Backes & Strauss set out on the challenging task of creating a masterpiece that seamlessly oscillates between a high complication and a jewellery timepiece, in perfect measure. This concept gave fruition to the creation of the unique Berkeley Emperor Tourbillon series. After hundreds of hours of skill and unwavering precision, passing through the hands of highly skilled craftsmen, the Royal Berkeley Emperor Tourbillon joined the pantheon of Backes & Strauss Masterpieces.
The Berkeley Emperor Brilliant Tourbillon was the first Backes & Strauss wristwatch to be crafted with a special bespoke hand-winding skeleton tourbillon movement. The tourbillon is set in a bespoke frame decorated by Backes & Strauss’ signature arrows motif, inspired by the arrows pattern visible when viewing an Ideal Cut diamond from above the crown.
Backes & Strauss’ Royal ASHOKA® Empress Collection is a line of one-of-a-kind diamond jewellery watches for women bringing William Goldberg’s exceptional ASHOKA® diamonds to the world of haute horlogerie.
There is and only ever will be one Berkeley Imperial, having taken two and a half years to collect and match its 48 rare natural fancy lime colour diamonds. Its dial was further set with another 48 equally fashioned white diamonds. The 18kt white gold case houses 44 custom cut diamonds, completed with a natural fancy lime diamond in the crown, also known as Backes & Strauss’ signature Jewel in the Crown. The back of this piece is open and through the sapphire glass one can see the movement, engraved with “Pièce Unique” and “Backes & Strauss”.
Mysterious and discreet with a hint of luxury, the Regent Royal Black Knight is a steel masterpiece set with 2,106 black diamonds on its case and bracelet (26.27 cts) using the serti neige technique, where different sized diamonds are set side by side, playing on variations in diameter; a skill requiring the experience of only the best craftsmen. This time-telling jewel is elegantly completed with Backes & Strauss’ signature white Ideal Cut diamond in the crown (0.12), known as the Jewel in the Crown.
The Royal Jester represents another arm of the bespoke services Backes & Strauss offers. The client has the option to add tremendous value to this already exceptional timepiece by choosing their diamond of preference for the centre. Whether it be a rare blue, yellow or pink diamond, there are no limitations on the opportunities available to personalise this extraordinary timepiece.
The Piccadilly Princess Royal Blue, set with 245 diamonds weighing 37.60cts and presented in a variety of exquisite cuts, is a spectacular and unique timepiece. But why, you might ask, is it called the Royal Blue when every stone that adorns it is as clear as water? The answer is that, in the history of gemological expertise, diamonds of the purest colour were traditionally called 'Bleu Blanc' in reference to the fact that their extreme clarity made them almost blue to the eye, much like untainted Arctic ice.
In collaboration with Gemfields, Backes & Strauss created the unique Piccadilly Princess Royal Emerald Green. This breath-taking, natural green vision displays 245 Zambian emeralds with 10 different cuts for a total of 31.91cts. The responsibly sourced gems combined with Backes & Strauss' carefully engineered design create a brilliant piece found nowhere else in the world.
As “a trophy of the glory and strength of Her Majesty’s Empire”, Backes & Strauss has created the Empress Rose, an exquisite and unique time-telling jewel, set with a total of 608 diamonds weighing 30.03cts. Its highly complicated dial is the result of hundreds of hours of the Millenet enamelling technique, a skill which has been handed down from one generation to the next. Like the diamonds found on Queen Victoria’s iconic crown, the round brilliant, modified square emerald cuts and pear-shaped diamonds are carefully placed to scintillate in perfect harmony.
To celebrate the 225th year of Backes & Strauss in 2014, Chief Executive Vartkess Knadjian sought to create the most astounding of jewels. To achieve what might have been considered ‘The Impossible’, required the hands of the world’s finest diamond experts, designers, polishers, gem-setters, goldsmiths and watchmakers to name but a few of the masters involved in the production of the Piccadilly Princess Royal Colours.
In the heyday of the dandy Beau Brummell, telling the time involved more than a mere glance at the wrist; it was almost a ceremonial occasion when a gentleman gave a gentle tug on his fob chain, slowly drawing a timepiece from the depths of his waistcoat pocket before cradling it in his palm and perusing the hour at length. That sense of tactile enjoyment is now revisited by Backes & Strauss in the form of the Regent Beau Brummell Tourbillon Pocket Watch.