In the United States in 2018, watch sales were strongest at upper end of the price scale, according to the NDP Group, the market research company that collects point-of-sale data from thousands of stores in the United States. Watches priced over $5,000 and up accounted for almost half the sales of the entire U.S. watch market and during the first half of the year retail sales of watches priced $10,000 and more increased by 16 percent.
And it is in those price categories that the diamond industry a vested interest, for it is there that the functional timepieces are likely to set with gemstones, elevating them to the status of high-value jewelry.
A range of diamond companies specialize in producing the meticulously calibrated that the watch industry requires, some of them only several points in size, but cut exactly to size. They also are goods of generally high quality, primarily VVS clarities, in the G to D color ranges.
There are companies that specialize in the production of diamond-set bezels. Where that work was once all done by hand, today it is largely computer-controlled, where the degree of accuracy that has been achieved has is enabling watchmakers set minutely cuts stones on the bridges and even moving parts of the timepieces.
STUNNING DIAMOND SET WATCHES ON DISPLAY IN BASEL
Rising to the occasion, several of the world most renowned jewelry and watch designers used the opportunity of Baselworld 2019 to unveil some of their most stunning creations.
Harry Winston, the legendary New York jewelry house, revealed two vintage-inspired cocktail watches, called the Ultimate Marble Marquetry and the Marble Marquetry, both of which were inspired by the star-shaped pattern decorating the floors leading to company’s Fifth Avenue salon. The feature a wreath of blue sapphires encompassing the watch case.
London-based jeweler Graff Diamonds used the trade show to reveal its diamond-set secret watch, which features a front closure that slides over a pavé miniature watch, uncovering a pavé diamond-set dial. The dial is pavé-set with custom-cut diamonds around the edges that trace the shape of the case.
The Ultimate Marble Marquetry watch by Harry Winston.
On display at Hublot was a $1 million offering called the Big Bang Tourbillon. It is set with 380 tapered baguette diamonds, weighting 13.5 carats. All have been custom cut to fit on the dial.
For its parts part Chopard showed the Secret Red Carpet, which is part of its Red Carpet Collection, which the French watch company produces as a sponsor of the Cannes Film Festival. It features a 72-carat black opal slides, with a dial set with pink mother-of-pearl and chalcedony. There are 235 carats of gemstones set in the timepiece, including jadeite, turquoise, onyx, emeralds, tanzanite and, of course diamonds. The price of the watch will only be revealed on request.
The diamond-set secret watch by Graff Diamonds.
MID AT BASELWORLD, MARCH 21 TO 26
MID House of Diamonds is exhibiting at Baselworld in 2019, and has brought what certainly is among the largest collection of diamonds at the Swiss show.
The MID booth is located at Booth 3.1 B-07 and it is possible to set up an appointment at the show by contacting the company’s branch offices by phone or email.
The MID booth features more than 10,000 white and fancy-colored loose diamonds, including blue, pink, green and yellow, in all shapes and sizes from 0.30 carats to plus-10.00 carats. All eight of the company’s international sales offices have sent much of their top-quality material, among them a selection of rare GIA certified loose diamonds.
Visitors to the Baselworld are invited to discover what MID is offering by way of the company’s MID HOUSE OF DIAMONDS APP. Designed for smartphones and tablet computers using the Apple IOS and Android operating systems, it has been created especially to meet the needs of the professional diamond trader, tapping into the massive global inventory of merchandise of one of the world’s largest diamond suppliers. It is a fully-functional ordering system. Users are able to conduct detailed searches for specific loose diamonds, receive real-time responses, visually examine the stones and relevant grading reports, view prices and place orders and requests. During shows at which MID exhibits, it provides information about booth location, directions and live updates.