A collection that the Maison Chanel plans to enrich year after year, “Les Éternelles” begins its story with three of the most cherished symbols of the house, namely the comet, the camellia and the feather, to create three ultra-feminine “montres à secret” or “secret replica watches for sale” handmade in the Parisian ateliers of Chanel on the Place Vendôme.
Each of the High Jewelry secret watches was designed as a cuff cased in 18k white gold and set with precious stones.
The Camellia secret watch is a tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite flower, chosen for its “sumptuous simplicity.” To the streamlined design of the three camellias on the cuff, Chanel has added the sparkle of nearly 45 carats of diamonds in a pavé setting that evokes a garden, strewn with leaves and flowers. The mechanism of the “secret” is engaged by pushing one of the small flowers to displace the larger camellia, in turn revealing or concealing a dial paved with 34 baguette diamonds.
The comet, another favorite motif of Mademoiselle Chanel, first made its appearance in Chanel’s repertoire with the “Bijoux de Diamant” collection in 1932. Since then, it has been a recurring theme in the Maison’s jewelry collections.
The Comet Secret Watch combines diamonds and sapphires to recreate a starry sky, studded with a sparkling constellation of stars. A sapphire-studded star displaces the comet to reveal a secret dial paved with baguette sapphires, using a mechanism not unlike that of the Camellia Secret Watch.
Finally, the Plume Secret Watch pays homage to the feather, symbol of elegant lightness, and one that endlessly inspired Gabrielle Chanel. Here, a diamond-paved feather rests gracefully on the diamond cuff, leaving in its trail pink sapphire droplets. The mechanism here functions as a spring. When pressed, the feather reveals a secret dial paved with pink baguette sapphires.
As is de rigueur for high jewelry, equal attention is paid to the reverse side of each piece. A honeycomb “à jour” technique (or “mise à jour en nid d’abeille”) allows for greater brilliance of the stone pavé setting on the face of each piece, by cutting away metal from behind the stone-settings to allow light to filter through. The process is time-intensive and precise. Four hundred man-hours of setting were required for each piece.
The sides of the white gold cuffs are polished to create a modern contrast against the pavé surfaces.
The greatest challenge, still, was to perfect the secret mechanism in each piece so as to ensure its seamless functioning and conceal its technical aspects. After all, more than timepieces, the Éternelles are pieces of high jewelry.