A Cut from Above

Backes & Strauss craftsmanship rough diamond

Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. They are everywhere in watches

Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. They’re everywhere in watches. You can’t go long without someone revealing a new high jewellery piece to outdo all those that have come before it. The problem is that many of these watchmakers the watch comes first, the diamonds a distant second.

That’s understandable of course; you stick first and foremost with what you know. However it does mean that the diamonds aren’t always used as effectively or of the kind of quality one would hope. For Backes & Strauss though, it’s the diamonds that come first.

Baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds

Most of the time watches will use a mix of baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds, your standard rectangular and round. Because of their size they do tend to be of decent quality but not top-tier. Sometimes they’re passable; sometimes they’re wonderful. They rarely, though, attain the bejewelled heights of Backes & Strauss.

The diamonds used in watches like the RegentPrincess or even the staggering Beau Brummell pocket watch are Flawless / V V S +, with F+ colour collection. To put that in context, they’re in the top 3% of diamonds in the world. 

hearts and arrows diamond craftsmanship

The Ideal-cut is incredibly rare in jewellery watches

Baguette-cut diamonds are a staple of Backes & Strauss, as with any jewellery watch, as well as the occasional Ashoka and a few other cuts here and there. After all, you can’t rely on a single cut and actually keep things interesting. And besides, who wants diamonds that you can see elsewhere when you have the Ideal-cut?

The name speaks for itself. Ideal-cut diamonds are designed for hyperbole – to show off the finest qualities of perfect diamonds to their fullest. Outside of Backes & Strauss the cut is incredibly rare because of its difficulty; you lose a lot of stone to make a single Ideal-cut and, even if the results are worth it, most watchmakers aren’t about to use them outside of ‘proper’ jewellery.

Is the ideal-cut with the hearts and arrows simply the best?

That’s a shame, seeing as it’s also one of the most beautiful cuts to look at. Granted you need a special viewer to show them off in enough detail, but the hearts and arrows of the Ideal-cut are like nothing else. When looked at from the top you’ll see a perfectly symmetrical array of eight arrowheads; from below, the same number of hearts.

Is the ideal-cut simply the best? Well, it all depends on the context and how well the diamonds are used. They still need to be backed up by a good design and better movement to be anything other than an ordinary jewellery timepiece. In the hands of Backes & Strauss though, they’re something wondrous.