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Flight of the Falcon

gulfconnoisseur April 26, 2012 0

Amidst gasps of wonder Parmigiani’s ‘Falcon,’ a valuable objet d’art worth 15 million Qatari Riyals, was unveiled with much fanfare at the Doha 9th Jewellery and Watch Exhibition for the first time. And it’s not merely an innovative automated table clock from Switzerland, it’s much more…

The ‘Falcon’ created by Parmigiani Fleurier, depicting all the grace and strength of the bird of prey, is a brilliant interpretation of the Middle Eastern tradition of falconry and pays homage to the famous animal sculptor, Edouard-Marcel Sandoz. Parmigiani has used some of his techniques like silverwork in creating this unique work of art.
Sculpted in polished silver, the falcon majestically spreads its wings – with every contour highlighted by 6000 drop-set brilliant-cut diamonds – accentuating the sheer breadth of its wingspan. Creation of the extremely complex piece required 1800 hours of work, apart from mastery of the techniques of chasing and buffing of the precious metal to perfect its form. The beak and talons, symbols of its legendary strength, are made of gold. The cap, atop of its head, is set with brilliant-cut white diamonds, again in keeping with the finest traditions of hand-setting.
In a style inspired by Art Deco, the striking tension of the lines and the movement of the piece as a whole are highlighted as the bird is depicted mid-swoop, about to pounce on its prey, which is a bustard fabricated from finely forged metal. From its perch on a sandbank, formed of mineralised smoky quartz, representing the desert, the falcon relentlessly pursues its prey.
The bustard cannot evade the falcon, which seizes it six times every hour. At irregular intervals, a mechanism housed in the base, allows the bustard to escape the claws of its predator, which is relentlessly on its tail, symbolic of the perseverance and tenacity of the falcon. A gong placed within the mechanism chimes each time the bustard makes its escape.
The cage supporting the base, in smoky quartz cut into a block of special glass from Brazil, is made from silver chased with a rosette pattern and set with baguette-cut diamonds. The hour ring on the clock is set with white and chocolate baguette diamonds using a semi-invisible technique.