The watch that thinks it’s a necklace

Hermes Kelly sautoir - rose gold - black alligator

‘Secret’ watches are my thing. The Hermès Medor is my favourite, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso* is the gold standard.

The story goes that a 1930s businessman and watch collector was tasked with creating a watch for polo players to wear that would withstand the rough and tumble of the game. The result was the sleek JLC Reverso whose case was engineered to flip over to protect the watch face – and back again after the game. 90 years later, there’s a market for mind-bendingly intricate paintings on that smaller-than-postage-stamp caseback, with limited editions models selling for €80,000.

Necklaces are an extension of this two-way trick. Last year Hermès brought out its extremely handsome clochette Kelly (top and below) an anonymous-looking box calf or alligator clochette with a Kelly watch peeking out of it secured on a leather cord. Van Cleef & Arpels’ classic Perlée sautoir watch works as a delightful peekaboo fidgeting device, while Chanel’s Haute Horlogerie lacquer and beaded pendant* has a diamond-dusted lion’s head concealing the watch face (below). This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre also went down the long, lean deco route, with its diamond-dotted and beaded chain dangling a dainty gem-set Reverso watch face (below).

So far, so subtle.

But Bulgari takes things up a whole other level. Its new Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace (below) boasts a diamond and brilliant-cut ruby-covered cameo profile of Cleopatra on a diamond-bedazzled rose gold chain, opening to reveal a skeleton watch movement inside the case. So macho, so decadent, I love it.

Bulgari Cameo Imperiale Necklace
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Secret Necklace watch
Hermes Kelly - steel clochette watch
Chanel Sautoir Lion watch
Bulgari Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Hermès Kelly clochette watch; Bulgari Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace; Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso secret necklace, Hermès Kelly clochette watch; Chanel Lion watch necklace; Bulgari Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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