ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 5 - September

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 111 of 163

TIME HONORED Pearls of Style MOTHER-OF-PEARL WATCH DIALS DATE BACK MORE THAN A CENTURY, BUT CHICAGO'S SOPHISTICATES ARE FINDING THEM FRESHER THAN EVER. BY ROBERTA NAAS PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF GALE T he idea of using mother-of-pearl for dials in wristwatches came into vogue during the early 1900s at the height of the Art Nouveau and Deco eras, when savvy brands accentuated the play of black and white by using onyx and mother-of-pearl for pendant and wristwatches. Today, the use of mother-of-pearl dials continues—but has been elevated to new heights, as watchmakers have developed new methods to cut and color the substance, adding gold and even diamonds to the dials. This year's Swiss watch fairs featured an abundance of ladies' timepieces that showcased the beauty and precision craftsmanship of mother-of-pearl dials. "Mother-of-pearl offers a unique shine and color combination," says Gerard Chapuis, directeur commercial of GT Cadrans SA, one of the top dial makers in Switzerland. "Each dial is exquisitely precious, and because it is made of delicate natural material, each one unique." The making of mother-of-pearl dials is difficult, and breakage often occurs because the paperthinness of the final product makes it susceptible to chipping. Depending on the complexity of the dial, the entire production process may involve 15 different artisan steps and can take from four continued on page 112 Girard-Perregaux 1966 Ladies watch ($25,600) is crafted in rose gold with a natural mother-of-pearl dial made from rare shells from Australia. The watch houses an automatic movement. Swiss Fine Timing, 645 N. Michigan Ave., 312-337-4700; Blancpain Retrograde Calendar ($41,300) features a dial made of natural mother-of-pearl and decorated with a gold arc. The apertures for the moon phase are hand cut. Tourbillon Boutique, 545 N. Michigan Ave., 312-836-3800; From Montblanc, this Collection Villeret 1858 Seconde Authentique Diamond watch ($58,100) houses a manual-wind movement and features a mother-of-pearl dial with a tone-on-tone intarsia that is manually assembled from flakes of mother-of-pearl. Montblanc, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-943-1200; Styling by Terry Lewis 110 MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 110-112_MA_SS_TimeHonored_Sept_13.indd 110 8/7/13 12:54 PM

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