J.J. Loves: To Infinity and Beyond with Geneva’s Most Dazzling Gem-Setter

Pierre Salanitro is the whispered name you need to know.

Welcome to J.J. Loves, a monthly column devoted to showcasing her forever favorites but also her latest discoveries across the world. Follow her on Instagram here

Just outside Geneva, Pierre Salanitro, a former banker, can be found in a nondescript office space. You may not know his name, but he conceptualizes and creates some of the world’s most wondrous gem-set watches for the likes of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Tiffany & Co. Famous for discretion — what and for whom is rarely discussed — upon seeing the wall of timepieces highlighting his meticulous work, you can easily understand why. Having recently garnered an investment from Patek Philippe in 2022, it’s evident that the man sets the standard in the industry. 

Upon meeting Salanitro, it was obvious that he was not meant for the rigidity of banking, let alone Swiss banking. Immediately disarming my intimidation with a charming smile and childlike imagination, his enthusiasm was apparent. With incredible excitement, he explained elements of the creative process and work ethic; the differences between snow and invisible gem-setting (the two most difficult skills), and most impressively, the mindset of never restraining one’s dreams.   

Salanitro is no stranger to beautiful things. After founding his brand over thirty years ago, he’s responsible for creating some of the most eye-watering baguette-set bezels and diamond-dusted dials. Though it’s part of the brand’s DNA, watches were not the reason for my visit, just a mere catalyst. Like any true creator, he cannot limit oneself to just one area and last spring S by Salanitro was launched. The label is a venture with no limits — a dream of the founder was to expand into jewelry and exceptional objects.

Every meticulously crafted piece in the S by Salanitro universe is best described as being  driven by his own “dreams and emotions.” That’s demonstrated in eye-catching delights like masks inspired by countries of the world, a mirror featuring a skull consisting of almost 1,300 gems or the now infamous backgammon board. Made with patented Swiss wood and leather, each of the 20 checkers are circled with black diamonds or blue sapphires. The set’s pièce de résistance? The doubling cube, which is accentuated by 137 black diamonds. This set along with the masks and a few embargoed pieces I was lucky enough to see are the embodiment of luxury — objects that demonstrate the utmost quality in craftsmanship juxtaposed with irreverence and an inordinate amount of fun.   

While the objects are a highlight, my eyes instantly went to their latest endeavor: jewelry. I’m known for my love of watches, but these designs inspire a new level of excitement. Taking three years to come to fruition, the line is bold yet emotional. Standouts include a dainty gold bracelet, anchored by obviously a Salanitro signature mask, and includes a diamond pave circle of diamonds and ruby accents. It’s seemingly simple yet the distinct details are imperative for an introductory jewelry line. The most striking creation is the Sacrifice ring, adorned with diamonds and tsavorite while a similar pair of earrings with its 98 diamonds is the perfect everyday statement accessory. These creations represent the ethos of S by Salanitro — dare to dream and don’t limit yourself within the bounds of your comfort, especially when it comes to something as decadent and delightful as design.    

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