Passion, Beauty, Bucherer

Last week, the Bucherer Flagship Store in Zurich opened its doors after an intense refurbishment in new splendor at Bahnhofstr. 50. Inside, five floors of around 800 square meters await you to explore the most beautiful jewelry pieces as well as creations from several renowned watch brands, among them Piaget, Chopard and Roger Dubuis just to name a few. On the ground floor, a unique Rolex boutique, welcomes customers at the entrance.

Modern architecture meets spectacular design. The facade shines in Cristallina
Marble, the only one mined in Switzerland, generating a fascinating effect depending on how the sunlight reflects on it.

The renovation is another milestone in the over 130-year history of Bucherer. What many do not know: Although the family business’ roots are in Lucerne, Bucherer has been represented at the Bahnhofstrasse since the early ’40s.

To celebrate the occasion, I was invited to explore the fascinating collections of Bucherer Fine Jewellery that you see me wearing in the pictures, all created with passion and expertise for high jewelry.

Speaking of passion: if you visit the store, have a look at the Romance Lounge, that invite customers to take their time to indulge in the beautiful pieces as if they were sitting in a café.

My personal favorites are the new limited edition Clover rings that have been launched as a highlight for the re-opening. Bucherer’s VIP customers were of course able to explore the models beforehand and reserve their must-have. 18 unique pieces, each of them exclusive, valuable and rare – the number an homage to the founding year of Bucherer 1888. Prices range depending on the precious stones from CHF 22,000 to CHF 420,000.

To surprise their distinguished clientele in different ways, Bucherer plans to host exclusive events throughout the year on their event floor with roof terrace, that offers breathtaking views over the city. Outstanding service and strong customer relation – two main values the family business has been standing for since 1888.

Stay tuned for my next post from the opening party last Tuesday coming up soon…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Bucherer
Photos of me: © Dominik Orth –  Instagram @orthart

Prada’s First Gold Fine Jewellery

Prada presents its very first collection of gold fine jewellery. In an exquisite, highly original style, precious materials are handcrafted in sophisticated designs that reinvent iconic symbols and the themes of the new collections.

I love the banana earrings.

For the first time ever, Prada’s collections now gleam with creations made of gold. Guitars, roses and rabbits, not to mention robots, bananas, and the brand’s triangular logo, relive Prada’s history in gold and diamonds, providing a fresh interpretation – with an unmistakable hint of irony – of the brand’s iconic symbols in the form of contemporary and timeless earrings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces.

How cute is also this bunny necklace?

Great news for ethnical jewellery fans: Prada’s fine jewellery is made using 18-carat gold and diamonds from suppliers with Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) certification. The RJC is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2015 to promote responsible practices from an ethical, social and environmental point of view and respect for human rights in the handling of metals and precious stones, from their extraction right through to their sale.

Great for every day: the delicate rose bracelet.

The sophisticated work that goes into making these items involves numerous meticulous steps and precise, artisan techniques: precision casting of the gold, CNC machining and wire drawing to cut the diamonds and create other elements. These processes pair traditional knowledge with technological innovation, ensuring perfect quality for each item.

Prada’s first jewellery collection is available now onwards in Prada boutiques and at prada.com.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Prada

Audemars Piguet Sapphire Orbe

As promised here is the first post dedicated to a watch that was presented during SIHH 2019 last week. High jewellery, horology and design cues from nature have united in Audemars Piguet’s Haute Joaillerie collection also in past creations. This year’s unique piece pushes gem-setting craftsmanship to new heights. Named after the river that crosses Le Brassus, home of Audemars Piguet, Sapphire Orbe embodies a glittering river of diamonds and sapphires in graded hues of blue and orange, as night merges into day. Personally speaking, it is divine, I have rarely seen such a glamour in a contemporary design.

The outstanding piece features more than 12,000 stones, each rigorously selected, individually cut and set by hand. The central petal-shaped rings are entirely snow-set with diamonds and graded sapphires in 6 graded shades of blue and orange, each in 20 different diameters ranging from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm in size. Multifaceted, this piece offers a play of colour and light that changes depending on the perspective from which it is seen. It took approximately 1,050 hours to gem-set this piece.


In the domed centre nestles the 2 cm dark blue sapphire-set globe which, when inverted, reveals the watch’s 18-carat white gold dial paved with graded orange sapphires. This spherical case houses a tiny quartz calibre. The bracelet is made of articulated diamond-set components, for maximum flexibility and comfort.

FUNCTIONS
Hours and minutes
CASE
18-carat white gold case in shape of a sphere, entirely set with dark blue sapphires, surrounded by 18 carat white gold rings, set with diamonds, graded blue and orange sapphires, glareproofed sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 20 m
DIAL
18-carat white gold dial, entirely set with graded orange sapphires, white gold hands
SETTING
2,794 briliant-cut orange sapphires 15.14 carats
3,240 briliant-cut blue sapphires 23.03 carats
6,069 briliant-cut diamonds 27.93 carats
Total 12,103 stones 66.10 carats
BRACELET
Bracelet composed of 18-carat white gold elements, assembled together by hand and set with brilliant-cut diamonds, jewellery type clasp.
MOVEMENT
Quartz Calibre 2710
Total diameter 16.2 mm (7¼ lignes)
Total thickness 1.9 mm
Number of jewels 7
Frequency of the quartz 32.768 Hz

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Audemars Piguet

A Watch Born From the Skies of Fleurier

«Once upon a time, a clumsy glass blower made a fortuitous discovery when he dropped a sliver of copper into melted glass. He decided to keep the resulting material, which he christened “aventurine”, using it to create enchanting objects

This year, blue watches have been trending like never before. And I found my dream model that brings some sparkle into your daily life: PARMIGIANI FLEURIER‘s Tonda 1950 Galaxy.

In the Val-de-Travers, there is virtually no light polluting the night sky, and nothing obstructing the millions of stars it contains. This feeling of vertigo was the inspiration behind the creation of the Tonda 1950 Galaxy. To create the colour of the night sky on its dial, the Manufacture dial-makers made use of a material created in 18th-century Murano: aventurine glass. It contains copper inclusions which give it an unmistakable sparkle, like infinite particles of gold, on which the rose gold appliques stand out beautifully.

The case — also made from rose gold — and the bezel, both set with diamonds, form a halo of light. On the crown, a milky white opal, like a precious miniature nebula, provides the finishing touch.
The Tonda 1950 Galaxy is driven by the PF702 proprietary movement, decorated with Côtes de Genève and bevelled bridges. This self-winding mechanical movement, and the beautiful finishes which are Parmigiani Fleurier’s signature, can be admired through the watch’s sapphire case-back. Available for CHF 23.900.

And great news is that this beautiful model is now also available with a solid rose gold bracelet for CHF 39.000 (my favorite).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Parmigiani Fleurier 

My Look: Year of the Monkey

Sandra_Bauknecht_Year_of_the_monkey_Delpozo

While you are reading this post, I am in the plane on my way to Los Angeles with Piaget for the Independent Spirit Awards and many more adventures. Last year’s outfit for this outstanding ceremony can easily translate into 2016 with those amazing little creatures on the skirt. Don’t forget – it is the year of the monkey. Delpozoicon is a brand to watch as the house combines couture techniques with a contemporary silhouette for a thoroughly elegant allure.

My look: Black organza top and monkey print relief effect jacquard skirt, both by Delpozo, satin clutch by PradaJanis suede platform pumps by Saint LaurentLimelight Gala watch and rose diamond ring and Mediterranean Garden earrings, all by Piaget, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht22

Piaget Mediterranean Garden Earrings
Earrings in 18K white gold set with 84 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 8.20 cts), 26 marquise-cut diamonds (approx. 5.55 cts), 2 marquise-cut emeralds (approx. 1.45 cts), 2 cushion-cut green tourmalines (approx. 2.83 cts), 2 cushion-cut emeralds (approx. 2.62 cts), 1 round green tourmaline (approx. 0.26 ct) and 1 round emerald (approx. 0.22 ct).

Aren’t these earrings absolutely amazing? Cannot wait to choose my jewelry for this year’s Spirit Awards. Stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-3

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-35

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht55

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-Piaget Mediterranean Garden Collection Earrings 1

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-23

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-Prada Clutch Spirit Awards

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-2

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-Delpozo Skirt 1

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-44

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht-Saint Laurent embellished suede Janis Pumps

SB_Spirit_Awards_15_Depozo_Sandra_Bauknecht33

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Gucci High Jewelry Introduces a Masterpiece

Gucci HJIsn’t this set just amazing? GUCCIicon High Jewelry presents an ensemble that comprises a collier, the star piece in this collection, a bracelet and drop earrings. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted and designed around the natural beauty of the golden-hued Beryl gems, combined with 18kt yellow gold and a glittering array of diamonds.

With every link, clasp and gem lovingly assembled and set by master GUCCIicon jewelry craftsmen, this magnificent ensemble is available by order only.

Necklace, 18kt yellow gold, 384 diamonds total 20.05cts, one yellow beryl total 36.2cts
€ 95.000
Bracelet, 18kt yellow gold, 126 diamonds total 5.95cts, 5 yellow beryls total 42.5cts
€ 38.500
Earrings, 18kt yellow gold, 100 diamonds total 2.59cts, 2 yellow beryls total 17.2cts
€ 17.500

LoL, Sandra

Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

The Most Extravagant Halloween Accessory

Crazy Skull by De Grisogono

I started with 16,000 Swiss francs, 20 years ago, and the success of de Grisogono is a miracle, in every sense” says Fawaz Gruosi. “I simply saw another way of doing things in the jewellery world. I was lucky, a little crazy, I worked like a madman and still do.

You have to meet Fawaz Gruosi to understand his power over women, he might be the most charming man on earth. He knows what women want, especially when it comes to jewelry design. The president, owner and founder of de Grisogono likes to push the limits and break the rules to come up with the most amazing pieces.

de grisogono crazy scull 20

Last week, de Grisogono celebrated the launch of its new Crazy Scull watch at Hotel Costes in Paris which shows the most outstanding artisan jewelry and horology. It took over one year of research to create this one of a kind timepiece.

de grisogono crazy scull detailssetting of de grisogono crazy scull watch

Being entirely hand-set with white diamonds, pink sapphires, rubies and also the black diamonds, the stones the Geneva based jeweler is famous for, this dual time watch comes on a galuchat strap.

Galouchet Bracelet Crazy Scull de Grisogono

I am a huge fan of jewelry that offers a certain twist, that is provocative and different. How much fun are those baguette-cut diamond teeth and the ornate gemstone tongue?!

Diamond Setting Crazy Scull de Grisogono Watch

The Crazy Skull is available from around €500.000 depending on the stones you choose at de Grisogono boutiques.

De Grisogono Crazy Scull Watch

And I couldn’t agree more with Karlie Kloss who said at last week’s party, it is “the most extravagant Halloween accessory” you have ever seen.
Speaking of which, happy trick or treating!

LoL, Sandra

Karlie Kloss wearing de Grisogono jewellery

Photos: Courtesy of de Grisogono and © Sandra Bauknecht

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend-Vainard Fine Jewellery

When Marilyn Monroe sang in the 1953 film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘, “Men grow cold as girls grow old, and we all lose our charms in the end. But square-cut or pear-shaped, these rocks don’t lose their shape. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” she became a legend.
I could go on and sing: “Talk to me VAINARD! Tell me all about it!”

The Zurich-based fine jeweler, who is a leading supplier in the natural colored diamond segment, seemed to have heard my request and flew me to its own factory in Idar-Oberstein, the famous German gemstone center, which is also the birth place of Hollywood actor Bruce Willis. There I was able to see the different stages of crafting an exclusive diamond ring, from the sawing and cutting process to the stone setting.

Ring vainard Selfmade 1

Moreover, I could lend a hand and make my own diamond ring which was an unforgettable experience. It is very rare that a jeweler has a factory in which the diamond cutting workshop is done in-house as well as the design and the setting. Needless to say, this close cooperation between all different stages results in extremely high quality.

The word diamond drives from Greek origin and means “unbreakable“. In fact, a diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material.

Finding a diamond

Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers in the Earth’s mantle and are brought close to the surface through deep volcanic eruptions by magma, which cools into igneous rocks. The last volcanic activity to convey these valuable stones was almost over 100 million years ago. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source of a diamond, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years, which are 25% to 75% of the age of the Earth.

Dream ring 1

Speaking of which, the rarity of a diamond makes this precious stone a must-have among us ladies. There is no girl whose eyes don’t sparkle when gifted with this luxurious gemstone. Diamonds signify steadfast, enduring love because of their unmatched strength and beauty. They can be worn with any outfit, from an elegant cocktail dress to blue jeans.

Extremely important is the gemological characteristic of the stone which shows the value as a gem. Four characteristics, known informally as the four Cs, are today commonly used as the basic descriptors: these are carat (its weight), cut (quality of the cut is graded according to proportions, symmetry and polish), color (how close to white or colorless; for fancy diamonds how intense is its hue), and clarity (how free is it from inclusions).

Diamond ring yellow by Vainard Fine Jewellery

Because of its extremely rigid lattice, the stone can be contaminated by very few types of impurities. Nitrogen is by far the most common one found in gem diamonds and is responsible for the yellow color. Boron is responsible for the blue hue. Colored diamonds contain impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, while pure or nearly pure diamonds are transparent and colorless. Their rarity and beauty makes some of the colored diamonds worth millions of dollars.

Sandra Bauknecht-Vainard Fine Jewellery-Making a diamond ring

Creating the final spectacle of a polished diamond jewelry piece can take years to master. Having an understanding of the construction of such a small object is in fact very fascinating. Let me show you what I observed and learned in Idar-Oberstein about the specific skills and techniques that are used to make such an object of desire.

Vainard FJ 37

It all starts with the sawing process of the raw diamond that takes several hours. The copper saw blade has to be coated with fine diamond powder to work with this extremely hard material. It takes many years to learn this skill to avoid damaging the stone.

Vainard FJ 36

The following multi-step process called “cutting” finally reveals the diamond’s outstanding beauty. This extremely delicate procedure also requires skills, scientific knowledge, tools and experience, as those gemstones can brittle and be split up by a single blow.

Diamond Shapes-VainardNine Stages of Diamond Cutting-Vainard

The most time-consuming part of the cutting is the preliminary analysis of the rough stone. It needs to address a large number of issues, bears much responsibility, and therefore can last years in case of unique diamonds.

Sandra Cutting 2

After initial sawing, the diamond is shaped in numerous stages of cutting. Unlike sawing, which is a responsible but quick operation, cutting removes material by gradual erosion and is extremely time consuming. Its final goal is to produce a faceted jewel where the specific angles between the facets would optimize the diamond luster.

Sandra Bauknecht at Vainard 1

Every facet in an ideal cut diamond must be placed at precise angles and contain precise proportions. This ensures the perfect balance between maximum brilliance and dispersion of light. Any discrepancy from these proportions will result in a loss of sparkle.

Ideal Diamonds

After the cutting of the stones is finished, the goldsmith will start his work according to the drawing the Vainard jewelry designer prepared beforehand.

Vainard 2

The stones depending on the shank need to go back to the diamond cutting workshop in order to achieve the perfect fit. Once this step is completed, the stone setter fits them into the setting.

Setting

I have to admit that I had a lot of fun making my own diamond ring. Needless to say, the Vainard team had prepared the most important steps and helped me with the execution.

Bright like a diamond-Vainard Fine Jewellery-Sandra BauknechtThe first step in soldering is to dip the piece of gold with the help of a brush into a solution of boric acid and alcohol before lighting it.

Vainard 9a

You have to be very careful as you work with temperatures above 3000 degrees Celsius.

Vainard 12a

For some work stages, you need to use a microscope to work as precisely as possible.

Sandra Bauknecht Vainard 6

The final step for me was to close the four claw prong setting with the help of a special working tool. What seems so easy is actually pretty difficult as you are looking through a magnifying glass for maximum precision which made me feel pretty uncoordinated.

Diamond Vainard Fine Jewellery-Final stp

Every Vainard Fine Jewellery piece undergoes a final inspection after its ensuing polishing. After having seen the craftsmanship, the expertise and love for detail, I truly appreciate the work of such a fine jeweler even more than I already did before.

Ring Vainard 11

When we went into the vault and I was able to indulge in the most beautiful pieces of jewelry, I fell in love with the emerald cut diamond ring and the bracelet you have been seen me a lot with recently. Those treasures make me happy every time I am wearing them and they are something that I will happily pass on one day to my daughter.

Sandra Bauknecht - Vainard 22

There is no doubt, diamonds are a girl’s best friend! If you are in Zurich, I truly recommend a visit to the Vainard Fine Jewellery shop at Schlüsselgasse 4, Phone +41 44 210 04 44.

Besides its large selection of  diamond jewelry, the renowned jeweler also works with colored gemstones and is happy to finalize your own designs as well as to remodel an existing piece.

LoL, Sandra

Vainard Fine Jewellery Ring 2

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Photo of the shop in collage: © Vainard, Photo of Marilyn Monroe: Via Vanity Fair

Extremely Piaget

Extremely Piaget at the Biennale des Antiquaires 2014

Every second year, the Biennale des Antiquaires takes place in Paris in the gorgeous halls of the Grand Palais. Whenever I look at its sinuous, cast-iron Art Nouveau balconies and curlicue stairways, I feel like being in another century. Personally speaking, it is one of the most fascinating places in the French capital and I couldn’t imagine a better backdrop for the most important event in the jewelry calendar. I was invited by Piaget as in 2012 (for the previous post, please click here) and was able to discover the house’s amazingly beautiful EXTREMELY PIAGET collection firsthand.

For the 27th edition of the Biennale des Antiquaires, interior designer Jacques Grange paid homage to Versailles and its French gardens with flowerbeds and foliage. The most stunning part was the scented indoor fountain in the center under the gigantic glass dome that master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian had transformed into an olfactory experience.

Sandra Bauknecht Biennale 2

At the Piaget booth, I indulged in the most stunning High Jewellery pieces you can imagine. This year, Piaget is celebrating its 140th anniversary and to celebrate this occasion, the company seeked inspiration for its EXTREMELY PIAGET collection from its stellar period in its creative history from the 1960s and 70s. The pieces are enhanced by the most precious materials: diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, hard stones and gold.

Turquoises Bracelet Piaget

The collection is also characterized by great freedom of movement and multiple ways of beings worn. Personally speaking, it was the youngest and most modern collection at the Biennale des Antiquaires this year. You could easily imagine to wear it to a black tie gala or with jeans and a white tee like for example this beautiful bracelet with turquoises from Arizona above.

Let me show you my favorite pieces of the 125 that were presented:

Piaget Extremely 10

Necklace in 18k white gold set with 46 turquoise beads (approx. 301cts), 48 chrysoprase beads (approx. 42cts), 1 emerald-cut cabochon (approx. 23.14cts), per-shaped chrysoprases, pear-shaped turquoises and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Piaget Sautoir Exceptional

Sautoir exceptional High Jewellery watch in platinum set with 195 marquise-cut diamonds (approx. 66.20 cts), 282 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 33.20 cts), 35 cushion-cut diamonds (approx. 16.30 cts) and 16 pear-cut diamonds (approx. 7.60 cts).  Piaget 56P quartz movement.

Extremely Piaget 7

Necklace in 18K white gold set with 84 blue sapphire beads from Sri Lanka(approx. 127.40 cts), 490 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 41.69 cts) and 1 cushion-cut emerald from Columbia(approx. 19.39 cts).

ExtremelyPiaget2

Sautoir watch fishnet mesh in 18K white gold set with 404 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 31.30 cts).  Piaget 56P quartz movement.

Extremely Piaget 9

Bracelet in 18K pink gold set with 8 pink opal plates (approx. 23.25 cts), 18 turquoise beads (approx. 5.31 cts) and 220 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1.81 cts).

Piaget Opal Watch

Cuff watch in 18K white gold set with 1’699 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 20.50 cts) (snow-setting). Natural opal dial. Piaget 56P quartz movement.

Ear Cuff Piaget Extremely

Ear cuffs in 18K white gold set with 28 marquise-cut diamonds (approx. 11.59 cts) and 20 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 4.48 cts).

Sandra Bauknecht Piaget Extremely

Ring with a sapphire (approx. 7 cts) and 10 diamonds in pear cut and 2 marquise diamonds (approx. 7.5 cts together).

I fell not only in love with this piece… The EXTREMELY PIAGET collection marks the continuity of the brand’s presence in the world of High Jewellery. The 1960s and 70s were some of their most innovative years – and the same is true of 2014. Congratulations, Piaget, for this amazing collection!

LoL, Sandra

Piaget Ring Biennale 2014

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: You Have My Whole Heart

Sandra Bauknecht in Azzedine Alaia

For a true fashion lover, Azzedine Alaïa is a must in a closet. An Alaïa dress is a seasonless wardrobe wonder piece that never lets you down. I bought my first item by the Tunisian-born designer probably 20 years ago and it still looks up to date. His designs play with discreet luxury, they are comfortable and ultra feminine. For the Bally x L’Officiel event I wore this look and played with the color combination of dark blue and black which I adore, it is so chic.

My look: Blue heart motif stretch-knit dress, black cropped fine-knit cardigan and corset belt, all by Azzedine AlaïaDirty ’50s stretch-denim jacket iconby Saint Laurent, dark blue suede strappy sandals by Miu Miu, Kelly So Black bag by Hermès, Limelight Gala watch and rose diamond necklace by Piaget, diamond ring and bracelet by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

Monsieur Alaïa, you have my whole heart…

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia with Saint laurent Denim Jacket

Kelly Bag Hermes

Close Alaia Heart Dress

Vainard Diamond Ring 2

Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia Dress 7

Denim Jacket by Saint Laurent

Miu Miu Sandals Suede Blue

Sandra Bauknecht in alaia Dress

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht