It was purely by chance — a l’avventura in Italian — that a glassblower in 19th century Murano, Italy created aventurine when he accidentally spilled copper shavings into molten glass; the resulting metal inclusions gave the glass an incredible sparkle. Today, aventurine glass is frequently used in watch dials, its glitter highlighting a diamond’s fire or evoking the heavens above.
Divas’ Dream Finissima Minute Repeater
This very complicated Bulgari watch could almost pass for a high-jewelry masterpiece: The iconic Divas’ Dream case is snow-set with diamonds, the bezel is set with brilliant-cut diamonds, there are nine diamond indices and the second subdial is encircled with diamonds. But underneath its glittering aventurine dial lies the world’s thinnest minute-repeater movement. Slide the dangling diamond charm and the minute repeater will sweetly chime the hours, quarter hours and minutes.
Price: On request
Contact: By appointment, contact Anita Paredes, +1 800 285 4274, bulgari.com
Grande Seconde Moon
While the distinctive figure-eight shape in the Grande Seconde collection appears quite modern, it actually takes inspiration from a pocket watch created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1784. This timepiece pairs aventurine with its most classic complication, a moonphase. The detail of the engraved 22K white gold moon is breathtaking, as is the precision of the movement: It requires a one-day adjustment just once every 122 years. The watch also shows hours and minutes in the top subdial, and the date and seconds surround the moonphase.
Contact: Jaquet Droz in New York, +1 646 692 6470, jaquet-droz.com
Kalparisma Nova Galaxy
Aventurine’s sparkle and deep blue color conjure memories of a star-filled night sky for many people, and these dials are frequently accompanied by moonphases or other celestial-inspired motifs or complications. Parmigiani Fleurier has a host of complicated aventurine watches, and while the Nova Galaxy might be one of its simplest, it is still very poetic. At 6 o’clock, the Nova star makes one revolution per minute, indicating the seconds. To further recall the stars, the 18K rose gold case is set with diamonds.
Contact: Cellini Jewelers in New York, +1 212 888 0505, parmigiani.com
Cat’s Eye Majestic
The distinctive ellipse shape of Girard-Perregaux’s Cat’s Eye case makes it one of the more recognizable women’s watches. This vertical version is a bit more subtle than its horizontal sister, and it is simply stunning with an aventurine dial and diamond indices. The 18K pink gold case is also set with diamonds, and the domed, leaf-shaped hands are incredibly elegant. The automatic movement is visible through a sapphire caseback, allowing you to admire the Côtes de Genève stripes and circular graining.
Contact: Wempe Jewelers in New York, +1 212 397 9000, girard-perregaux.com