Backes And Strauss Berkeley 33: The Diamond-Encrusted Timepiece Of Aristocratic Splendor

THM Desk
21 Feb 2024 |
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In the world of luxury timepieces, one name stands out for its unparalleled dedication to both diamond craftsmanship and horological excellence: Backes & Strauss. Founded in 1789 in Hanau, Germany, Backes & Strauss holds the esteem of being the oldest diamond company in the world. What began as a modest diamond procurement office has since blossomed into a fine watch manufacturer, synonymous with exquisite diamond watches that are as much a work of art as they are a timekeeping instrument.

Berkeley 33 with an alligator leather strap

A part of the Swiss Franck Muller Group, the brand maintains its unique identity, catering to those who aspire to belong to the elite "ruling class." Their Berkeley collection is a prime example of a striking statement watch that exudes luxury.

The Maison and The Philosophy
At the heart of Backes & Strauss philosophy is a deep-seated reverence for diamonds. Unlike traditional horology Maisons, Backes & Strauss places the diamond at the forefront of its creations, using it as the focal point around which each timepiece is meticulously crafted. This unique approach not only showcases the brand's mastery of diamond cutting and setting but also offers it a differentiation.

One of the hallmarks of Backes & Strauss' diamond expertise is its use of ideal cuts, particularly the hearts and arrows motifs. These cuts are considered the pinnacle of diamond craftsmanship, requiring exceptional precision and skill to achieve. When combined with the brand's fine horology movements, manufactured with the borrowed horological leverage and expertise of Frank Muller, each Backes & Strauss timepiece becomes a masterpiece of both aesthetic beauty and technical prowess.

Brown Dial, Brown Roman hand-polished numerals

Over its 230 years of existence, Backes & Strauss has stayed true to its heritage while continuously innovating and evolving. Today, the brand offers a range of exclusive bejeweled watches such as the Berkeley 33, that embody the timeless elegance and unparalleled quality that have become synonymous with the Backes & Strauss name.

An Ideal Adornment for the Aristocracy
The Berkeley 33 timepiece serves the impression of being an effortless display of one’s status. A lot of it has to do with the diamonds that embellish this square-shaped timepiece. Finding inspiration for its name and shape from one of London’s great squares, Berkeley Square, this piece translates the traditional English watchmaking codes founded on ‘form and function over exuberance’ into an artfully coveted design.

The richness of English architectural flamboyance and an undying focus on technological innovation reign supreme in this dainty but dazzling piece. With a choice of bezel garnished with one or two rows of diamonds, the Berkeley 33 is as fashionable as a timepiece could get. The single jewel row iteration gets a total of 79 diamonds of 3.99 cts in total while the double diamond row version gets 209 stones of 2.15 cts. The angular case shape, a textured dial and a reliable Swiss powerhouse give the timepiece a somewhat familiar essence which despite being avant-garde in every sense of the word, feels at home on every wrist.

White dial, white Roman hand-polished numerals

If you have let go of the usual midlife crisis phenomena of fashioning a diamond watch but still drool over the angled case and refined nuances embracing a unique heritage, then a mirror polished stainless steel Berkeley 33 is the answer to your desires. Features like the diamond stamping on the dial and the ‘jewel in the crown’, an actual 0.09 cts diamond hand-set into the watch crown give the Berkeley 33 a special aura.

33mm steel case

In a world where luxury is often defined by fleeting trends, Backes & Strauss stands as a testament to the enduring allure of true craftsmanship and heritage. The Backes & Strauss Berkeley 33 is not just a watch, but a symbol of a legacy that has spanned centuries, making it a cherished possession for generations to come.

Featured here are two Berkeley 33’s - a beautiful chocolate brown dial with hand-polished shiny Roman numerals engulfed in a 33mm steel case and true the brands DNA another Berkeley on white gold with a diamond encrusted bezel. Both these watches can be viewed at Rose- The Watch Bar in Mumbai.