Earth is 4.5 billion years old; a length of time so immeasurable, it challenges human imagination and comprehension. Its secrets, like pieces of a fragmented puzzle, are scattered across its vast expanse, hidden within the keepers of its geological legacy: the rocks, landforms and treasures born out of its crust, the gemstones. In the skilled hands of Francesca Amfitheatrof, artistic director of watches and jewellery at Louis Vuitton, these snippets of Earth’s story, each narrated by diamonds, rubies, emeralds and a myriad of other coloured gems, are brought together into Deep Time. This is the French luxury maison’s latest high jewellery collection and a magnum opus about an epic journey through the ages, from the birth of the planet to the creation of life.
Deep Time marks Amfitheatrof’s fifth high jewellery collection for the maison and is also its largest to date with 170 unique pieces. It is explored in two acts, Geology and Life, which are further divided into 16 themes and will be released in two chapters. The current release is the first chapter, comprising 95 pieces across 13 themes. The first act, Geology, encompasses five themes: Gondwana, Volcano, Wave, Rupture and Drift. The second act, Life, debuts with eight themes: Origin, Myriad, Fossils, Plants, Flight, Bones, Seeds and Flowers.
The saga of Deep Time begins 600 million years back in time with Gondwana. Named for the ancient supercontinent that corresponds to present-day South America, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica, the theme is an expression of the intrinsic connections that unite our planet’s seven continents. A total of 259 custom-cut diamonds lend incredible dimension to seven platinum rings, which have been arranged into a multi-row collar that encircles the neck in a concentric design. Seven no-oil Colombian emeralds are set on and between the rings into a ‘v’ formation as a nod to Louis Vuitton’s signature V motif. Sitting at the very tip of the ‘v’ is a 4.51-carat emerald in a mesmerising blue- green hue.
Wave is the theme inspired by the tsunamis that cooled Earth after the series of seismic activities that broke Gondwana up into the continents we know today. Dangling from a diamond-set collar necklace that’s designed to mimic a surging wave curling over itself is a flawless 6.19-carat LV Monogram Flower-cut diamond. Suspended from it, like a single, perfect droplet of water, is one of the highlight stones of the collection—an oval-cut, 40.80-carat sapphire with a velvet-like, royal blue hue that can be detached and worn as a necklace on its own.
Drift rounds off the first act, celebrating the dawn of a new geological age with yellow sapphires and aquamarines that paint an ode to the sun and sea. This theme is also about balance—of the sun’s warmth with the sea’s cool depths, and of fire with water. With equilibrium achieved, the second act, Life, can begin.
Origin is a tribute to the beginning of life, inspired by the idea of a single cell that grows and multiplies. Here, the cell takes on the form of a flawless D-colour, 10.21-carat brilliant-cut diamond that steals the spotlight in a necklace. Lines of diamonds descend from the necklace chain, swirling and converging around the centre stone in a spiral design to allude to the infinite cycle of life. Bracelets and earrings complete this all-diamond suite, which is realised in white gold to achieve a pure, all-white sparkle.
Myriad, the second theme in the act of Life, is dedicated to evolution. The double-helix structure of a DNA strand is captured by the unique construction of a necklace featuring a row of diamonds, each set on the tip of a protruding stem. The stems form a wave that curves asymmetrically around the neck. Each stem is set en tremblant, a French term that describes the technique of mounting jewellery components on thin, pliable metal wires so that they tremble when the wearer moves. Below the glittering crest of the gem-set wave, a 4.11-carat LV Monogram Star-cut diamond catches the eye; it’s detachable and can be worn on its own as a separate necklace.
In its eponymous theme, Bones, the scaffold of the human form, have inspired a bib-style necklace that takes its admirers on a journey across continents. Dangling below 91.74 carats of emerald- cut tanzanites from Tanzania are a 43.58-carat opal from Australia and a 20.93-carat pear-cut Paraiba tourmaline from Mozambique. Behind the opal and tourmaline is a glittering backdrop formed by 260 custom-cut diamonds. The fully articulated necklace is a transformable masterpiece that can be worn four different ways. It’s part of a suite that also comprises solitaire opal rings, opal brooches, and earrings set with emeralds.