The Baselworld fair celebrated its 100th anniversary this year amid lovely spring weather in Switzerland. Though there was a smaller selection of jewelers to visit this year, the show continues to be a gathering point for those from around the world - designers, retailers, press and clients - to meet and talk baubles.
After three days of scouring the halls in search of the latest and greatest in jewelry design, I’ve selected my six favorite discoveries, plus one bonus!
The models at the entrance to the Jacob & Co. booth may well be the most photographed people at the show, and I quickly zeroed in on one in particular when I caught sight of these emeralds. Elegantly set with black spinels and diamonds, the ‘Mystery of Muzo’ cuffs feature two Columbian emeralds that are 74.33ct and 70.57ct each. Absolute showstoppers!
Also highly photographed was the lovely bed of pink roses in front of the Messika booth, although the real beauties were tucked into a dramatically darkened room in the back. The new high jewelry collection ‘Paris est une fête’ is inspired by 1920s Paris and the women who reshaped femininity in that era. Asked to make the difficult choice of picking a favorite among the six sub-collections, I chose the ‘Madeleine’ centerpiece for its beautiful fluidity. Inspired by the bias cuts of fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet, the necklace drapes like a (very luxurious) silk scarf.
Picchiotti is marking its 50th anniversary in 2017 and created a collection of one-off pieces to celebrate. I was particularly enamoured with one ring - a 17.75 carat diamond set in titanium and surrounded by opals. The diamond is actually a K color, which normally wouldn’t be too exciting, but it’s ideal in this design which has a really lovely warm glow from all the soft tones.
Over at the Alessio Boschi booth, visitors were treated to an Italian journey with the ‘Historica’ collection, which was inspired by several iconic cities. A Boschi piece is all about details and one in particular stood out for this. The ‘Pisa’ ring is a mechanical delight - the tower spins (but is always tilting!) and actually comes right off to reveal a hidden message. Another piece of exceptional craftsmanship that I am delighted to share.
Also showing eye-catching creativity was V.A.K. Fine Jewels and this ring that put a smile on my face. A variety of diamond cuts created this ‘pot of flowers’ with wonderful textures and flashes from every angle. If only all my pots would sprout like this in the spring…
Rounding out the top six is this stunning bangle from Sutra featuring an enormous tanzanite gemstone. What I appreciate about this design is how they have taken a significant stone and made it so very wearable with a clean aesthetic.
The bonus piece I would like to highlight was not a brand new discovery for me, but is still one of my very favorites, so why not? I first saw this necklace at the Bayco offices in New York and instantly fell in love. Carved emeralds are often set in quite elaborate traditional jewelry so it’s lovely when a really beautiful one is the center of the show and sleekly enhanced with only the best white diamonds. It absolutely works with both a gown and a white t-shirt as I was wearing this day in Basel.
Look for more posts on new collections that debuted at Baselworld in the coming days!