Magical timepieces are also an important part of new Fabergé, with Aurélie Picaud heading the team that has already won two important international awards for its unique designs.
“In an industry dominated by older men, she is a breath of fresh air,” Gilbertson says. Picaud’s Lady Compliquée Peacock Emerald watch won the Ladies High Mechanical award at the 2015 watch Oscars —the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The timepiece, which is highly decorative and in fine Fabergé tradition, was inspired by Peter Carl Fabergé’s Peacock Imperial Easter Egg of 1908 and combined both beauty and impressive mechanics.
Fabergé won the Grand Prix in the Travel Time category in 2016, this time for the Visionnaire DTZ timepiece. Fabergé’s chronograph, marking 100 years since the start of the Russian Revolution, paid homage to the unfinished Constellation Egg of 1917, with a tiny, laser-engraved egg on the sapphire-glass case back.
Ah the eggs! So there are going to be eggs? “We will create Fabergé eggs,” Gilbertson says. “But we are going to tread carefully, out of respect for the fine craftsmanship that went into creating the Easter eggs for the Russian tsars.”
To date, Fabergé under Pallinghurst has made only one egg in the Imperial style: the pearl egg, which was designed by an in-house team. Hidden inside the egg, is a precious 12.17ct grey pearl from the Arabian Gulf.
For those who feel they need to own a Fabergé egg of their own: teeny enamelled and jewelled egg charms and pendants are included in the fine jewellery collection.
It’s all part of reviving the magical brand of which Gilbertson is now the custodian: “If you think of all the wonderful brands that exist in the world, none come with the combination of history, legacy, heritage, and legend of the House of Fabergé,” he says.
Fabergé jewellery is available in South Africa at Vienna Jewellers, Shop 94, Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria