SEE BACKES & STRAUSS WATCHES IN MAYFAIR
INSPIRED BY THE ARCHITECTURAL ELEGANCE OF 19TH CENTURY LONDON
Backes & Strauss, the world’s oldest diamond company, have returned from the WPHH exhibition in Geneva and for a limited time only will be housing their astonishing collection at their house in Grosvenor Street, Mayfair. Their bejeweled watches, all hand crafted in Switzerland, are inspired by the architectural elegance of 19th century London, where the story of Backes & Strauss began. Today the brand is part of Franck Muller, a Swiss watchmaking group that specialises in the art of complications. The collaboration between Backes & Strauss and the workshops of expert Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller, has produced a collection of unerringly elegant, intricate fine timepieces, encrusted with diamonds, custom cut into unique shapes, polished and then hand set to perfection.
Downstairs in the appointment room at the House of Backes & Strauss, I propped myself on the edge of a high-backed leather armchair, not wanting to pollute the entirety of the chairs fabric. There was six of them in total and make no mistake, these seats were intended for important business. My peasantry butt-cheeks felt like imposters amidst such decadence. A tray of high end accoutrements was placed precipitously on the low pane-glass table in front of me. The table housed a mimosaic of watch bezels and faces, antiquated certificates and a horologist’s tool kit that looked like the torture choices of a megalomaniac.
I unpouched the The Regent Beau Brummell Tourbillon Pocket Watch from its felt housing and cradled it with a trembling anxiety. The kind of anxiety I imagine one would feel holding a newborn, had one ever held a newborn over a bed of hot coals. 18k white gold case set with 108 Baguette-Cut diamonds and 228 Ideal-Cut diamonds. Open back set with 328 Ideal-Cut diamonds and the dial set with 197 Baguette-Cut diamonds. Crown set with one Ideal-Cut diamond and the bespoke chain set with 596 Ideal-Cut diamonds. My mind raced. I could certainly make it past the courteous PR girls catching them off guard with the sharpness of a sprint. How terribly guilt ridden I'd feel, making off with the crown jewel after their gracious hospitality of coffee, warm madeleines and comforting smiles. I'd need to make it to the top of the stairs before the alarm was raised to stand a chance. Once on the reception floor I would have at least 3 guards, presumably armed, between me and the door. The first, a human shield and the second, a leg sweep. The third - christ Brooker, you're not John Wick! Plus, the girls will clothes-line you before you've make it past the chesterfield.
"What do you think of The Berkeley Emperor Prince Tourbillon?" Asked Christiana, the Marketing and Communications Manager, breaking the movie-reel. "It's a thing of beauty," I replied obsequiously. I gazed at it mesmerically, gripping the Alligator leather strap tentatively so as not to crease it. This bespoke hand-winding skeleton tourbillon movement decorated with the Backes & Strauss signature Arrows motif, was like every other piece in the collection, inspired by a particular corner of the city. The 18k white gold case set with 108 Baguette-Cut diamonds mirrored the sheared corners of Berkeley Square.
The entire collection is utterly beguiling, each timepiece possessing Medusa like qualities with its own unique way of enrapturing the beholder. The watches will be at Backes & Strauss in London for a limited time only, for an appointment email [email protected] or telephone 0207 629 5714