With the design of Astrium’s space plane already on his curriculum vitae (and a seat saved on its first tourist flight), industrial designer Marc Newson — reputed to be a bit of a space nut — stayed true to form with his latest endeavor, an out-of-this-world high jewelry piece for Boucheron. The mesmerizing necklace, unveiled Monday at the house’s Place Vendôme flagship, resembles a galaxy comprised of “intentionally chaotic” raised clusters of diamonds and sapphires in nuanced shades, with a large diamond whorl at its center. About 2,000 pavé stones were used in the piece, some measuring a teeny 1.7 mm and mounted on invisible three-prong settings, which give the impression of floating. Diamonds weighing from 0.84 to 2.5 carats sit at the heart of each of the sapphire whirlpools.
Channeling cerebral-chic, the work was actually inspired by mathematics, specifically the Julia Set (a fractal related to the Mandelbrot Set), which even Newson had a hard time explaining. “It’s a naturally occurring formation that occurs everywhere, in the trees, in the sky, in the arrangements of the seeds in a sunflower’s head,” said the designer, whipping out his iPhone to pull a pictorial representation. “I could zoom in forever and it would never stop — it’s infinite,” he said of the fractal, which indeed resembled the Boucheron necklace suspended next to him in a Space Age globe.