Gucci boldly steps into the rarefied world of haute horlogerie.
Just six years ago, Creative Director Allesandro Michele began the radical transformation of Gucci (gucci.com) into a 21st century colossus. His brand of maximalism brought about kaleidoscopic change within the company, its runway shows and ad campaigns promoting unparalleled creativity and freedom of expression. Translating his vision into a collection of ultradesirable timepieces required equally compelling verve. The collection fuses traditional watchmaking with skate culture, lion heads, coiled snakes and bees, while mixing in Gucci’s iconic stripes and interlocking G’s. But instead of adjusting Gucci’s personality to fit into the conservative luxury timepiece space, Michele did just the opposite.
“What is Gucci? It’s like a big box, multiple things. It’s a party, a place. It had to have been born with some constellation; it’s the magic of Gucci that I am also prone to,” Michele says. Gucci marked its 100th anniversary auspiciously by introducing these new takes on high watchmaking, including the Gucci 25H, and extraordinary reinterpretations of the G-Timeless, Grip and several high jewelry watches that incorporate precious metals and stones.
Each watch represents Michele’s artistic viewpoint, embracing the jet-set glamour that has defined Gucci for nearly a century. Especially the 25H, which is the flagship of the collection. The design of the 25H neatly aligns itself with the revival of 1970s luxury sports watches; the 25H is available in steel, there are pavé diamond models and two tourbillon models cased in platinum and yellow gold. Numerology plays an important role in the watch’s design, with the number 25 both a symbolic and auspicious touchpoint for Michele.
G-Timeless Moonphase; gold Gucci 25H.
To wit, the 25H is powered by the GG727.25 automatic caliber. The movement’s reference numbers provide the mysterious code that appears on the 25H’s dial, where, according to Michele, “7” represents completeness, “2” balance and cooperation, and “5” symbolizes curiosity and freedom. A significant milestone for Gucci, the 3.70 mm ultraslim movement is manufactured inhouse at parent company Kering’s manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, holy ground for many of Switzerland’s top watchmakers.
Gucci’s advanced tourbillon movements are embellished with dancing bees in the G-Timeless model. They feature an array of stone dials with or without diamonds, like the fully encrusted G-Timeless Pavé. Bejeweled celestial motifs appear on the dreamy G-Timeless Moonphase, with glittering heavens depicted like a wearable Milky Way. The popular Grip line leverages malachite, onyx, tiger’s-eye and brushed-gold dials along with baguette diamonds, elevating the skater watch to impressive heights.
The high jewelry Dionysus. Available by appointment at Gucci’s dedicated fine watch and jewelry boutique, 16 Place Vendôme, Paris.
A translucent pastel sapphire crystal reveals the fascinating inner workings of the Grip Sapphire, also available in watery green, pink, blue and a clear version made of transparent sapphire crystal. Detachable jeweled bezels add versatility to the Gucci Play for added glamour and fun. Gold bracelets and bangles hide the time with baroque details and a diamond-studded lion’s head, counting away life’s valuable seconds in secrecy.
These exceptional watches are the perfect representation of a well-lived life, an ideal balance between antiquity and modernity. “Fashion is a wonderful illusion that is a dialogue between shapes, between colors and interactions,” Michele said in a video discussing the anniversary. “In reality, it’s not like you were inspired; you just lived. Gucci pretends to be old, but it’s like a baby every year.”