Mesmerizing Opal Watches

28th February 2019

My love for black opals obviously lead me to stalk high jewellery watches featuring this mysterious oceanic gemstone.
All opals create an opalescence effect, which looks like a milky luster. However, only a few rare specimens called "precious opals", also present the “play-of-color” effect. This latter is a brilliant flash of colors that is produced by the light diffracted into the rainbow spectrum. These iridescent flashes are responsible for the stone’s desirability and value. There are various types of opals, but the most common are the following:

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One White Opal. Three Black Opals. 

-the white opals have a light neutral background, they often have pale colors with an average intensity.
-the black opals are opaque and have a dark background, which allow the stone to be very colorful and to have a wider variety of shades. They are the ones that give this deep blue, green and turquoise hues, but also burning red and orange, the ones I admire the most, and obviously... the most expensive.

It is a gemstone full of meanings: supposedly representing hope, faith and passion it's also boosting self-confidence and has healing power. It is also the 14th wedding anniversary stone, looking forward to it…

In this article, I have selected the most impressive and creative watches that exploit the full potential of black opal’s colors.

Opal Secret Watch by Chopard

Released in 2018 for the Red Carpet Collection, this extravagant bracelet hides many secrets. Its oriental and complex design is supported by strong colors and various precious stones. A circle of turquoise cabochons contours a large oval dark blue opal. This central stone is set on a titanium movable disc, which reveals a blue watch dial composed of Chinese lacquers, pink mother-of-pearl and chalcedony. The blue ceramic contrasts with the brilliant tsavorites and tanzanites balls’ bracelet. This is definitely a statement piece that gather high expertise and abundant creativity.

Opal Secret Watch, Red Carpet Collection 2018, Chopard.

Aqualis & Aten Watches by Cartier

Be ready to dive in mesmerizing turquoise seas: Cartier is always there to show off impressive stones. Here again, it doesn’t miss its duty: two secret watches feature considerable radiant black opals.
Discovered in 2015, the Aten Watch presents an astonishing 51.13 carats cabochon opal surrounded by 878 brilliant and baguette cut diamonds totaling 26.2 carats. The secret watch is positioned under the diamonds setting on the opal’s left side.
Her little sister, Aqualis, appeared in 2017, with it’s 38.25 carats oval shape and cabochon cut opal, it competes Aten for its harmony. The gradiant sapphires and emeralds setting is hiding a tiny lacquer dial while the whole bracelet is full pave and figures an animal design.

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Aten & Aqualis Opal Secret Watches, Cartier. 

Dior et D’Opales Watches

I totally agree with Dior Joaillerie designer, Victoire de Castellane: “The opal is a very poetic stone. It’s like an invitation to enter a fairy tale, to experience magic. When I look at an opal, I feel like I’m seeing the earth from afar, the oceans, the archipelagos, and the reflections of stars on ocean waves... I see it as nature’s gemstone par excellence, a stone that’s so intertwined with femininity, its connection becomes organic.”

For this collection, Dior offered 8 secret watches dedicated to opals’ glory. Each of them are magnified by various gemstones such as turquoises, sapphires, tourmalines, tsavorites, emeralds and tourmalines. The idea is to create a concentration of powerful colors, with different stone’s cuts to emphasize volume and dynamism. With these beautiful timepieces, Victoire de Castellane’s great imagination bring us in a fancy and fairy-like world.

Dior et D'Opales Timpieces, 2017. Legends on picture.

Opal Cuff Watches by Piaget
Revealed in 1972, this watch is a foliage of pinkish blue opals. About 36 stones are cut in pear and marquise shapes to create enchanted leaves. The bracelet, looking like a branch, leads to an oval cut opal dial. The colorful gems are linked to each other by white gold twists of diamonds.
And guess what, this beauty has a big sister! Much larger, this cuff watch features much lighter opals, turning around light blue, turquoise hues. Here, the dial is embraced by the leaves and almost becomes invisible.

Opal Watches, Piaget, 1970s'.