Nicola, what made you use a diamond as the crown of the Metro watches, rather than just setting a diamond into a crown?
Surely that would have been easier. The idea was to reference our authority in diamonds, and to make sure that we put value into diamonds. We created a new setting for the crown with three prongs. The difficult thing was to make sure that the setting would properly hold the stone, while at the same time allow for more light to get in, and so more fire.
Each diamond has a serial number lasered onto it. Can you tell us more about this?
It allows us to know the full his- tory of every stone in our products. We follow the mining, the cutting, the polishing, and then we set the stone ourselves. We put the serial number over 70 points on the diamond. We thought it was a very beautiful thing, because that makes every watch unique.
Can you see the serial number after the diamond is set?
If you use a very powerful microscope, you can see the number on one facet after another. There was a moment when we thought, why don’t we equip every single store with a microscope so that we can show our customers? But we decided not to. It’s quite expensive for 310 stores.
The promotional video for the Metro collection starts with a close crop of the diamond crown, which makes it look very much like an diamond ring. Was this intentional?
The idea behind this watch is to connect our jewelry heritage with our watchmaking heritage. So, for example, the bracelet has been inspired by a piece of jewelry that was presented a few years ago; the case is referencing an asymmetrical case we found in our archives; as well as the dial, which has been inspired by a Patek Philipe Tiany watch created at the end of the 19th century.
You mentioned putting value into diamonds. How does the Metro collection do this?
Think about an engagement ring, and we do sell engagement rings, and a watch set with diamonds, and combine them. Yet, we are selling the en- try-level Metro model for less than US$4,000.
Could this be an alternative to the famous Tiany engagement ring?
I was in Japan three weeks ago and they tell me it would be a good way to propose. Instead of a ring, you engrave the caseback, and you have the diamond. It’s not something you notice immediately, but it’s a nice surprise.