing the whole process again with a new crystal block from scratch. Therefore, a plush timepiece with a sapphire crystal case always comes in an expensive and limited quantity.


Named after the most brilliant astronomical entity of all, The Quasar Light from Girard-Perregaux (photo 1) delivers an intergalactic 360o view offering a gleaming aerial view of the glossy movement thanks to the sapphire crystal case which requires three times more sapphire than standard. To reveal the smallest details of the mechanism, the aerial Neo-bridges are also finished in sapphire crystal.


The exceptional case of Bell & Ross’ BR-X1 Chronograph Tourbillon Sapphire (photo 2) is cut from six sapphire blocks which is assembled with screws. The column wheel under the dial at 12 o’clock, the semi instantaneous jumping hand, the power reserve indicator of 100 hours at 9 o’clock, and of course, the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock are among the many intricacies visible through the transparent exterior.


Richard Mille goes colours for its RM 07-02 gem-set sapphire watches for ladies. Coming in pink (photo 3), blue and green, the coloured sapphire case requires almost 40 days of machining and finishing. The blue sapphire version, for instance, sets with 12 rows of diamonds held by hand-polished red or grey gold prongs. The blue version features mother-of-pearl on its dial, nephrite for a green case, and jasper for pink.


Chanel extends the application of sapphire crystal to the bracelet, introducing the world’s first full sapphire crystal watch - J12 X-Ray Sapphire (photo 4). Through the sapphire case, featuring a white gold bezel set with baguette diamonds, there reveals the skeletonised movement suspending in mid-air by sapphire bridges. The hour markers on the sapphire dial are also set with diamonds. The transparent bracelet composes of sapphire links assembled by gold parts.


← Back