When it comes to elite accessories, the Swiss are world masters. With the country’s watchmakers working at the pinnacle of their game, Swiss-made timepieces are sought after by high fliers around the globe. Discerning clients are also investing in Switzerland’s most notable jewellery brands, which are making inventive, exceptional and showstopping pieces.
Chopard is a storied Swiss brand dating back to 1860. Its latest haute joaillerie collection, Precious Chopard, has been inspired by the graceful curves of a ballerina performing a twirling jump and offers a ring, earrings, necklace and a watch that all showcase a stunning swirl design. Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, describes the collection as ‘a dream ballet of dazzling colours for which Chopard has created the jewellery as a great couturier would design the costumes.’
Available in designs that combine diamonds with sapphires, rubies and emeralds, as well as those which simply let the glittering stone speak for itself, the collection is produced in Geneva by the most skilled craftsmen. Expert wax sculptors, gem setters, jewellers and stonecutters apply their talents to ensure the final creations are breathtaking collectors’ items. ‘It embodies technical virtuosity dedicated to resolutely modern artistry, testifying to the broad stylistic repertoire of our brand,’ Scheufele says of the Precious Chopard range. ‘While these creations involve classic expertise and faithfully safeguarded traditions, they are also nurtured by exceptional inspiration and boldness, vividly demonstrating the major role played today by Chopard on the contemporary haute joaillerie scene.’
Diamonds are forever
Another major player in the world of Swiss fine jewellery is Bucherer, founded in 1888. Bucherer’s finest creations are those which showcase the company’s skill with diamonds, from its glittering necklaces which are elegantly dripping with pear-shaped stones to the modern double rings with a snowflake-inspired design and its subtle yellow diamond earrings. ‘Bucherer offers one of the largest selections of diamond jewellery in Europe,’ explains Tobias Lanz, Bucherer’s chief diamond buyer. ‘Because of its solid professional and market expertise as well as good, long-standing connections and a well-developed critical faculty the company is able to buy very rare gemstones and to offer its clientele top-quality diamonds and individually tailored pieces of jewellery at fair prices.’ If you’re looking for a diamond ring for an engagement or for any other reason, Bucherer should be high on your list.
Founded in 1993, de Grisogono is a more recent entrant to the Swiss fine jewellery scene. Founded by Fawaz Gruosi and two partners, and named after the Marquise de Drisogono – the mother of one of the founders – the brand is known for taking risks in its designs. After Gruosi took sole control of the company in 1995 he began experimenting with black diamonds, launching a collection the following year that brought these captivating stones to the fore. Since 2000 he has included watch straps and bracelets made from galuchat in the brand’s portfolio of products. Recently launched collections include the India range which features bracelets, earrings and rings with cabochon cut stones, including turquoise, opal and onyx in a pavé diamond setting, and the Vortice bracelet with its scrolling spring details. De Grisogono’s items are true conversation pieces.
‘I’ve been described as “daring” and a “trailblazer” because I’m willing to take risks and I’m not bound by the conventions of jewellery design but, at the same time, I have always had the utmost respect for its traditions,’ Gruosi explains. ‘In the beginning I took huge risks. I was very single-minded, driven by my passion for jewels and gemstones and a love of design – I was, and still am, always striving for perfection and innovation. I saw that jewellery was and could be an exciting and relevant part of women’s lives and I saw too the creative possibilities of the gemstones that captivated me, especially those that had been neglected, or disregarded through rigid rules and classifications. This is how I started the first chapter of de Grisogono, and the success of this so-called “unconventional approach” gave me the confidence to continue pushing boundaries, ideas and approaches.’ For those who prefer their fine jewellery to stand out from the crowd, de Grisogono is certainly a striking choice.
Whether you are looking for the most dazzling diamonds, high-end items which conform to fine jewellery traditions or something a little different yet still spectacular, Switzerland’s elite makers will inspire you.