Fine Jewels
Live Auction: 28 September 2022 • 2:00 PM CEST • Paris

Fine Jewels 28 September 2022 • 2:00 PM CEST • Paris

O ur live jewellery sale on 28 September will be a sparkling back-to-school start, with a suite of very important pear, emerald and brilliant-cut diamonds, enhanced by colored diamonds. A very fine selection of jewellery watches typical of the "seventies" style will enliven this sale. This includes eight jewellery watches from Piaget's heritage collection, dated from 1969 to 1973. To compliment these pieces are a selection of jewellery watches from Bulgari, Cartier, Chaumet, Chopard and Rolex.

The fine pearls section will include an important necklace of 72 fine pearls from Rouvenat - Desprès House, as well as an Art Deco bracelet enhanced with delicate grey natural pearls. Emblematic pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels, such as the "Pelouse", "Hawaï" and "Chevalerie" models, and from the brands Bulgari, Buccellati, Cartier, Boivin and David Webb will complete this rich ensemble. As well as important colored stones such as a three carat unheated Burmese ruby "Vivid Red" ring, and a demi-parure set with emeralds and diamonds.

Auction Highlights

Jewelry Watches from the 70s- By Sandrine Merle

From the ‘50s to the beginning of the ‘80s, watchmakers and jewellers produced marvellous women’s watches that are still highly sought-after today. With a focus on beauty, rather than on technical developments, they are immediately recognizable. With extravagant silhouettes and sparkling coloured gemstones set in texturized gold, these playful wristwatches exude the positive energy of past decades.

Over the years, the very discreet, light-coloured enamel dial transformed into an extravagant dial carved from opaque stones in vivid colours. Among the most popular gemstones of the time were jade and malachite in raw green hues, lapis-lazuli for its electric blue shade, and tiger’s eye, a brown stone with shimmering undertones.

Sophisticated yet fun, most of these watch designs were crafted from yellow gold rather than the typical choice of platinum or white gold, thereby following the aesthetic revolution of the jewellery world at that time. This desire for authenticity is also shown through the finishes of this material, from brushed, chiselled, crinkled, hammered, grained and set with diamonds. In many cases, transformed into chain mesh soft as fabric. A favorite design of women in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they embraced chain designs in all their forms: gourmette, forçat, Milanese, Figaro, palmier, and more.

The phenomenal importance of craftsmanship in the ‘70s makes more sense than ever in today’s world. The vintage women’s watch register does not include a single model of Patek Philippe, but it does feature one very brilliant model by Rolex. The two watchmakers – which together are strongly represented in the men’s watch market – do not hold the same dominance in the field of ladies timepieces. Instead, the Swiss manufacture Piaget, formed the perfect union of watchmaking and jewellery. The synergy is breathtaking… From the late ‘50s, the development of its first 9P ultra-slim movement at just 0.7mm (1956) offered it infinite possibilities. With a larger diameter, the case opened a fabulous arena for creative expression. Designers dove in without hesitation. The dial – of which only the surround had been adorned (for questions of legibility) up until now – became a decorative element in its own right. The auction also features a few magnificent models crafted by jewellers. Not to be outdone, they have also produced extraordinarily creative pieces, integrating watchmaking techniques. Some beautiful examples are a bicolour watch by Chaumet; a gadrooned gold cuff by Cartier – slightly more recent, produced in the early ‘80s – with a dial inlaid at the back with a scarab; and the two Serpenti by the Italian house Bulgari. As desirable as it is famous, the Serpenti model is composed of an ultra-flexible Tubogas bracelet (inspired by a stainless steel exhaust pipe, shaped like a spring) with one end terminating in a round or reptile head dial. In its high jewellery version, it was one of Elizabeth Taylor’s favourite pieces.

To the delight of collectors, the auction includes women’s watches crafted by lesser-known or completely forgotten brands. “Located in Switzerland and Franche-Comté, many of these only lasted some twenty years. They did not survive the successive crisis that watchmaking has been through. They were taken over and swallowed up by other brands,” explains Magali Teisseire, director of the Sotheby’s Paris jewellery department. It would be a shame to miss out on the infinitely graceful model of the jeweller Jean Eté (who also crafted the first jewellery for Braque), working for Delaneau: the entirely paved pear dial is mounted on a rolling bracelet representing a gadrooned gold cable. So who says that the seventies was the decade overlooked by taste?

- By Sandrine Merle

Read Less
Read More


Many of the inspirations for both watch and jewellery designers come from everyday objects, such as the 1940s rings or bracelets with a streamlined design known as "Tank", or the "Juste un clou" model by Cartier. Bulgari, for example, used the idea of a flexible coating that used to cover gas pipes. The sophisticated technique developed by Bulgari consists of a curved winding of gold and steel strips around a wooden form to obtain a soft, flexible and strong "tube" that can be used in various creations, from bracelets to watch straps. This technique involves technical difficulties in controlling the temperature of the metals used, which are perfectly mastered by Bulgari's jewellers. The brand has thus adopted this Tubogas technique, developed in the 1940s, as a key design element.

Iconic Jewelry Brands

How to start your jewelry collection? It's the age-old question when it comes to building any jewelry collection. The first step toward starting a jewelry collection is to choose amongst iconic Jewelry houses. To have a signed piece in your Jewelry collection is a must have

everyone’s tastes are different but the fun of collecting jewelry is that it represents your aesthetics, and it should be something you will want to wear over and over again. Below a nice selection of the stars of these Jewelry houses.


Piaget has been recognized and appreciated for its ultra-flat, high-precision movements since its very beginnings in 1874. Its mastery of ultra-thin movements, combined with its incredible savoir-faire in the field of jewellery and gem setting, has allowed the Maison to let its creativity run free. Piaget's beautifully crafted jewelled timepieces for both men and women defined new codes of elegance. Cultivating this luxurious spirit, the Maison highlighted the most precious materials through extravagant and pioneering designs. Cuff watches and necklace watches called “sautoirs” are some of the most audacious and exclusive examples of this creative expression.

©Archives Piaget

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Sell with Sotheby's

Sell with Sotheby's

Curious to know if your item is suitable for one of our upcoming sales?

Provide information and share images to request an online estimate now.

Start Selling
arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top