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Fabergé’s 2009 line of watches - brought to Malta courtesy of Sergio Zampa Jewellery - pay homage to the brand’s past, while keeping an eye firmly set on the future

“It is our choice to invest so much effort and time into impeccable craftsmanship, and it is a choice we make willingly.” The words are spoken softly, delivered with a gentle firmness and a subtle smile which in no way detracts from the passion behind them. Dr Marcus O. Mohr, President and Creative Director of Fabergé, has nevertheless made his point. Internationally famous for the intricate Russian Easter Eggs which intertwined Russian jewellery and craftsman Peter Carl Fabergé’s destiny with that of Russian royalty in the early 20th century, Fabergé is today developing an evergrowing line of luxury collectors’ timepieces truly fitting of the brand. Traditional and exceedingly rare techniques are applied to each watch in production, such as enamelling, an ingenious method of applying a glass-like adherent layer to a surface. This technique in particular - along with the almost-forgotten craft of guilloché engraving - is responsible for the gem-like iridescence which the dials of Fabergé watches possess.

Both techniques are very old, explains Dr Mohr, and are deeply intertwined with the historic roots of Fabergé itself, since they were both used extensively by founder Peter Carl Fabergé himself in his intricate and ingenious works. In this sense, each Fabergé timepiece “carries the genetic imprint of the Faberge history.” In designing each watch, explains Dr Mohr, Fabergé craftsmen make heavy use of symbolism and historic inspiration drawn from previous Fabergé works.Each gemmed polished cabachon crown which the timepieces sport harks back to the push-buttons which Fabergé snuff boxes used to feature. The elegant numbers - as well as the hands - on the dials of these subtle timepieces are modelled on those featured by one of the first ever Fabergé timepieces, a rococo-style table clock. Even the buckles on the watchstraps are egg-shaped and feature a Cyrillic “F”, inspired from Fabergé’s Royal Easter Eggs and the “F” he signed each of his works with. Each watch is a veritable concentration of the brand’s history, using design elements which established themselves within the brand’s standards of elegance, subtlety and finesse. The brand’s 2009 line of watches - brought to Malta courtesy of Sergio Zampa Jewellery - all pay homage to the brand’s past, while keeping an eye firmly set on the future.
The new Agathon M1130 combines innovation and tradition in the form of an eight-layered grey enamelled faceplate - a masterpiece in its own right - with a handguilloched golden face with an off-centre hour and minute indication which is fused with eight layers of elegant grey enamel. Intricate and complex guilloched engravings criss-cross the face of the watch, and 18-carat white gold is set off beautifully against the dark face and black crocodile straps. Its exclusivity only adds to its stature as “an aesthetic monument to the mechanical age”, as only 50 are available worldwide. The Agathon M1105 boasts a similar innovation: a brand-new mother of pearl clear enamel on its face, complementing its gold and brown colour scheme. “These days people are starting to pay more attention to craftsmanship, quality, and design,” says Dr Mohr. “At Fabergé we take those concepts to the next level. Every timepiece is made using techniques which are extremely rare and complex. Every watch is a collector’s item.” Every timepiece which Fabergé produces
passes through a skilled and experienced craftsman’s hands. The mechanisms alone – which Fabergé commissions from Swiss watch-makers Frédérick Piguet – take seven days to decorate and style in line with Fabergé’s standards and each watch - from the conceptual stage to the finished prototype - takes at least two years.“Each watch is not only an object of beauty,but it is also an investment. Its intrinsic value is a timeless joy.” A watch can have humble beginnings from innumerable sources, explains Dr Mohr. “It could be an old design, or a concept belonging to another piece of Fabergé jewellery which a designer applied to a timepiece. It could be something as vague and ephemeral as a colour combination which a designer would like to apply.”

 
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