PARIS — Pushing its collaboration with Carolina Bucci to the next level, Audemars Piguet is offering jewelry from the designer, a series of coiled, stretchable gold bracelets and necklaces in various metallic color tones, drawn up with the inner workings of watches in mind.
“We wanted to create something very simple and the way you wear it is easy, but the skill behind it is deep — to make gold elastic is not an easy feat, it takes a lot of preparation and mastery behind it,” said Bucci, speaking on a video call from the living room of the Audemars Piguet “house” in London.
The fourth-generation designer, who hails from Florence, dubbed the jewelry line “KISS,” an acronym of “keep it super simple,” a tongue-in-cheek nod to the technical prowess of Audemars Piguet watches.
Bucci initially came up with the Royal Oak Frosted Gold watch, a women’s edition to mark the 40th anniversary of the watch model, decorating the surface with the gold hammering technique from Florence employed in her Italian workshops. The surface is dotted with indentations that add a sparkle, similar to a surface paved in small diamonds, but inverted.
A second collaboration turned up another limited edition of the watch in yellow gold with a mirror dial.
“I treated the watch as a piece of jewelry, so instead of talking about the complications and all the facts and looking at it very close-up, I wanted a woman to spot it from the other side of the room, like you do with a piece of jewelry, you fall in love with it and you need to find out what it is, then you learn more details,” she said of the first collaboration.
“It starts with an emotion,” asserted the designer.
The jewelry is being launched in London, where coronavirus lockdowns derailed original plans for a dinner with clients. The dinners will take place in other cities around the world, but adapting to the distancing rules in London, the brand is delivering a package of items from Italian crafts specialists, including embroidered place mats, flower sculptures and marble spheres for clients to decorate their tables at home.
They will then connect with Bucci and Audemars Piguet chief executive officer François-Henry Bennahmias for a presentation of the jewelry — which is displayed in an enormous wooden trunk with drawers and a mirror — hand made by a craftsman during the lockdowns in Italy.
Travel restrictions due to the pandemic have cast a pall on luxury consumption and prompted high-end brands to take to the road to meet consumers on their home turf. Labels like Louis Vuitton and Dior have taken to China, for example, to show jewelry and fashion, complementing a push into the digital realm.
The KISS collection, in 18-carat gold, is priced in the range of $7,700 to $22,750.