Qannati Objet d’Art makes intricate bespoke sculptures for the wrist that tell an individual’s story
In a world where our phone is a watch and our watch is a phone, the need has arisen for something different. Something special that is beautiful and unquestionably unique. This was the thinking of Mahmood Qannati, founder of Qannati Objet d’Art, who sought to create a new form of jewellery, reaching into the distant past to design something today that would represent the future. This takes the form of stunning and intricate bespoke sculptures for the wrist, each piece containing precious gems and personal material to tell an individual’s life story.
“We live in a world where time passes by so fast,” says Mahmood, who set up his company in 2018. “We have our phones delivering one million notifications every minute, and all that makes us anxious. I wanted to create something that would take you to those moments in time that are precious to you, and which will bring you peace. You choose that moment and then my designers transform it into a personal museum for your wrist. There is no limit to what we can do.”
As examples of what can be accomplished by these gifted artisans, Mahmood cites one extraordinary piece designed around the theme of space, which uses minute pieces of actual meteorite and a tiny metallic space shuttle crafted from a former Nasa spaceship. Designs can be modelled on hobbies – vintage cars or planes, for instance – as well as professional milestones and personal achievements – marriages, anniversaries or children – often incorporating material of emotional value supplied by the customer. Mahmood himself wears a bracelet that holds an emerald that once belonged to his mother; surrounded by black diamonds, it is held on the wrist with a sporty rubber strap. Each item is presented in a beautiful custom-designed box.
Qannati Objet d’Art produces immaculate watches, as well as bracelets. One historic template is the ornate decorative bracelets worn on both wrists by the kings of Mesopotamia around 5,000 years ago as a symbol of status and individuality. Another design influence is Einstein’s theory of time and space. “We believe that if you want to tell the full story you need space and time – the bracelet is space and the watch is time. Our pieces can be worn by men and women. There is great demand from men for personalised products, but not enough options. An increasing number of men are braver in how they showcase themselves and they love to wear jewellery – a watch or a bracelet – that resonates with their personality and tells their personal story.”
These precious items are crafted in France, created by two singular talents whose skills make the process a rewarding and revealing part of the journey, from inception to realisation. Frédéric Mané is the company’s Artistic Director; he meets the clients and designs a piece of art with them. “He decides what material and gemstones to use,” says Mahmood. “He follows an art therapy process, so he can ask the right questions and lead you through a journey. As you talk, he sketches, so that you will see yourself portrayed in his illustrations.”
These illustrations are then sent to sculptor-jeweller Jothi-Sèroj, who takes the sketch and brings it to life by hand, always in dialogue with the client to fine-tune each design. “Every piece we make is one of a kind,” says Mahmood, “because every person, every moment and every story is unique.”