“Diamonds are a woman’s best friend…”
Sang Marylin Monroe in “Men Prefer Blondes” (1953): okay, they may not exactly be our best friends, but they certainly represent an accessory that makes us sigh and desire to wear it on a special occasion, to enhance our beauty and that of our look.
That of jewelry is an ancient art; man has always created and worn it, fabricating precious creations from “raw” materials which, over time, have become iconic. Just think of the names of the great jewelers, their brands, and some collections that are still considered timeless… Any examples? We have collected 5 for you out of which, in our opinion, it is really difficult to choose the most beautiful!
Snakes Collection – Bvlgari
When Sotirios Voulgaris (in Italian: Sotirio Bvlgari) was producing silverware in the small Aromanian village of Kalarites (Epirus) at the end of the 19th century, he probably never imagined that his ingenuity and creative spirit would lead him to create an empire that is still synonymous with elegance, sophistication, and uniqueness today. Arriving in Italy in 1881 to make his fortune, he moved first to Naples and then to Rome, where he began exhibiting his creations in a jewelry shop, eventually opening his own boutique in 1895. Sotirios’ sons followed in his footsteps and focused on promoting the shop in Via Condotti 28, which, thanks also to the emerging Cinecittà, began to welcome internationally renowned customers such as Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn and Sofia Loren.
The brand’s most iconic collection is, undoubtedly, “Serpenti” (Snakes): esoteric, mysterious, alluring, and awe-inspiring at the same time, the snake has been a symbol rich in meaning since ancient times, contributing to the fame of this collection, which was born in the 1940s, with a watch-bracelet that is still one of Bulgari’s most beloved and recognized symbols. Using the Tubogas technology, the first watch models depicted stylized snakes coiling along the pole, with the dial at one end symbolizing the reptile’s head. And, just like the snake, the collections have undergone a continuous metamorphosis, while maintaining their unique style: today, the jewels feature geometric and modern lines with the use of the most precious stone of all, the diamond.
Panthère Collection – Cartier
Reported in 2019 by Forbes as the 5th most valuable brand in the world, Cartier has a long history of successes in the world of luxury, which begins in 1856, when Princess Mathilde, cousin of Emperor Napoleon III, goes on to 29 rue Montorgueil, in Paris, to the boutique of a certain Louis-François Cartier (1819-1904), starting from that moment a tradition among all the royals, so much so that Cartier was defined by King Edward VII: “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers.”
Always capable of reinventing itself, the brand already anticipated the Art Deco style in 1900 with jewelry in geometric shapes and abstract designs and, in 1904, Louis Cartier designed the first wristwatch in history. However, the quintessential symbol of Cartier is the panther: an elegant and regal feline, but also mysterious and exotic; perhaps this is why it was chosen by the painter George Barbier as the image for the invitation card for an Haute Horlogerie exhibition, commissioned by Cartier. It was love at first sight, so much so that Louis decided to choose this animal as the brand’s symbol. Jewelry for royalty and “rebellious” royalty, the first brooch representing the complete figure of the feline was in fact commissioned by (former) King Edward of England, for his beloved Wallis Simpson. The collection continues to be a must-have, a symbol of power, and to represent a strong and dominant personality. In particular, since 2017, the collection has gone back in vogue, offering different watch models.
Tiffany T Collection – Tiffany & Co
“I’ve found that all I need to do to feel better is to get a taxi and be taken to Tiffany’s. It calms me down immediately, that silence and that superb air: nothing bad can happen in there, not with those well-dressed gentlemen…” Who doesn’t know Tiffany’s, and this famous quote from Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s? It would seem impossible to believe that the proceeds from the opening day of Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young’s first shop, opened in 1837 in New York, were just $4.98!
Soon, however, it became the hub of American jewelry, thanks to the founders’ intuition not only to publish the so-called ‘Blue Book,’ the first mail-order catalog in the United States but also to import colored gems from Europe and to establish the standard of .925 silver, thus introducing true luxury to the United States.
Several years and jewelry later, in 2014, the collection created to celebrate the brand was born, featuring the initial letter of its name on each piece, called, indeed, Tiffany T. With their simple, minimalist design, the iconic bracelets seem to remind us of the power of a bond, the one between customers and the Maison, which grows stronger every year; the distance between the two T’s is in fact that small space that one wants to fill and consolidate. The symbol of the collection? The Square model in gold, designed for both men and women.
Piaget Rose Collection – Piaget
“Always do better than what is strictly necessary:” this is the motto that has always characterized the Piaget Maison, born in Switzerland, in 1874, on a farm, where the skilled hands of Georges-Edouard Piaget created and produced pocket watches.
The worldwide boom came after the brand’s demise in 1943. Increasingly avant-garde in the field of watchmaking, partially thanks to the creation of the world’s flattest automatic movement, the Calibre 12P (2.3 mm thick), the brand later began to specialize in jewelry in its Geneva factory, where stones are meticulously worked by hand after numerous quality controls.
This love is embodied in its symbol par excellence: the rose. This flower has always played an important role for creative director Yves Piaget, who was a member of the jury of the International New Rose Competition: an exhibition held in Geneva and which, for its 30th anniversary in 1982, the jeweler decided to honor with the Piaget Rose collection. Fine and elegant, consisting of earrings, rings and, of course, watch models; pearls and precious stones are set among the leaves and the finely decorated petals enclose beautiful diamonds. A decidedly romantic and dreamy collection.
Il giardino di Buccellati (Buccellati Garden Collection) – Buccellati
Passion and talent that are born and grow from a young age are the ones that hold the best surprises, as the story of Mario Buccellati shows. Mario Buccellati entered the world of jewelry at the age of 12 and opened his first shop in Milan in 1919 after returning from the First World War. Soon his jewelry was recognized not only in Italy but throughout the whole of Europe, in particular by the Spanish royal family, so much so that Gabriele D’Annunzio nicknamed him “the prince of goldsmiths.”
In the 2000s, thanks to the numerous exhibitions and the work of Lucrezia, the first female stylist at the head of the Maison, as well as the great-granddaughter of Mario Buccellati himself, the jewelry achieved new success all over the world. The “workshop” work at the base, however, has never changed, and perhaps it was also this that inspired the “Il Giardino di Buccellati” collection: a way of working still connected to the study and techniques typical of a craftsman or a painter, who experiments and creates, drawing on nature and impressionist tones. All the jewelry in this collection is reminiscent of flower gardens, albeit in an abstract style, celebrating the strength and beauty of nature.