We at Monochrome have always been a big fan of DeLaneau, the only Haute Horlogerie brand exclusively for women. Reason for this is the exceptional high quality of the watches combined with designs that contain a sense of magic. This is most certainly true for the Les Délicates-collection.
This collection is in more then one way unique. First of all does DeLaneau only make one watch of each of the 20 different watches that make up this collection. Although limited editions and limited production models are quite common in the world of the Haute Horlogerie, piece unique’s that are part of the regular collection aren’t.
The 20 watches are made up out of 4 basic case designs; round, diamond-, heart-, or flower shaped. Each case design is available in 5 different settings of precious stones. This is another area in which DeLaneau is quite unique. Where most brands create a watch and add precious stones to it later, does DeLaneau create them exclusively as an Haute Joaillerie piece. This also means that there are no models available without precious stones, and that is definitely not a loss!
The overall design of the watches is more then clever. Where Haute Joaillerie watches usually are only worn on special occasions did DeLaneau succeeded in making them almost casual. Take for example the round model set with a wonderful combination of diamonds, black spinels and turquoise. The result is a watch that indeed will look stunning with a nice evening dress, but with the same ease can be worn with jeans and a Kashmir sweater.
You truly start to realize the power of the designs when you look at the heart shaped model. Creating a heart shaped watch is not without risk for an Haute Horlogerie brand. The chances that it will come out looking whimsical are significant, but not with DeLaneau. Without altering the integrity of the heart shape, they have made it look rather elegant then whimsical. They can even get away with heart-cut rubies on the bracelet, positioned in such a way that they add certain flair to the watch and give it a very consisted look. The bracelet by itself is a stroke of genius. By making it more narrow, it gets the look of an elegant bracelet in which the precious stones can take center stage. A wider bracelet would have either meant seeing more gold, or they have to use more precious stones, and the overall look would not have benefited from either one.
You cannot be Haute Horlogerie without a high-end movement. In this case, DeLaneau trusts a Frederic Piguet caliber 6.10 to do the job. This manual wind movement is by itself as charming as the watches in the Les Délicates-collection and a perfect match. It is 15.2 mm in diameter and only 2.1 mm thick. Because the movement lacks a seconds hand it really gives the watch a more peaceful look on the dial since there is no hand that shows visible movement.
All together is the Les Délicates-collection again typically DeLaneau; sophisticated, thought through, elegant, high end and universally feminine.