Watch & Jewellery
ALWAYS LOOK ON THE LIGHT SIDE OF LIFE: Boucheron's Holographique Collection
Text by Kee | Photo courtesy of Boucheron
'Laser' earring and necklace in white gold with holographic ceramic and aquamarines

If these sparklers don’t put a smile on your face and some warmth in your heart, we probably don’t know what will. Boucheron has attempted one of its most daring high jewellery exploits to date – by capturing the rainbow.

What would make one of the greatest jewellers in the world attempt to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in order to go beyond the spectacular? The short answer would be curiosity. One moment it was bestowing immortality to live flowers, the next it was sculpting air and forming clouds on necklines. What is even crazier is that creative director Claire Choisne and her team make it look easy, maybe even too easy. Today, Boucheron’s main mission has become clearer than ever before: spark joy and deliver a message of hope. Not that these values weren’t part of the design blueprint before; it is due to the current state of affairs around the world that the feel good factor has become the deliverable that matters. This is where Boucheron’s latest masterclass of a high jewellery collection is out to put its wearer and those who get to be in its presence in a good mood.

Holographique necklace in white gold with a 20.21-carat octagonal yellow Ceylon sapphire, holographic rock crystals, and diamonds

Named Holographique, 25 pieces are the foundation of Boucheron’s case study on light. Choisne reminisced in her notes: “Light has always intrigued me. We live alongside it, in it, without knowing exactly what it is. Does it move? Is it white? Is it multi-coloured?” Her pursuit of the answer led to a moodboard dominated by the works of artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Luis Barragán. But ultimately the concepts of a prism and hologram got the ball rolling. The premise of being able to trap light and even bend it to your will is as magical as it sounds.

Halo necklace in white gold with holographic rock crystals and diamonds

But how did Boucheron apply this idea onto something solid, wearable, and of course, dripping in finesse? Call it serendipity because a turning point came when she was observing the lights bouncing off reflective mirrors on an airport landing strip. Further research led her to Saint-Gobain, a 356-year-old French firm that manufactures construction solutions for a variety of sectors including industrial and healthcare. The company is capable of creating what she witnessed and together they aimed to recreate the same iridescence in high jewellery. Needless to say, this has never been done before in jewellery-making.

Prisme bracelet and earrings in white gold with holographic rock crystals and diamonds

Via multiple trials – and by multiple we mean in the hundreds – they were able to use the patented formula of spraying precious metals at high temperatures on rock crystals and ceramics, creating a permanent iridescence on the surface that engages with the environment’s light come day or night. Over 70 per cent of the collection banks on this technique developed with Saint-Gobain – and thank goodness it was successful. Headlining this partnership is a necklace that shares the same name as the collection.

The Opalescence brooch and earring are part of an opal necklace set that features a motif of a fighting fish

The Holographique necklace features thin semi-circle slides of treated crystals strung together with a secret nestled between the central pair of crystals – a 20.21-carat octagonal yellow Ceylon sapphire glistens like a precious dew drop on a leaf. Shine a source of light through the crystals to witness a poetic passage of light. Meanwhile more of this light show is expressed in the Prisme suite, which taps on clever cuts like a stretched pear-cut on earrings and rings to show how light can be pulled to display a gradation of colours.

Chromatique brooch in white gold and titanium with holographic ceramic, a 25-carat Mozambican tourmaline, and diamonds

From stretching to encircling, the chunky torque-style Halo necklace is only lightly coated with the holographic treatment as Boucheron wants a specific lighter tint that one would often see forming on a soap bubble. Some of the familiar house motifs are also part of the collection in a refreshing way. An example is the Faisceaux brooch in which Boucheron tapped on its conical-shaped Jack de Boucheron motif by encasing a layer of faceted rock crystal over a small diamond-paved cone. What this symmetrical design hopes to achieve is to refract light and colours in a variety of directions when a source of light comes in contact with it – think of it as a crystal chandelier of sorts.

Prisme ring and bangle in white gold with holographic rock crystals and diamonds

And if you’re wondering why Boucheron has earned the respect of critics for going against the grain, it has even used its own creation process as an inspiration. Laser, for example, was formed by first cutting the ceramic into the iconic Serpent Bohème motif to form a necklace, coating the pieces with holographic effect before figuring out which stone and cut would channel the perfect vibe. (The standard process would be to start designing around the central stone.) The result is a necklace surrounded by pear-cut aquamarines as the jeweller found it to be the best visual fit.

Illusion rings featuring opals from Australia and Ethiopia

That said, Boucheron has also picked a key gemstone to work with, one that represents this theme to a tee. Gorgeous opals make a strong play in the suites called Illusion, Ondes, and Opalescence. Boucheron has tapped on the living gemstone for its ability to flaunt a variety of colours at any given time, and it is said to be sensitive to even humidity and moisture which in turn alters its tone from time to time. They have been proposed as chunky cocktail rings to lace-like necklaces to even a supporting role on a brooch shaped like a fighting fish.

Ondes earrings and necklace in white gold with opals and diamonds

Last but not least, Choisne returned to her magnum opus in the Fleurs Éternelle to revitalise those popular flower-shaped rings with some holographic coating that has anchored this series. Nature has been an important pillar for the jeweller and this aesthetical inclusion under the Chromatique name puts a youthful spin to those critically-acclaimed rings that have now become a high jewellery hall-of-fame moment.


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