Backes & Strauss – The Empress Rose

With this masterpiece high-jewellery watch, Backes & Strauss pays tribute to Queen Victoria.

Heralded as an Empress, Queen Victoria is today celebrated as the unshakable symbol of youthful sovereignty. At only 18 years of age, Queen Victoria began her ruling as Queen.

From the portrait of Queen Victoria aged 14 dressed in Royal jewels and a floral rose motif, to her coronation diadem garnished with diamond bouquets of rose, the famous ‘Rose of England’ came to be the leitmotif of Queen Victoria’s purity and strength during her long reign. To such an extent that husband Prince Albert designed the Buckingham Palace Ballroom wallpaper with a rose in celebration of Her Majesty’s delicate essence.

As “a trophy of the glory and strength of [Her] Majesty’s Empire”, Backes & Strauss has created ‘The Empress Rose’, an exquisite time-telling jewel, set with a total of 608 diamonds weighing 30.02cts. Two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 1.01ct each which are set at 12 and 6 o’clock celebrates the mutual and everlasting love between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

At the time of Queen Victoria’s reign, the city of Geneva was experiencing an artistic Renaissance which gave fruit to skills and craftsmanship that were to set a precedence in jewellery and watch making. With its vivid colours and unrivalled technique, Swiss enamelling came to represent the new pinnacle of adorning the world’s Royalty in the most impressive of jewels. Founded in 1835, Millenet established an unprecedented know-how in this art form which was, and still is today, reserved exclusively for the finest of watches.

That sense of rare beauty and transcendent luxury of Queen Victoria’s jewels is now revisited by Backes & Strauss in a historical Meeting of Masters. This highly complicated dial is the result of hundreds of hours of Millenet enamelling technique, a skill which is handed down from one generation to the next.

Firstly, the rose motif was hand engraved into the gold. Then the leaves and petals of the rose were precisely cut out and then covered by a grey gold gold-leaf. The leaves and petals were then filled by a green enamel and pinks of five different colour hues.

Meeting the Master enamellers with the Master diamond polishers and setters, this Royal creation was then set with three different cuts of finest quality diamonds. Like the diamonds found on Queen Victoria’s iconic crown, the round brilliant, modified square emerald cuts and pear-shaped diamonds are carefully placed to scintillate in perfect harmony. With a border of round brilliant-cut diamonds, the flower motif of the bracelet makes this piece an exceptional creation.

Technical details
Model: Empress Rose
Size: Ø 36mmx32mm
Case, Bracelet and Buckle: 18K White Gold set with 2 Pear shapes E/VVS 2.03 cts, 52 Pear shapes 8.20 cts, 22 modified square emerald cuts 7.97 cts, 532 Round Brilliant 11.82 cts
Dial: Gold, hand engraved and enamelled with the Grand feu technique
Hands: Sword-shaped hands
Movement: Quartz Movement
Display: Hours & minutes
Total Carats: 608 diamonds 30.02 carats

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