For years, Swarovski has been at the vanguard of fashion watch design but this year it confounded everyone by launching its first-ever automatic. And it’s really damn cool!
Depending on your age, when you hear the name Swarovski you might think of the crystal figurines that some of your primary school friends no doubt collected. Or it is a name synonymous with incredible fashion jewellery realised in crystals so beautifully faceted it could almost be diamonds. Or it’s the name you saw in the opening credits of the latest adaptation staring the delicious Douglas Booth. But whatever your age, or your introduction to the brand, chances are you won’t immediately think of it as a maker of mechanical watches. Which is exactly why this year’s Crystalline Hours is such a surprising launch and worthy of being voted Best Fashion Watch 2016 at the Eve’s Watch Awards.
Movement in Fashion
For starters it was totally under the radar. Normally when heretofore quartz brands make their first foray into mechanics, there is a song and dance – or a cocktail party at the very least. And there really should have been because this watch would be something to shout about for any brand, not least Swarovski.
As we’ve been talking about its movement let’s start there. Given that Swatch Group owned caliber provider ETA reduced its supply to third-party providers, it is notable that a brand not known for making automatic watches has access to the ETA movement, which is in this watch. Swarovski could have made things easier, and indeed cheaper, by looking East to people such as Citizen for its mechanics. That it opted for Swiss made, and one of the best in the business at that, shows that this is a serious undertaking rather than a fashion frippery.
On the right side of bling
Turn it over and the dial is just as fabulous. Being Swarovski it had to contain crystals, but this dial contains 4,000 of them packed into a 38mm case. Swarovski is constantly innovating new cuts, shades and sizes of crystal at its headquarters in Wattens, Austria. This quest for refinement is one of the many reasons why Swarovski has such an unrivalled reputation in this particular field.
It’s opulent without being ostentatious and the effect is of a full-pave dial but at RRP £849, without the accompanying price tag. Speaking of which this is still an investment piece but it is absolutely worth every penny.
The case size is substantial for a woman’s watch but it allows the jet black 4,000 crystals to really shine. The rose-gold toned case is stainless steel meaning it won’t scratch all that easily and the alligator styled black strap is genuine leather. As well as dress black, it is also available in day white for RRP £799.
This may have been Swarovski’s first foray into automatic watches but it is bold, brilliant and thoroughly desirable watch that should be at the top of everyone’s watch list. It’s certainly at the top of ours, which is why we are offering our readers the chance to WIN one of these superb timepieces.