Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Somewhat Disturbing: History of Glow-in-the-Dark Watches

It seems that virtually all things can be transformed into “glow in the dark” these days. When it comes to watches, this feature has been around for quite some time. Many pieces offered illuminated dials and bright faces to make underwater and dark time-telling a breeze. You may find that the history behind this type of accessory addition is somewhat interesting and to some a little disturbing.

Did you know:
  • In the 18-19th centuries, watchmakers boiled down volcanic rock and painted the dial to create sheen on the face of timepieces
  • Radioactive radium was added shortly thereafter, as it would emit particles that would give off a glow-like effect
  • Radium infused paint was created in the 20th century and added to dials and hands of the watches, green was the color of choice
  • In 1914 an American company (U.S Radium Corp) began to mine radium and produced radium paints
  • Thousands of US workers, mainly women, were hired to apply the paint to hundreds of dials a day
  • Not until the 1990’s was a non radioactive product introduced to the market

Although these basic facts give us a timeline, there is a history behind glow in the dark watches. Unfortunately, it was discovered that when workers would lick the tips of their paintbrushes to create a pointed edge, the dangerous material (radium) would be ingested. Many workers would become very sick and there were deaths as a result of this. It was some time into the 1920’s that a group of employees banded together to bring a lawsuit against the company. These ladies were known as the “Radium Girls”. As a direct result of this, the factory was ultimately shut down and new regulations were established.
Radium was no longer used as a form of illumination and another material called tritium was introduced. Although this is also a radioactive material, it is far less harmful and much more regulated. Ultimately though, the use of any matter that is radioactive in nature was prohibited. Chemists and engineers worked on an alternate source for glow in the dark painting and illuminating products.
Super LumiNova was revealed to the world in the 1990’s. This amazing product had the ability to glow at night while being “charged up” in the sun during the day. This is composed of a form of phosphorescent pigmentation, also called lume. This is the brand that is used to this very day.

 To browse through an endless inventory of pre-owned and new luxury timepieces, click this link 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Traditional vs. the SMART Watch: Who Wins?

Apple versus Tradition, who is winning this one?

With decades of luxury timepieces and designer influenced works of art, it is hard to imagine that the world is going to convert entirely to technology based jewelry. This is a hot debate, however, as we are seeing more and more "smart" things adorning bodies in many facets.

It was only a few short months ago that Apple has revealed their new SMART watch, although these will not be available to purchase until some time next year. This "watch" is getting attention and although it does have some fairly cool features, the more traditional watch is hardly a comparison.  Although this concept is not new, Apple is expected to retail more glamorous versions- offering a blend of both high tech function and trending style. While we can all appreciate the desire to make these timepieces fashionable, the truth is, they are in no way intended to compete with tradition.  Apple has designed these to work together with the newer versions of the iphone. Applications such as multiple time zones, health monitoring, Twitter, Facebook and GPS walking/driving directions are just a few of the features becoming available in the form of a watch.

It is highly doubtful that giants such as Rolex and TAG Heuer will be put out of business by the technology of Apple's new phone-band wristwatch. This is still a hot debate and only a matter of opinion, of course...we shall wait for the market to dictate the true "winner".

                                                                                High End Luxury Timepieces

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ring Builder: Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring


When it comes to setting the budget, there are a few ways the suitor can plan ahead. Options such as establishing a monthly payment arrangement, low interest installment plans and direct financing are just a few of the possibilities.

The most important thing is to choose and purchase the ring that she wants and not necessarily the ring you can afford now. becoming comfortable with a payment plan that fits into your budget is often the best solution for couples.

Choosing the Setting:
Now that you have established your financial "comfort zone", it is now time to "build your ring", first stop: Settings.
There are endless variation when it comes to selecting the settings of a ring, however these 4 basics are the most popular choices: Soltiare, Side Stone, Vintage/Antique and Three Stone.

Solitaire: This consists of a single stone with  prongs that permit the exquisite diamond to catch and reflect the most light and brilliance. It is important to know that while a 4 prong system showcases more of the gem, 6 prongs is more secure. 
                                                                    Click here to access Ring Builder site 

Side Stone: This style is created when diamonds or other gemstones are added to the band to increase color, sparkle and thickness. The most popular selection is the "Channel". This is created by keeping the additional stones flush, providing security of the stones and allowing more light.

Three Stone: This ring consists of 3 stones which represent- the Past..The Present..The Future. The significance of this ring is often the reason behind its selection.Although these are most often 3 diamonds, colored gemstones have been trending over the last few years. In some cases, the future bride chooses a diamond and his and her birthstones.

Vintage-inspired: This includes ‘halo’ settings which feature a center diamond with pavé diamonds surrounding it. 
Estate and antique inspired settings are most frequently composed of intricate engraving and filigree.This setting is traditonally the "halo" which features a diamond in the middle with pave diamonds all around. Pavé is many small diamonds that are set very close together, sometimes in a specific pattern.

Click here to access Ring Builder site 


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