Rihanna has an eye for excellent jewellery. Over time, she’s built an unrivalled collection of vintage, one-off and bespoke pieces that she wears every day, often styled with her equally sought-after ready-to-wear finds.
Jewellery was central to her pregnancy announcement look: she draped her growing belly with a vintage Lacroix pendant and layered necklaces, and wrapped Chanel chains around her waist. Eagle-eyed fans will have spotted the dazzling piece on her wrist, too—a vintage Rolex customised by jeweller Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura. “It just looks so natural. It’s made for her!” Pat—as she’s also known—tells British Vogue.
Rihanna’s statement timepiece is from Patcharavipa’s Offset vintage watch series, released under her eponymous brand last summer. Rih was first in line to buy the prized item, and was seen with her cherished piece on her wrist in September.
The singer reportedly “loves” the 1970s King Midas Rolex, which was sourced by Kenzi Harleman, Pat’s partner, before she customised it. “I hunt as if I were digging for treasure; I love the way the watches are just unique,” says Kenzi. Pat agrees: “Kenzi has a really particular taste, and loves watches that are imperfect—patina is great.”
Pat regards the 1970s as “such an amazing era when it comes to watch design,” so she wanted to keep the timepiece “as original as possible”. The added details beautifully complement the existing angular design. The strap features a checkered texture—inspired by Patcharavipa’s signature Thai etching used throughout her jewellery range—hand-engraved by Patcharavipa’s in-house goldsmith. “It was all handmade as we like to keep the tradition and appreciation of Thai craftsmanship,” asserts Pat. “That’s very Patcharavipa. Human, free-spirited and detailed.”
Keeping Thai jewellery traditions alive has been paramount for Pat from the outset. Her designs are loaded with meaning: each piece nods to her heritage, drawing inspiration from nature and the body. All of the gold used in the collections, including Patcharavipa’s signature Siam gold, is processed in Thailand, too.
The same delicate treatment has been applied to the accompanying four one-off watches in the Offset collection. A vintage white-gold Queen Midas—a slighter shape than the King model—is realised with the same checkerboard etching; a Rolex Cellini with a wooden dial and alligator strap bears a textured bezel; an ’80s-era Oyster Perpetual Date watch is emblazoned with grainy etchings and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Zephyr watch dating back to 1959 has been given an all-over Patcharavipa update.
As Rihanna knows, timeless jewellery lasts a lifetime. Some serious heirlooms are in store for her and A$AP Rocky’s first child.
This article first appeared on vogue.co.uk