Chopard has unveiled its new high jewellery collection Magical Setting, showcasing the spectacular radiance of majestic cluster rings, pendants and earrings. This approach is made possible by an ingenious and innovative secret setting that allows the diamonds and precious coloured stones to shine supreme, to play with light as never before.
Origins of the Cluster Design
The cluster design can be traced back to the 14th century, originating perhaps in medieval ring-brooches worn to fasten cloaks or tunics, and developing into huge, elaborate gem-smothered circles. The cluster as we know it blossomed in the 17th and 18th centuries as a stylised interpretation of the flower – the earliest of adornments – at a time when diamonds, newly discovered in Brazil during the 1720s, were becoming more available and desirable to a new and wealthy merchant class. Through the 19th century, the fashionable cluster took the form of a single and usually important coloured stone, encircled by diamonds, acquiring an air of majesty and splendour, as it took pride of place in the jewel boxes of royalty and nobility. In this shape and form, the cluster was to remain the traditional motif of 20th century Haute Joaillerie, in which the focus was resolutely on gemstone content and classicism.
Now Caroline Scheufele takes on the challenge held out by the classicism of the cluster, exploring its nobility and versatility, playing with its proportions, and revelling in its connection to a galactic star cluster; a tightly-packed mass of pure light and energy, radiating outwards, in the night sky, inspiring awe, wonder and excitement.
Chopard's Magical Setting
In this dynamic re-imagining of one of the noblest and most enduring jewellery classics – the floral cluster – Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, unlocks the intense light and lustre deep in the soul of a gemstone while unleashing the full emotional power at the heart of the jewel.
With Magical Setting, she explores light, in all its many facets: as a universal symbol of the divine, of purity, joy and euphoria, as the essence of seductive glamour, and as the most powerful emotional trigger in a gem or jewel.
Classically elegant in colour composition as well as design, the collection offers a choice of jewels set with diamonds only, or with diamonds and blue sapphires from Sri Lanka, rubies from Mozambique/Madagascar or emeralds from Colombia/Zambia.
Each cluster is centred on a significant single stone and encircled throughout with other unusually large stones, giving the classic design an unexpected edge of bold modernity. The dramatic light show performed by the jewels is achieved by an innovative setting technique, developed by Chopard's master artisans.
While the centre stone of each cluster is set in barely-there claws, the surrounding stones are held in place, as if by magic, with no visible means of support, and no metal visible from the front or top of the jewel.
Instead, the cluster is underpinned by an entirely new and pioneering structure, exclusive to Chopard. This means that the light can flow freely in and out and around the gemstones, rippling across the surface of the stones, unimpeded by the opacity of metal constraints, unfettered by demarcations. Meanwhile, the gold of the underlying structure serves to intensify the dazzling brilliance, creating unprecedented visual excitement.