Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The ABCs of Watch Terminology, Part 2

In an earlier post, we reviewed some basic watch terminology that refers to the outside of a timepiece — from the case to the bezel, dial, crown and lugs. Today, we take this to the next level, where we identify some of the other features/functions you may find on a watch.

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Subsidiary Dial/Subdial. Often, instead of having three hands to tell the hours, minutes and seconds, a watch may have only the hours and seconds shown using hands, and may have a smaller subsidiary dial (subdial) — usually at 6 o’clock — to show the only the seconds. This is generally an added aesthetic feature.

Minute track. Some watches have an outer track on the dial that is used to measure minutes. It looks like a tiny railroad track running along the outer portion of the dial. It is designed to make reading of the minutes even easier.

(The image, above, shows both a subdial and a minute track on the outer edge.)

Push pieces. Especially on a chronograph (a watch that times events), a watch case will feature push pieces. These are added pushers (usually above and below the crown on the side of the case) that activate the added function. In the case of a chronograph, the added push pieces start and start the timing of the event. There are some other functions that can have push pieces, as well. Generally, whenever a watch has a protrusion on the case side other than the crown, it has some added function.

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Tachymeter. Often sport watches will have a scale on the bezel that enables the wearer to calculate speed based on travel time, or to measure distance based on speed. The scale is inscribed with numbers and spaces that are proportional so the wearer can convert elapsed time to speed, etc. There are also a host of other types of meters a watch can have, but that is a subject for another post. Stay tuned.



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Thursday, August 3, 2017

The ABCs of Watch Terminology, Part 1

We often have customers ask us questions, such as “Is it a dial or a face?” or “What do you call the stem on the watch at 3 o’clock?” The truth is, watch terminology can be daunting, and while many connoisseurs and watch lovers have the terms down pat, newbies to the art of loving watches may not. For this reason, today we bring you a simple glossary of terms that define the “look” of a watch.

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Photo courtesy of Wostep (Watchmaking School) shows case, dial, hands and crown.

A complete watch consists of a case, hands (sometimes), dial (sometimes), crown, glass or sapphire cover, case back and a movement inside. Sure, there are more parts, but these are the basics.

Case. The outer metal casing (usually in steel, titanium, ceramic or a noble metal) that holds the watch movement inside, along with the dial, etc. This may seem obvious, but some of our customers call it the “head of the watch,” while others call it “the actual watch.”

Crystal. This is the clear protective covering that enables one to view the time. Most crystals are made of hardened mineral glass or sapphire, but in inexpensive watches, there is also a plexiglass or plastic material for the crystal.

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Bezel. On some watches, the outer ring that surrounds the dial is referred to as the bezel. Sometimes the bezel is made of the same material as the case, but often, especially in sports watches, it is created of different materials, such as aluminium or ceramic. Some bezels may indicate dive time or some other measurement — and they are usually able to rotate either unidirectionally or one way, depending on the function of the bezel. In dress watches, the bezel is often adorned with diamonds or gemstones.

 

Caseback. Every case has a back. That back is usually made of the metal that the case is made of, or it is made of the material the crystal is made of. In luxury watches, transparent sapphire casebooks allow for viewing of the complex mechanical movement inside.

Crown. Often referred to as the stem, the crown (typically, but not always, at 3:00 on the case) is used for winding a mechanical watch and for setting the time and date (if there is one).

Lugs. Lugs are the part of the case watch that protrude from the case and attach it to the bracelet or strap. Often referred to as case-to-bracelet attachments, lugs are sometimes integrated into the case.

Metal Strap

Strap/Bracelet. The word strap is generally used to refer to fabric, leather, rubber, canvas, silk or other material. The word bracelet is usually used to refer to a “strap” made of metal. So, the steel, gold, titanium, etc., that wraps around the wrist is a bracelet. Most bracelets are made of multiple rows of links, or are woven mesh designs referred to as Milanese.

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Dial. Often called a face (and not incorrectly), the dial of the watch is where the numerals, markers hands and sometimes other information is placed. Not all watches have a dial. Skeletonized watches, for instance usually skip the dial and display the hands in an unobtrusive way so that one can see right through the watch and into the movement.

Hands. The hands point to the hours, minutes or seconds. Not all watches use hands to indicate the time. In the luxury watch world, some watches display time linearly, through apertures or via satellites.

These are the basics of every watch. There are a host of other terms we can explain, but we will hold that post for a later time. In the meantime, stop in any time to talk watches with us.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

It’s All About the Rubies: July’s Red Hot Birthstone

Some fast facts:rubyblog

  • Birthstone of July
  • Gift choice for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries
  • Gemstone for the Zodiac sign of Capricorn
  • The ruby, as a color of the heart, inspires passion and romance.
  • Many of the earliest tales about rubies come from India where the stone was mined as long as 2,500 years ago.
  • Ancient tribes used rubies as bullets for blowguns.
  • When rubbed on the skin, a ruby was thought to restore ones youth.  (worth a try?)
  • Ancient lore says that if a ruby is worn on the left hand it will bring good fortune to its wearer

 

Lucky news for those born in July, your birthstone is the always fascinating and precious Ruby. This magnificent gem is one of the most historically significant colored stones, with four references in the Bible, and often called the “king of precious stones.” From the Latin word ruber, which means “red”, the ruby has been called the most precious of the 12 stones created by God.

Desire and lore surrounding this gem is vast and entrenched in legend and verse.  As far back as the first century AD, the Roman scholar Pliny included rubies in his Natural History, describing their hardness and density. Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the god Krishna were granted rebirth as emperors. Hindus also divided the ruby into four castes, calling the true Oriental ruby a Brahmin. Someone in possession of a Brahmin was believed to have the advantage of perfect safety.Ruby Flower Ring04

People in India believed that rubies enabled their owners to live in peace with their enemies. In Burma, warriors possessed rubies to make them unbeatable in battle. However, it wasn’t enough to just wear the rubies. They had to insert the precious stones into their skin and make them part of their bodies.

Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. In China, a Mandarin’s rank was indicated by the color of the stone in his ruby ring. A red jewel stone meant he was a key figure among the great. In the 1880’s, French jewelers called the ruby the gem of all gems or the dearly loved stone.

It is a gemstone steeped deep in history, since rubies have adorned many houses of royalty with its rich, passionate, and fiery brilliance. The ruby is discussed by Marco Polo in his writings.  In prehistoric eastern cultures, the ruby was said to shield its wearer from enemy strikes. Ruby is said to have the ability to inspire courage, and prosperity, while developing one’s gifts of intuition and various psychic gifts.

The color alone is associated with some of our most intense emotions—love and anger, passion and fury. Ruby is associated with objects of power and desire as the lush hue signifies wealth and success.

Today, ruby reigns supreme as a highly coveted gem with countless variations of shapes, size, tones, and price.  A flawless ruby can cost more than any other gemstone, including diamonds. Based on the tenure of this gem’s status as best-in-class, it will certainly remain a fixture in fine jewelry for many generations to come.



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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Watches and Water Resistance: Is Your Watch Ready to Take the Plunge?

Summer has arrived, and with it comes a host of wonderful outdoor activities — most of which involve water. Before you dive in, make sure the watch on your wrist is ready to take the plunge with you.waterresistance3

 

Even though a watch may say it is water resistant, it may not be resistant enough — plain and simple. In order for a watch to be classified as water resistant — and to rate the depth to which it can be submerged — it has to undergo rigorous pressure tests. If your watch doesn’t say water resistant, it isn’t. Panerai

If the watch you are wearing says it is water resistant, it will typically have the depth to which it can be worn. It’s important to note that watch brands use a number of methods to mark their watches for water resistance, including feet, meters, Bars and ATM (atmospheres). To simplify these terms, we offer some basic breakdowns:

1 Meter = 3 feet rounded (actual is 3.28 feet)

1 Bar = 33 feet rounded (actual is 33.455 feet)

1 ATM = 1 Bar or 33 feet rounded

water resistance

No watch is water resistant to just three feet or 1 meter. Most will say 5 bar, 10 bar, 20 bar and up, for instance. You can find the markings denoting the water resistance of the watch either on the dial or on the caseback.

Generally, a good rule of thumb is if a watch isn’t water resistant to at least 50 or 100 feet it shouldn’t go in a pool. For instance, if a watch is water resistant to 30 feet, it may not have water-tight gaskets or screw-in crowns, and water could seep inside when the watch is exposed to pressure or direct flow. Our guidelines: We will swim with a watch that has a screw-in crown and is water resistant to at least 200 meters. We will dive with one that is resistant to at least 300 meters. Additionally, never operate the crown or try to set the watch while in the water or while it is wet.

waterresistance3.png

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Top Bridal Jewelry Trends for Summer

Your wedding day is a glorious celebration of love and coming together, but let’s face it; as the bride, all eyes will be on you. Accessorizing for your wedding day can be a bit of a challenge, but we took the  biggest trends from the runways as well as brides-to-be on Pinterest, to create a top trends list that is sure to stir up some inspiration for your own look.

Read below to find a summary of the top jewelry trends and a selection of some of our pieces in a variety of price ranges that compliment each look. Many even combine multiple trends for a truly stylish and versatile accessory that can be worn well after your wedding day.

Statement Earrings

While this look might not be for everyone; everyone who took a peek at this year’s bridal fashion shows agreed that statement earrings were big. (Literally and figuratively)

Rose Gold

Brides have been loving rose gold for it’s warm and romantic feel and this summer is no different.

 

Dainty Details

Many contemporary brides are showing their love for minimalist design with simple pieces that add a subtle accent for a clean look.

 

Chokers

Neck embellishments add a unique spin on the traditional necklace and designers love it! Not to mention they also go great with off the shoulder gowns which are the biggest dress trend on Pinterest.

Pearls

Pearls have always been a classic staple for the bride, but today’s bridal designers are using pearls in new and fun ways such as layering and as hair accessories.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #1 TAG Heuer Connected Modular

We have finally made it to our number one!

 connected

With the same forward-thinking approach that inspired them to launch the first TAG Heuer Connected watch last year, it’s no surprise that TAG continues to hone its product by introducing the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45.

 TAG Heuer Connected

While TAG’s original smartwatch gave its wearer the ability to customize the dial and display of the watch, the Modular takes this one step further. Now, not only can the dial be customized, but the lugs and strap can be easily swapped out as well, and if you miss the feeling of a mechanical watch on the wrist, Tag offers a mechanical module that can also be swapped in.

For those who really want everything this system has to offer, Tag even offers a module with a bone fide tourbillon. All told, there are over fifty variations of the Connected Modular available at launch. As with the original version, the Connected Modular stands as proof of TAG Heuer’s philosophy that while the watch world may be rapidly changing, there is a way to hold onto the past and look forward at the same time.

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You will have the opportunity to play around with this groundbreaking piece (and you will definitely want to) at our exclusive pop-up shop during Watch Fair or check out our Facebook live video Saturday at 10:30am where we will be getting up close and personal with this piece.



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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #2 Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante

new breitling

A rattrapante features two seconds hands attached to the chronograph module; starting the chronograph triggers both hands to start simultaneously, a second push stops the first second hand while the second continues tracking time, and a third push catches the stopped hand up to the moving hand.

 

This complication is no easy feat to design, and not only has Breitling developed its own in-house rattrapante for its newest edition of the iconic Navitimer, but it also integrated into the movement an isolating mechanism to improve efficiency, a design that required two patents by itself. Breitling calls this version of the Navitimer “The Ultimate Mechanical Chronograph,” and it’s hard to disagree. breitling

 

The Navitimer Rattrapante is available in two case materials, steel and red gold, and features an exclusive bronze-colored dial, and a discreet date window at 4:30. Other than those changes, this new model looks the part with the Navitimer’s instantly-recognizable design.

 

The movement is nicely decorated and visible through a sapphire caseback, and the automatic movement has a minimum power reserve of 70 hours. It’s not often that such an iconic toolwatch gets such a significant, sophisticated upgrade to its interior, but by doing so, Breitling has given us the ultimate package.

 navitimer-rattrapante-steel_02-2

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