Montblanc ‘Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco’ is a tribute befitting a timeless style icon, writes Srirekha Pillai
An epitome of grace and timeless elegance, actress Grace Kelly was thrust into international limelight when she married Rainier III, the Prince of Monaco, and became Princess Grace. It was a role she layed with panache, becoming a role model for many and one of the greatest fashion icons of the world.
Montblanc brings the late Princess’s memory alive with its ‘Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco’, a limited edition collection of jewellery, timepieces and writing instruments that reflect the inimitable style the Princess was renowned for.
Talking about the association, Karl-Heinz Handke, President for Western Hemisphere, Montblanc, who was in Mumbai recently for the unveiling of the Collection, says that the brand has enjoyed a close association with Albert II, Prince of Monaco, for some time now.
It all started when Montblanc brought out ‘Montblanc Prince Rainier III Limited Edition 81’, an artistically skeletonised fountain-pen in white gold, studded with diamonds and rubies. Half of the proceeds from the sale were given to Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Prince Albert II, who was happy with the writing instrument in honour of his father, approached Montblanc, asking them to come up with a collection for his mother, the late Princess Grace.
Handke says, “There are a lot of emotions attached with the Collection. Many ardent fans of the Princess have walked up to us and asked why we didn’t come up with this earlier?”
The inspiration for the Collection came from the pictures of his mother that Prince Albert II shared with the brand, along with her personal jewellery collection.
The Grace de Monaco Pink Rose, which was created in 1956 on the occasion of Grace Kelly’s marriage to the Prince, finds a recurring motif in all the editions in the form of filigree petal cut stones. The late Princess was known for her love of flowers, especially roses. Besides the Princess Grace Rose Garden with more than 2,000 varieties of roses, diamonds and pink sapphires are also strong influences in the Collection.
Among the designers’ first feats was the creation of a case that positively bubbles with elegance and refinement. Its slim silhouette and classical beauty recall similar traits embodied by the Princess. The same basic form reappears in all the models in this collection, from the most lavish one-of-a-kind haute joaillerie wristwatch to watches featuring the timelessly attractive combination of stainless steel and diamonds.
The lovely impression is also conveyed in side view, a perspective from which watches are seldom viewed. The horns point slightly downwards for an anatomically perfect fit.
This same angle continues across the beveled bezel and culminates in the tastefully cambered sapphire crystal, which spans the dial like a transparent dome. Its arc is echoed in the slight curvature of the screwed back, which has a somewhat concave form that conforms to the shape of its wearer’s wrist.
The back is engraved with a regal and the monogram of Grace Kelly. The brand’s symbol appears as a mother-of-pearl inlay on each stainless steel watch.
The breathtaking and unique haute joaillerie watches stand testimony to the Princess’s love of flowers. Floral adoration is expressed in the one-of-a-kind ‘Pétales de Rose motif ’ model, on which countless rose-petal contours adorn a white motherof- pearl dial and nestle closely side by side to form a precious white gold bracelet that scintillates with the gorgeous fire of 605 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of ca. 6.09 carats.
In the unique piece ‘Pétales Entrelacés motif ’, the shape of rose petals appears in red gold indices on the dial and as perfectly interlaced red gold loops, which combine with 567 diamonds (ca. 6.842 ct) and twine around the wrist of the lucky lady who can call this watch her own.
Each of these two unique timepieces has 44 diamond baguettes around its bezel and 130 brilliant-cut diamonds along its dial’s flange, where they glitter under the protection of an overarching sapphire crystal.
The other watch models in the Montblanc ‘Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco’ bear the symbol of the rose petal in the form of a pink sapphire teardrop that simultaneously adorns the dial and also serves as an index to mark the ‘6 o’clock’ position.
Alongside the two breathtaking and unique haute joaillerie watches, the series also includes sets of eight and twenty-nine limited-edition diamond-studded watches and watches with stainless steel cases and precious diamond embellishments for regular wear.
Together, they complete an irresistibly feminine collection of watches that span
a broad spectrum in which each model exemplifies tasteful style and noblesse – just like their namesake, Princess Gracia Patricia of Monaco, who always set the most elegant standards, whether she wore a simple daytime dress or an elaborate evening gown with a diadem in her coiffure!