The Fabergé Lady Compliquée Peacock Emerald Fans Out Into Colorful Gems
by Nancy Olson
Being in the print periodical industry has really messed with my head for the better part of my career: I usually work so far into the future that it’s hard to ever really be in the moment.
As an example, winter holiday gift guides are usually compiled and designed during the waning days of summer. So by the time Christmas rolls around I’m usually over it . . . or at least much of it.
Winter and spring trade shows introduce products that will roll out at regular intervals throughout the year and even beyond. By the time these products actually reach retail stores, I’ve had the enormous privilege of studying them inside and out, but in the wrong seasons.
Digital magazines like Quill & Pad are much more immediate, with understandably shorter lead times. This is a good thing for readers, who get timely news as well as the chance to build some anticipatory excitement for early releases.
And now, as I’m starting to check out airfares for Baselworld 2017, I’m revisiting a watch I saw at Baselworld 2016, which is actually based on a watch I fell in love with at Baselworld 2015: Fabergé’s Lady Compliquée Peacock.
The timepiece got lots of kudos at the 2015 fair and immediately afterward, even winning the prestigious Ladies High-Mech prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève that same year.
The original Lady Compliquée Peacock was inspired by Peter Carl Fabergé’s Peacock Egg of 1908 and it shows hours and retrograde minutes via an ingenious Agenhor-designed manual-winding movement.
Hours are read at the crown at 3 o’clock via a mother-of-pearl ring that rotates counterclockwise, while the minutes are indicated by the fanning tail feathers of a beautifully rendered peacock that move simultaneously but at different speeds. The feathers return to zero when the lead feather reaches 60.
This 38 mm platinum timepiece is set with 54 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel, while the 18-karat gold dial is set with brilliant-cut diamonds, Paraiba tourmalines, and tsavorites.
Baselworld 2016 saw new iterations of the watch introduced, specifically black sapphire, emerald, and ruby variations. But here I’ll focus on the Lady Compliquée Peacock Emerald, which, reinforcing the original’s early winning streak, took home the prize in the “Ladies Complication” category at the Luxembourg Watchfair this year.
In another point of relevance, emeralds play an important role among Fabergé’s 2016 watch and jewelry introductions, owing in part to the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, which is owned by Fabergé’s parent company, Gemfields.
Further making the case for emeralds, the Fabergé Dalliance collection also debuted a couple of Lady Libertine timepieces this year that incorporate the vibrant green gem into their gorgeous designs (see Fabergé & Gemfields’s Vertical Integration Results In Colorfully Synergistic Lady Libertine I).
The Dalliance Lady Libertine I is said to recall the Zambian terrain, with rough-hewn stones and gold “rivers,” while the Lady Libertine II features snow-set diamonds surrounding a very impressive 2.22-carat central emerald.
The Lady Compliquée Peacock Emerald employs the same unique movement as the original 2015 peacock watch, which was created in partnership with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team at Agenhor.
The peacock’s fanning tail, embellished with hand-applied green lacquer, marks the minutes. It unfurls with the rotation of the hours ring, which is directly connected to the spring barrel for greater stability and regularity; it is positioned over another ring that serves as a cam.
When the cam turns, it gradually lifts a lever that applies pressure to one of the 12 teeth, which correspond to the 12 hours visible on the dial. Wiederrecht, among his many notable horological credits, collaborated with Harry Winston in creating the Opus 9 (see The Harry Winston Opus Series: A Complete Overview From Opus 1 Through Opus 13).
This watch has a see-through case back for ogling the expertly decorated movement, while the gem-set dial over which the bird’s feathers traverse sparkles with diamonds and emeralds. The timepiece comes on a complementary green alligator strap with an 18-karat rose gold Fabergé buckle.
Further reading: Fabergé Inaugurates Rebirth With Exceptional Lady Compliquée.
For more information, please visit www.faberge.com/collectionproducts/132_lady-compliquee.
Case: 38 mm, 18-karat pink gold with exhibition case back; 54 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel
Movement: proprietary manually wound Caliber 6901 with 50-hour power reserve
Dial: 18-karat gold, snow-set with 157 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.54 ct), 52 emeralds (0.14 ct), and six emerald cabochons (0.09 ct); 18 karat gold hand-engraved peacock; white mother-of-pearl rotating hour ring and white mother-of-pearl minute track
Functions: hours (revolving dial), minutes (retrograde tail)