Famed as one of Russia’s great manufacturers of exotic luxury products, with an almost unbroken history spanning three hundred years, from its home in the city of Saint Petersburg, the exceptional lapidary artefacts manufactured by the Imperial Peterhof Factory have depicted the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by the most elite in Russian society as the centuries passed. Founded and closely controlled by Emperor Peter the Great in 1721, the company’s signature was its mastery of crafting rare and exotic stones into works of art which were cherished by royalty and nobility at home and abroad.
Firmly established as a centre for the country’s finest talents in technical and creative craftsmanship, when a new post-revolution world arose and its former customers reflecting on happier times, the company continued, diversifying into a sector which was becoming increasingly important, and a nascent watchmaking industry which would soon supply the needs of a nation was born.
As the Imperial Peterhof Factory prepares for its three hundredth year, a new collection of highly exclusive hand made wristwatches celebrate the beauty of its stone craft, as well as an illustrious legacy which compares to watchmaking’s Grandes Marques. Entirely manufactured in house, each one of these special pieces is unique, thanks to the natural characteristics of the colourful stone inserts which really make these watches stand out, and bring together the two arts which have defined the company’s history, with its most talented craftsmen and watchmakers, to create this noble and distinguished collection with a distinctly original essence.
The deep black sheen of the polished stone ring of the IPF Black Onyx edition contrasts superbly against the white enamel dial. Underneath a sapphire crystal the combination is unusual but very striking in its appearance. The time is displayed in the classic three hands style, and feature hours, minutes and seconds, with black roman numerals and minute markings.
It is presented in a round 41mm case of 18Kt red gold, with a matching stone cabochon on the crown. On the reverse, a complex sapphire caseback is shaped like an inverted dish, and offers an unrestricted view of the movement, which like the dial, is contained within the ring of black onyx stone. The rotating solid gold mass is engraved with a beautifully detailed double headed eagle, maintaining the 42 hour power reserve as it spins.
A quite stunning and elegant dress watch, the Imperial Peterhof Factory Black Onyx is a classic celebration of three centuries as a national icon. It is presented on a black alligator leather strap with folding deployant clasp.