This highly unusual and elegant novel suite comprises 17 sapphires with a total weight of approx. 2.79 cts, 16 diamonds of approx. 1.65 cts and 15 emeralds of approx 1.97 cts.
It was made for the “Montres & Bijoux” exhibition taking place from 9 September to 1 October 1961 at Geneva's celebrated Rath Museum. This exhibition was established in 1959 to award the most innovative creation in the watchmaking and jewellery industry of Geneva. The present “parure” signed Patek Philippe is a typical Gilbert Albert design from the period. According to the famous Geneva jeweller, it was designed to contest the traditional way of producing jewellery with the help of a polishing machine. This very unusual and contemporary design deliberately reminds us of unpolished gold nuggets or rocky ground evoking the beauty of native gold. It was very innovative at the time and reveals the resolutely modern and visionary attitude resulting from the inventive collaboration between Patek Philippe and Gilbert Albert.
Gilbert Albert was born in Geneva in 1930. After studying Jewellery and Designing at Geneva's Ecole des Arts Industriels, he joined Patek Philippe as designer and head of the workshop. During the seven years with the celebrated manufacturer, he created the firm's most daring designs, most notably the asymmetrical models from the famous "Ricochet" series. Gilbert Albert took his inspiration from his passion for modern art, notably works by Brancusi and Mondrian, his daring and unconventional case designs are considered as cutting-edge today as they were 50 years ago.
His outstanding creations gained the prestigious 'Oscar' award at the Diamonds International Awards no less than ten times, three for Patek Philippe, two for Omega and five times under his own name. In 1962 he opened his own workshop in Geneva, specializing in the design and manufacture of unique jewels and objects. Gilbert Albert handles material in a supreme manner, shaping precious metal and mixing rare stones in an unconventional blend made of dreams, delicacy and magic.
Over the years, Albert's work has been exhibited around the world from London to Tokyo, Johannesburg to New York. In 1991 he was the first living artist since 1917 to be invited to show his creations in the Moscow Kremlin. Every year, Gilbert Albert launches new creations such as "Scarabées et Bijoux", "Les Bijoux de la Nature", "Météorites et Bijoux", "Les Joyaux de la Mer", "Les Porcelaines de la Nature", "Les Uniques", "Les Joyaux Coralliens", the shapes combined with the materials used paying tribute to his genius.