Gaïa 23°27' is unlike anything that has been created up to now in the realm of the jewellery timepiece. More than just a ‘jewellery watch’, it is a true piece of haute joaillerie. The case and bracelet are made of pink gold spheres, whose size gradually diminishes around the bracelet. Each sphere is connected by a sophisticated system of invisible attachments, ending in a perfectly integrated clasp. On the side of the wrist, each sphere is slightly flattened, in order to ensure the maximum comfort and perfect ergonomic fit while being worn.
The central sphere – with a diameter equal to 500 millionths of the diameter of the Earth – contains an automatic calibre (ETA 2688, the smallest available, with a power reserve of 40 hours). The movement is off-centred and inclined 23°27' (the angle of inclination of the Earth’s rotational axis to its elliptical plane). This angle offers the wearer perfect readability of the time, which is indicated by two short facetted hands in a compass style. The crown is nearly invisible, delicately embracing the case’s spherical form.
This technically complex piece, created in collaboration with the Ateliers Vaucher in Geneva, takes its importance and appeal from its stone-set virtuosity, its delicateness, its perfectly silky feel. Evoking celestial themes, the piece is sprinkled with images of the sun, moons, stars, comets, etc, the ensemble beginning with a splendid sun that brightens the central sphere.
A total of 440 diamonds of the highest quality (3.46 carats) and 519 fine coloured gemstones (pink, yellow, orange, and blue sapphires as well as rubies) come together to create this small cosmic symphony. The piece also features an oscillating weight that is hand-engraved with ‘latitude et longitude’ motifs, and set with eight black diamonds, a white diamond, and a central ruby cabochon. Its dial is made from a 2.32 carat ruby cabochon with a hole in its centre, while the clasps continue the use of two ruby cabochons. The flange is set with four ruby baguettes and sixteen trapeze-cut ‘changing colour’ garnets that turn from blue-green to pink, depending on the light… All of these subtle details add to the poetry of the piece.
Head in the Stars
The Gaïa 23°27' Number 1 (patent pending) is the first model in a limited series of 22 pieces, each offering a unique style of finishing, in keeping with the desires of the buyer or according to the inspiration of the artist.
“Our strategy resembles more that of a gallery offering works from artists rather that that of a brand,” explains Marc Radovanovitch, the man in charge of ‘La Tête dans les Etoiles’ (The Head in the Stars). “With Anatole Le Grand Edouard, we are preparing a totally original men’s watch, but we will also soon propose other artists and, in addition to watchmaking, we want to make jewellery and prestige art objects.”
After this remarkable debut, we can certainly expect many more new surprises.
Source: October - November 2005 Issue
Click here to subscribe to Europa Star Magazine.