The average jewelry and watch sales has totaled around $82.5 billion on good years, with each category representing about half of this expenditure. Jewelry and watches are seen as investments which not only retain a good value over time, but also express one’s personality, goals and ambitions. While many high-end watches (think Richard Mille or Bvlgari) have a somewhat modern, edgy look to their designs, others (let your mind stray to Chopard or Chanel) often bring elements from nature into their designs. What are a few collections that are currently inspired by the wild and wonderful world of plants, animals, furry creatures and wild beasts?
Cartier’s most emblematic animal theme is undoubtedly that of the panther – one that began with an onyx and diamond watch designed in 1914 and bearing a design that resembled a panther’s spotted coat. In 1948, the beast struck again, but this time the design featured a sculpted gold and black leopard with emerald eyes, sitting over a huge matte emerald ‘rock’ that served as a brooch for some lucky fashionista. Cartier has since dreamed up countless versions of this theme – from playful diamond panthers sitting on watches and bracelets to graphic feline heads serving as futuristic rings. Such is the importance of this elegant creature to the brand that simply viewing a panther in any form of jewelry (bracelet, necklace, earrings, ring etc.) is synonymous with the Cartier name.
Designers of everything from high-end cars to futuristic homes have always been inspired by the forms and textures of nature. As stated by the experts at Mauzie’s Fine Jewelry, there is something special about one-of-a-kind custom pieces that incorporate one’s personality and style. For younger generations like millennials, who highly prize nature and sustainability, elements such as leaves, flowers, and even fruits are all ways to celebrate the value of Earth while rewarding oneself with a luxurious piece or two. There are many high-end brands that feature elegant leaf or flower-patterned necklaces dripping in diamonds. For a glimpse into how delicate floral motifs can be, check out David Yurman’s Petals collection, featuring flowers of molten gold smothered in hand-set diamonds.
Some brands – take Milanese jewelry house Buccellati – have built entire collections around the wonderful world of nature, celebrating the quirky, exotic, dangerous, and cute world of animals. Buccellati’s designs are very unique indeed, incorporating natural baroque pearls into designs that also feature gold and diamonds. The result is a group of oddly shaped, vivacious characters – including a stinging scorpion, a plump spider, a cheeky monkey and an Easter rabbit, all covered in shining diamonds.
Nature And Art
Some jewelry houses take it a step further by obtaining inspiration from literary works, which in turn are inspired by nature. An excellent example is Van Cleef Arpels’ Quatre contes de Grimm, inspired by the works of the Brothers Grimm. Many of the designs are centered on natural elements – including The Three Feathers (featuring designs made of diamonds, sapphires, white cultured pearls, tourmalines and other gems). The pieces in the collection include diamond frogs trapped in walnut shells, feather clips made of colored sapphires and diamonds, and twirling feathers made from yellow and white diamonds.
Natural forms are a key inspiration for designers of all specialities. The world of jewelry design is particularly besotted with both animal and plant life, as can be seen in the high-end collections of brands like Cartier, Van Cleef Arpels and Tiffany. From wild panthers to delicate feathers, natural elements express meaning, beauty and grace like few other forms can.