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GENEVA — The overall mood was a little more flat than bubbly, but that won’t stop watch and jewelry executives from breaking out the Cristal here and in Basel.
From WWD’s sister publications W and W Jewelry’s bash at Basel’s Kunstmuseum to London Jewelers’ annual Cigar & Cognac party, executives brought plenty of time to party. Here, a look at some of the action:
This story first appeared in the April 21, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
MODEL MOMENT: Traveling to her native Germany, model Heidi Klum made a pit stop at the Mouawad boutique in Geneva to celebrate the launch of “Mouawad, The Heidi Klum Collection,” her new collection of baubles.
“I love to wear little cute earrings,” she quipped, as she presented the line’s 35 pieces that draw from a clover pattern the model once discovered in Milan’s Duomo. “But you don’t have to be inspired when it comes to jewelry. Women love jewelry.”
Klum’s designs feature the clover prominently, in white and yellow gold and bedecked in diamonds, sapphires, rubies, turquoise and coral. The pendants are often dangling from leather or silk chords. Retail prices for the line range from $300 to $100,000.
“Heidi is German, and we are based in Switzerland, so it makes sense to have her in Geneva,” said Pascal Mouawad, Mouawad’s owner. “The line’s fashionable, yet timeless.”
Like Heidi, then? “Exactly.”
GENEVA ON MY MIND: Franck Muller knows how to rock the watch world, literally. For one, he created his own watch fair, the World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie (WPHH), located at his private property, Watchland. This year, Muller showcased a new concept with his Crazy Hours watch, which features the digits randomly placed on the watch face with the hour indicator jumping around at all times to hit the correct hour spot.
But that’s not all that rocks in Mullerland. For his annual gala held at Watchland, Muller exclusively imported Ray Charles for a late-night concert at the marquee, where he jolted out some of his best-known tunes to some 1,000 guests.
PLAID ON THE RHINE: Burberry celebrated the launch of its new watch collection with a soiree on the terrace of Basel’s Hotel Drei Könige, set against the Rhine river.
“I am just amazed at Basel, the elaborate setups, the trouble everyone goes through,” said Burberry chief executive officer Rose Marie Bravo, who had in tow Christopher Bailey, the company’s design director.
For his part, Bailey had spent the day at the Burberry booth explaining the collection to potential retail clients. “It’s the first time we are here, so I really wanted to come,” he said.
Made by Fossil, the collection features Thirties- and Forties-inspired timepieces, sports watches and some designs with the trademark plaid engraved. Prices for the watches range from about $295 to $650.
BULGARI’S NEW WORLD: A new player in Basel, Bulgari took the time to celebrate its exhibition venue, a 19,700-square-foot space featuring backlit polycarbonate walls at the entrance, a main 98-foot-long botticino bocciardato marble staircase, and a 4,995-square-foot event space dotted with 16 imported olive trees. At the event, some 500 guests were treated to a performance by Angun, a New Age artist who sang Asian-inspired songs from her recent album.
The monumental venue is rumored to have cost the Rome-based jewelry and watch firm over $10 million. It is a permanent installation and will be used again next year.
ZEN PALATE: Over 600 guests crowded Zenith’s Gardens of Time-themed party, held at a modern industrial space in Basel. The venue had a serene, Zenlike feel, with features such as bamboo, lianas and pebbles crowned by a statue of Buddha watching over the scene. The LVMH-owned brand celebrated its new women’s watch, the Chronomaster Star, with a fashion show.
“I am in the luxury business,” said Thierry Nataf, Zenith’s president and chief executive officer. “I sell joy.”