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It should go without saying that here at Town & Country, fine jewelry is one of our real obsessions. Whether it's taking a deep dive on the very best of the royals' tiaras (and who wore them), or covering the record-setting auction of a 100 carat diamond, we love to talk about—and try on—great jewels. We know our readers feel just as passionately as our editors, so we conceived of the Town & Country Reader's Choice Jewelry and Watch Awards, where our devoted readership can share what they are obsessing over this year. Below, brilliant jewelers and watchmakers across the industry are up for the coveted title of "Readers' Choice" as part of our annual jewelry awards. Jewelry and watch enthusiasts will have one month to read and vote on their favorite pieces. Stay tuned for the winning designs!
Best Gemstone Setting
It is one thing to use fine and precious stones, but it is another to truly exalt them in a piece. Case in point: Asprey's use of amethyst in their Chaos collection. Both the Chaos Purple Necklace and Chaos Purple Ring utilize the stone (which is known for its calming qualities) in multiple shapes, creating an abstract layout. Although the pieces were meticulously assembled, the results are delightfully eccentric and eye-catching.
Most Stylish Rose Gold Watch
Rose gold has been popular for several years thanks to its flattering pink undertones. This makes it an obvious choice for a watch, which must complement different outfits and jewelry each day. Blancpain offers two elevated everyday options with the Heure Decentree and the Villeret Quantième Complet. While both boast intricate diamond detailing, the former, with its white leather band, ornate diamond pattern throughout, and mother of pearl face is pure elegance, while the latter is more understated.
Most Innovative Craftsmanship
Boucheron has made a name for itself in its 160-year history for bold stone settings with big personalities. This year's high jewelry offerings, the Miroirs Infinis Ring and the Perles de Plume Necklace, both part of the Contemplation collection, live up to the French jeweler's reputation. The Miroirs Infinis takes a 5.08 carat pear-cut diamond and elevates it in a cocktail ring with white jade and paved diamonds, making it a true showstopper. The feather-like Perles de Plume Necklace, on the other hand, sets a rose cut 1.6 carat diamond with cultured pearls and paved diamonds for a femininely daring effect.
Best Modern Dial
Breguet upgrades the classic watch face to make an eye catching statement with both the Marine Dame 9518 and the Reine de Naples 8918. The Marine Dame 9518 timepiece has the hallmarks of an iconic watch with its guilloche mother of pearl dial paired with rose gold metal and diamond accents. But it's the details that truly make this piece stand out from the rest. Specifically: as the watch is inspired by maritime activities and the ocean, the dial possesses an original motif that reflects the flow of waves. For a bolder, but equally ladylike visual, the Reine de Naples 8918 is uniquely refined and feminine with its white grande feu enamel face in a delicate oval shape. The blue Arabic numerals make quite the contrast to the pristine white watch face, which is embellished with fleur de lis and diamonds.
Best Statement Earring
In a world dominated by video calls, we find ourselves constantly dressing for the virtual occasion. Statement earrings are one of the easiest ways to look glam (even if you are still wearing sweatpants out of view). Architectural designs like Matthew Trent’s pieces make things even more interesting with unique stones. Choose a pair featuring surprising gems like black diamonds nestled in white gold in the Full Circle earrings, or slices of emeralds like in the Spring Rain earrings, which also add a pop of color.
Most Versatile Layering Piece
The best pieces in our wardrobe are those that can pull double—or even triple— duty and the same goes for our jewelry box. Baubles that can easily be worn to the office and then an evening function will always be in heavy rotation. Platinum Born’s necklaces can be worn alone, layered together, or mixed with your favorite everyday necklaces; they can also convert into into various lengths for even more flexibility. Perhaps even more notably, Platinum Born's jewelry is skillfully crafted using platinum, which is both stunning and durable—a luxury in and of itself—lending to a piece's ability to be enjoyed for years to come. The Debut necklace, for example, is a delicate single strand of platinum beads and freshwater pearls, that comes in two lengths and can also be worn as a wraparound bracelet—striking a feminine note each time. The Starlight, by contrast, is the perfect happy medium of a dainty piece that also satisfies the desire to wear multiple strands for a subtle statement. This necklace can transition from two to three layers with ease.
Best Iconic Cuff Design
Sicilian aristocrat Duke Fulco di Verdura was a close friend and personal jeweler to Coco Chanel in the 1930s. Departing from the status quo, Verdura pressed colorful gemstones into gold in the form of the Maltese Cross, creating an iconic design which quickly became a signature piece for her and today are a timeless favorite. Versions of these classic cuffs come in a wide variety of materials and gemstones, to reflect one’s own personal style, and have been worn on and off the red carpet for dress-up or every day occasions. Today, white or black stone cuffs, like the black jade design with pearls and diamonds as well as designs like the gold cuff with peridot, blue topaz, and diamonds, are highly coveted among women of style. Additional limited-edition designs keep collectors coming back for more.
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