Fashion

Keeping time with 22 carats

Nuwaira is a 22-karat dainty gold watch with pink floral meenakari work on an enamel bracelet strap   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The dress code is Indian. The dinner, themed around jewels of India. The entertainment, a contemporary dance and kathak performance (by the Natya STEM Dance Kampni) woven around the intricate workmanship and technique of filigree and the fine art of nazakat or grace. The evening was a celebration of Titan Nebula’s limited edition collections — Nazakat, Filigree, and the soon-to-launch Nakashi — just in time for the festive season.

Tapping into India’s obsession with gold, these timepieces marry Indian jewellery-making with watch-making techniques. The line features watches in solid gold, with some encrusted with pearls, diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. While Nazakat (inspired by the royal courts of Gujarat and Rajasthan) is a collection of handcrafted, single-edition kundan polki watches embellished with intricate meenakari work, Filigree uses a technique perfected over a century to create a “bouquet of fine gold threads [laid out] with intricate patterns on the dial and bracelet”. Chief design officer Revathi Kant explains, “We felt that there is an immense potential in bringing to life traditional artisanal jewellery-making techniques.”

The collections have been conceptualised post in-depth market and trend research, according to Kant. “The Nebula factory in Hosur is the only gold watch manufacturing unit in India. The more intricate work, which in this case is filigree, kundan-polki or nakashi is done by expert craftsmen either at our Karigar Park or at special centres across India. There are nearly 300 people whose work along the value chain translates into a single watch,” she says.

I stop to admire some of the timepieces displayed at the dinner at The Leela Palace Bengaluru. They have been inspired by the elegant loops and flourishes of Kufic calligraphy, the sharp angularity of the Siddham script and feature delicate mother-of-pearl dials with crafted filigree gold domes on straps. My favourites are Aneeq — an ornate filigree dial with four diamonds paired with a rather contemporary tanned leather strap, and Nuwaira, a 22-karat dainty gold watch with pink floral meenakari work on an enamel bracelet strap.

As part of its 2018 festive range, and to mark its 20th year of existence, Titan Nebula is also launching the Nakashi line. It is an ode to this 300-year-old technique — which largely features gold beads and intricate detailing — as well as the temples of south India. “This collection will bring together intricate filigree gold-wire work, motifs inspired by stamping techniques, elaborate rava (a kind of granulation ornamentation from Gujarat) detailing and exquisite antique finishes. We are also aiming at making variants in this collection more accessible within the premium segment, without compromising on design-differentiation and exclusivity,” says Kant.

At ₹29,000 onwards for the Filigree collection and ₹1.75 lakh onwards for the Kundan Polki collection. Available at select World of Titan stores, Helios, Shoppers Stop, Titan.co.in, Caratlane.com and select authorised dealers.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 5:42:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/keeping-time-with-22-carats/article25403117.ece

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