Friday, April 21, 2017

Top Watch Brands Support the Environment on Earth Day and Every Day

 

This Saturday, April 22, marks Earth Day, a time to celebrate Earth and her many bounties. Many celebrate with clean-up efforts, planting trees and committing to environmental protection efforts. The annual event was begun in 1970 and nearly 200 countries around the world participate — all managed globally by the Earth Day Network.

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Today, many top watch brands also make a commitment to saving Earth’s resources. Some have programs and foundations to reforest regions of the world, others support clean-water efforts, and a host of brands support protection of our oceans.

Certain privately owned watch brands have environmental foundations that look after the causes, even offering awards and grants to those studying and pursuing investigation into conservation efforts. Brands, such as Rolex and Audemars Piguet, are top in this field. Some of the larger corporate-owned brands have different initiatives. For instance the LVMH Group (which owns Hublot, TAG Heuer, Bulgari and Zenith, among others) developed its LIFE program five years ago to make management more aware of ways to become environmentally conscious. Certain brands in the group have created their own strong messages, teaming with other organizations to bring clean drinking water to countries in need, or to save animals.

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Over at the Richemont Group (with brands, such as IWC, A. Lange & Sohne, Cartier, Baume & Mercier and others), sustainability is a big issue, and many of the brands have stepped up their commitment by making their factories incredibly advanced with special heating systems, air systems, recycling programs and more. IWC Schaffhausen also supports the Darwin Foundation and its protection of the Galapagos.

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Often these brands have special watches made in honor of the organization or the effort they are supporting. Stop in  any time and see which brands we carry that support sustainability, the environment and Earth.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Top 5 Jewelry Picks for Spring

Spring weather is finally upon us and is hopefully here to stay, because we are ready to ditch the heavy jackets and sweaters and show off some fabulous jewelry. We are very excited about this season’s trends and we picked out some of our favorite new pieces that will enhance any look for a fresh start to the spring season.

The Fringe Earring

Gold Fringe Earrings

14k yellow gold and diamond fringe earrings, $850

Statement earrings continue to be a top trend on the runway and these fringe earrings are sure to get some attention while remaining light and airy so you aren’t weighed down as the weather gets warmer.

 

Rose Gold Wire Collar Necklace

Gold Wire Necklace14k Rose Gold Flexible Wire Collar Necklace featuring 1.59ct total weight of diamonds. $3,995

On the other end of the spectrum, super simple choker and collar necklaces made appearances in many designer’s collections. Our wire necklace adds a unique touch of sparkle to your outfit whether you want to mix up a classic look or complete your edgy ensemble without overwhelming the overall style.

 

 

The Classic Gold Bangle

Yellow Gold Bangle14k Yellow Gold Hinged Bangle. $1,095

Warmer weather begs for warmer colors and a classic yellow gold bangle always does the trick. New ways to wear bracelets were a huge trend on this season’s runway, so if you are looking to shake things up a little, try wearing bangles on your arms instead of wrists.

Starburst Studs

Diamond Gemstone Studs14k Yellow Gold Starburst Earrings featuring a center stone of either opal or turquoise surrounded by diamonds. $475 each

We just love how fun these studs are!  We can see them becoming a part of a fabulous mix and match stud collection, but of course, they are also perfect for punching up a look on their own.

Black Spinel Crescent Necklace

Diamond and Black Spinel Necklace14k Yellow Gold Adjustable Black Spinel and Diamond Crescent Necklace. $995

Layering necklaces is still a top trend and also one of our favorites. This piece is a great addition because of its versatility. The black spinel gives the necklace a little more “oomph” making it a great piece to wear alone, but it is also simple enough that you can pair it with a longer necklace (or two) for a multi-faceted style.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Reflection on the Trends of BaselWorld 2017

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Well, the Baselworld 2017 watch and jewelry exhibition has come to a close and we can sit back and reflect on the trends we believe will make their way to wrists around the world this year.

Top among the trends was a revival of mixed metals. In fact, two-tone watches — with stainless steel and 18-karat rose gold coming together in one timepiece — were all the rage. In some instances two-tone watches made their appearance in an effort to usher in less expensive prices than all-gold, but in other instances, it was all about the look. A sleek rose gold bezel against a steel case has impressive appeal. However, gold isn’t stepping aside to let the two-tone looks dominate — gold is still going strong. We saw a little yellow gold emerging, but rose gold is still in vogue.

Color also gains attention this year, with beautiful dials in pale shades of pink, blue and green. Chocolate and slate gray also reign as top dial choices for both men and women. Straps emerge strongly in all hues, including bright white, orange, red, yellow and rich fall colors.

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Navitimer Rattrapante

 

As predicted, we saw a lot of sport watches, especially chronographs, making their appearance, as well. Many of those sport watches follow a theme, such as dive watches, pilot or aviation-inspired watches and auto-inspired pieces — all with rugged, yet refined, appeal.

Finally, women’s watches are stealing the limelight as more and more brands unveiled pieces dedicated to ladies. Crafted in steel, gold and other materials, the newest women’s watches are either highly classic in look, sporty chic or over-the-top with diamonds.

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Patek Philippe Calatrava

All of these trends will be flowing our way with new product in our cases throughout the year, so we invite you in any time to see the latest and greatest timepieces.



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Friday, March 31, 2017

April’s Birthstone: The Brilliant Diamond

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Arguably the most well known of the fine gemstones, diamonds have been desired by both women and men alike for thousands of years. For those of you with April birthdays, you are extra lucky to have this gem as your birthstone, because although it is a commonly used stone, it is one of the most unique and fascinating.

A diamond goes through a lot before you see it in your favorite piece of jewelry. Most diamonds formed more than a billion years ago deep in the earth under extreme heat and pressure. As the earth shifts, they are ejected violently upward until they arrive at or near the surface where they are then mined, cleaned and cut.

Besides its brilliant sparkle, diamonds are also known for their hardness. They are the hardest material on earth and can only be scratched by another diamond. This quality makes them perfect for any type of jewelry, especially rings!

When looking to buy a diamond consider the 4Cs (Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat Weight), created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the universal language of diamond quality. Any qualified jeweler will be able to tell you all about these qualities and how to use them to find your own beautiful diamond.

While diamonds are most known in their colorless state,  fancy colored diamonds have recently made an impact in the luxury jewelry world. This is due to their rarity and aesthetic combination of a diamond’s sparkle and beautiful color, that is hard to match. Diamonds naturally come in several colors including yellow, red, pink, blue and green, but only 1 in 100,000 diamonds mined display enough natural color to be designated as a fancy color diamond.  Because of this, the more vivid the color, the more expensive the stone.

Check out our diamond gift guide for something special for the April baby in your life!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

The World’s Biggest Watch Fair, BaselWorld, Starts Today

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Every year since we can remember, the world’s largest and, perhaps, most important watch exhibition, BaselWorld, has taken place in Basel, Switzerland, in March. This year, the exhibition runs from March 23 until March 30. This is a huge affair, with hundreds of watch brands unveiling their newest timepieces — watches that are sure to set wrist trends for another year.

BaselWorld is a meeting of minds, of technology and craftsmanship. Here, in five separate buildings, as well as off-site, some of the best brands in the world unveil the watches that they have been secretly working on for years.

While we will bring you specific watch brand information after the show, here are five trends we expect to be prevalent this year:

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Affordability. As global economics have a huge effect on watch lineups, we expect this year to see some more affordable timepieces with quality movements and great design. These will appeal more to the younger audiences and those being a bit more frugal this year.

Over the Top.  We also still expect to see some truly over-the-top watches: timepieces with astronomical complications, musical features, and top-of-the-line complexities. Along with that, we expect that diamond- and gemstone-set watches will be strong.

Color. This is the year for brands to make a color statement. From blue to red and from pale pink to white, color should abound this year. Along with colorful dials and straps, we may find some interesting new interchangeable straps.

Sporty Appeal. Chronograph watches, pilot watches, dive watches and watches inspired by the world of automotive racing will continue to steal the spotlight. We look forward to seeing the newest affiliations and iterations from the brands we carry.

Connectivity. Smart watches in the “traditional” watch world continue. Let’s see what is unveiled this week.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rolex Rated the World’s Most Reputable Brand

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We all know Rolex has a pristine reputation, but that fact has been proven by the Global RepTrak 100 rankings. According to the Reputation Institute that publishes the list on corporate reputations, Rolex topped the ranking — for the second year in a row.

Interestingly, Rolex was the only watch brand listed on the Top 100 ranking. It scored high for such factors as “offering high-quality products and services” to “stands behind its products and services.”

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Rolex’s position at the top is key, as the brand beat out names like Amazon, eBay, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren. The company that ranked second was Lego Group, with Walt Disney coming in third and Canon in fourth.

We invite you into our store anytime to see our grand collection of Rolex timepieces — from the most highly reputable company in the world.



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Friday, March 17, 2017

Clock Lovers Won’t Want to Miss a Special ‘Winterthur’ Webinar This Sunday

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If you love clocks and their history, you may well be interested in the upcoming webinar being offered by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). The webinar is entitled “Hidden History: Clock and Watch Records in the Riggs Archive at Winterthur.”

Taking place on Sunday, March 19, at 7 p.m. EST, the presentation will be made by Bob Frishman, a full-time restorer of antique clocks since 1992. He regularly lectures on the history, science and culture of timekeeping. The webinar is free. You can register for it at NAWCC.org.

If you are interested but not available on March 19, you can view a recording of the session as long as you have registered. winterthur2

Winterthur’s clocks number more than 100 and include chiming shelf clocks made in America more than a century ago. The Riggs Archives at Winterthur are part of the Winterthur Garden and Museum in Delaware. Winterthur was opened to the public almost 60 years ago by collector Henry Francis du Pont. It is considered one of the premier museums of decorative arts with nearly 90,000 objects on display. Winterthur is set amidst a 1,000-acre preserve of rolling meadows and woodlands in the town of the same name, about 7 miles northwest of Wilmington.



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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Female Designers Behind Your Favorite Jewelry

In the world of jewelry, and really any business, a certain brand name has become synonymous with certain qualities.  Typically, we don’t dive deeper into a brand because inherently we know whether it’s good or bad, whether it’s our style or not, and so on. Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we are taking a look behind the jewelry brands that we carry, to the women who started it all. While we share their beautiful pieces on a regular basis, it is important to learn about the mind behind the design. Scroll down to learn more about these incredible designers.

Fadua Hueb

Hueb

While Heub designs have grown to become a regular sight on a multitude of celebrities, Fadua Hueb started her collections simply to provide jewelry that her friends wanted but couldn’t find. From that initial inspiration came unique pieces with stunning gemstones and colorful accents that evoked the bright spirit and natural energy of Brazil. Each piece was designed to complement a woman’s personal style, rather than define it.  Today, Hueb spans three generations with a continuing focus on meticulously crafted luxury jewelry that is meant to be worn and enjoyed by women in all walks of life. What truly sets Heub apart is their philosophy at the core of every design, which consists of five beliefs: “Let luxury be inspiring and celebratory- not intimidating, transcend age with personal style, express yourself with jewelry, celebrate life every day, live passionately without restraints”.

View the collection here

 

 

Temple St. Clair

Temple St. Clair

For over 30 years, Temple St. Clair has been translating her passion for creative expression into stunning pieces of wearable art using the finest gold and gemstones. St. Clair introduced her first fine jewelry collection in 1986 and has been growing ever since, becoming known as an essential for top fashion publications and celebrities worldwide. Not only is she recognized for creating the fine jewelry collections we carry, but also for her haute couture work that has been on display at the Louvre and has drawn spectators and collectors from all over the world. Her exquisite and uncompromising choice in material and execution of her designs inspired by the world around her has granted St. Clair critical acclaim from the industry and collectors alike. This year, St. Clair was awarded the GEM Award for Jewelry Design, the jewelry industry’s most prestigious honor.

View her collection here

Ippolita Rostagno

Ippolita
In 1999, Italian artist and designer Ippolita Rostagno founded her namesake company, IPPOLITA to address a void in fine jewelry. She realized that at the time jewelry was very traditional and primarily worm only on special occasions. Rostagno sought out to create a collection of fine jewelry that created a lighter look while still making the woman wearing her pieces feel beautiful. Since then, IPPOLITA has pioneered the concept of cool fine jewelry designed to be worn every day and for all occasions. Her stylish creations can be seen on women all over the world including today’s top celebrities.

View her collection here

The Gumuchian Family

Gumuchian
Their tag line says it all: “Designed by Women For Women”. Owned and operated by Anita Gumuchian and her two daughters, this boutique company has quickly made a name for itself in the fine jewelry world. Gumuchian is known for its exquisite design and incredible attention to detail, but go behind the scenes and you learn that this company does it all. From the selection of the finest diamonds, to the actual manufacturing, everything is kept within the company to ensure the highest standards. Anita and her daughters even design every piece in their collection using their intuitive feel for what modern women of style crave today.

View their collection here

Jade Lustig

Jade Trau
The mind behind the Jade Trau Collection, Jade Lustig, takes inspiration for her designs from all aspects of her life, drawing upon her family heritage as a sixth generation diamantaire and her current role as a wife and mother, allowing her to create meticulously crafted jewelry that is also comfortable and versatile. Known for her trend-setting ear cuffs and stackable bracelets, her designs have been a favorite of in-the-know women and style influencers in New York and beyond. Most recently, she has gained critical acclaim as the designer of the much loved one-of-a-kind diamond cuff worn by Olivia Munn at the Oscars.

View her collection here

Angélique Knafo

Angelique de Paris
Angélique Knafo, the creative director and designer for her namesake collection Angélique de Paris, loved everything artistic from an early age and actively sought out experiences and education to enhance her love and create a career out of it. During her thirteen years living in Paris, she amassed undergraduate and advanced graduate degrees specializing in art history, business, photography, gemology, French cuisine, Japanese language and more. With the belief that “A woman who doesn’t wear jewelry misses an opportunity to express the many facets of herself”, Knafo has created a collection of wearable art inspired by her own artistic background and world travels that seek to adorn and embellish.

View her collection here

 

 

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Meet the High-Tech Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech Watch

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At SIHH this year, Panerai surprised and delighted us once again with the unveiling of the super high-tech LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech watch. The bold timepiece is crafted in Carbotech — a composite material based on carbon fiber.

Rarely used in watchmaking, Carbotech has matte black appearance offering a unique finish every time. The material is made using sheets of carbon fiber that are compressed, joined with a polymer substance known as PEEK and bonded at high temperatures. The result is an ultra-strong, ultra-durable case. The “LAB-ID” part of the watch’s name stands for Laboratorio di Idee, the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

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Making the watch even more alluring is the fact that the dial utilizes carbon nanotubes to achieve a deep black color, said to be the blackest of blacks. The top of the dial is coated with these nanotubes that absorb light, reducing reflections. A lower dial is coated with Super-LumiNova in an electric blue hue that glows in the dark. Referred to at SIHH as the 50-50-50 watch, it is offered in a limited edition of 50 units each retailing for 50,000 Euros, with an incredible 50-year warranty. It is powered by the  P.3001/C hand-wound in-house movement with a semi-skeletonized design. The movement parts are all treated so they will not need lubrication for at least 50 years or more.



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Monday, February 20, 2017

A Look at the Stricter 2017 Guidelines on ‘Swiss Made’ Watches

The Swiss Federal Council recently approved a partial revision of its “Swiss made” ordinance for watches, effective as of January 1, 2017. The revision strengthens the label requirements for watches and movements and aligns them more with the new “Swissness” legislation that has been updated since its 2013 adoption by the Swiss Parliament.

Any watch bearing the indication “Swiss” or “Swiss made” must be backed by Swiss watchmaking expertise. According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, a number of studies have shown that consumers are willing to pay up to 20% more for Swiss watches, in general, and up to 50% more for certain mechanical watches. The revision of the “Swiss made” ordinance for watches is designed to strengthen the link between “Swiss made” watches and Switzerland, and to counter any possible abuse of the label.

The “Swiss made” ordinance for watches fine-tunes the “Swissness” legislation, stating that from here forward at least 60% of the production costs of a finished watch must be Swiss based. At present, only the cost of its movement is taken into account in determining the Swiss origin of a watch. The movement will still enjoy pride of place, however, as Swiss-made components must continue to represent at least 50% of its value, while at least 60% of its production must be generated in Switzerland.

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Additionally, the new rules of the “Swiss Made” ordinance state that the technical development of a “Swiss made” watch and movement must be executed in Switzerland.



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Monday, January 30, 2017

Valentine’s Day Jewelry She Will Love to Wear

Guys, it’s time to step up your Valentine’s game with a gift that will get you bonus points with your significant other much longer than any bouquet of roses.  You can reach that next level of gifting with a beautiful piece of jewelry.

We aren’t talking about hearts and a necklace that reads the word “love”.  We are talking about pieces of jewelry that show your love by showing her you know her style.  This will be the piece she will never want to take off because it truly does go with everything, and the reality is, that’s exactly what she wants for a gift.

Not sure about her jewelry style? Don’t worry! To make things easy, we have put together a list of our favorite Valentine’s Day gifts at all price ranges that are sure to please any woman. She will appreciate the time you put in to find her perfect gift, but don’t worry; we won’t tell how easy it actually was.

Under $250

Giving her something with a personal message is a great way to express how you feel and saying it on a piece of jewelry makes it even more special.

The heart charm on this simple, yet beautiful bracelet represents love, so you can see why it is appropriate for Valentine’s Day. The fact that the heart is just a part of an overall stylish bracelet makes it a great choice because it can be worn all of the time without screaming “Valentine’s Day Gift”. Every charm bracelet in Astley Clarke’s collection has its own meaning, so there are a number of great choices for a special and personalized gift. Another great part about these bracelets is that they are meant to be stacked, opening up the possibility of adding to her collection for different holidays. It can’t get much easier than that! View the complete Astley Clarke Collection here.

If you look at the meaning behind our love knot necklace it represents the intertwining bond between two people. If you look at it from an aesthetic viewpoint, it looks like a beautiful necklace. Again, the meaning behind the jewelry doesn’t need to be announced to the world in its design. A piece like this that is versatile, yet meaningful between you and the one you love is the perfect balance in a great gift.

If you would consider your SO an adventurer, a G-Shock watch is the perfect special, yet practical gift.

Under $500

Shinola, known primarily for their watches and leather goods, recently released their fine jewelry collection in collaboration with renowned jewelry designer Pamela Love.  Inspired by their iconic timepieces, their minimalist and sleek designs make a fashion statement without being overpowering. View the whole collection here.

A beautiful piece she can wear anywhere and with anything. It shows that you thought about her style and getting something that will become a staple in her jewelry collection.

If her style is more on the modern side, this Glamazon necklace from Ippolita will be her new favorite.

And if she’s a little more edgy, consider this reef bangle, also from Ippolita. A great addition if she already has a bangle collection.

Under $700

 

If wearing multiple rings are her thing, this modern design from Shinola will be the perfect addition to her collection.

Diamond studs are always a safe, go-to gift for any occasion. Check out our complete selection of diamond studs here.

The Astley Clarke Mini Icon bracelet is the definition of understated beauty. The delicate bracelet that can be worn alone or with other pieces, showcases two concentric circles of pave diamonds for a refined design. The bracelet is also adjustable, making it sizable to a variety of wrist sizes. If this is the year you want to step up your gifting of fine jewelry, this piece is the perfect way to start.

 

A more modern approach to our classic love knot, these clean and sophisticated studs add a unique flair to the classic diamond while representing the meaning of everlasting love. Also available in rose and yellow gold.

Under $1000

This modern version of the classic locket by Shinola captures the original meaning expressed by lockets of keeping loved ones close to your heart; but with a more rounded shape and coin edge detailing, it won’t remind you of any necklace your grandmother would wear.

Another beautiful classic piece that adds a touch of diamonds to any style.

 

If she is a watch wearer, the sleek and sophisticated Grace Lightfoot watch from Shinola is the perfect timepiece, as it translates nicely from work to play.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

SIHH 2017: The Year of the Women’s Watch

Every year we see more and more women breaking into the typically masculine world of luxury timepieces, and it seems luxury brands have noticed and embraced this as well. At this year’s SIHH which wrapped up last week, watchmakers such as Cartier, IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre dedicated major releases to women’s designs.

Panthere de Cartier

Panthère de Cartier 

After focusing on primarily men’s only watches at last year’s event, Cartier has shifted by bringing back a classic style specifically for women. The Panthere was originally introduced in the 80’s and became a classic icon much like the beloved Tank. Re-released with only a few advances to enhance comfort and versatility, this watch stays true to its roots. If you do like thing a little more showy, they did come out with a diamond version with enamel spots and a gold version with enamel markings that capture the essence of the iconic Cartier Panther.

 

IWC Da Vinci

IWC Da Vinci Collection

When a brand that has aligned itself with the tag line “Engineered for Men” dedicates is SIHH presentation to a women’s line, like IWC did, you know there is big change going on in the industry.  This year, IWC brought back a redesigned, round face version of its Da Vinci Collection.  With this release came three new pieces, two of which were specifically designed for women, a new concept for the brand and one we hope they continue.

Jaeger LeCoultre

 Jaeger LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Collection

Jaeger LeCoultre is always good to release some spectacular women’s designs, especially last year with their Christian Louboutin collaboration. This year, they added to their Rendez-Vous Collection with everything from sizing options, to material and even a moon phase and chiming capability. We particularly want to focus on those last two additions. The Rendez-Vous Sonatina is not only beautiful with a night and day indicator, but also technically advanced with the ability to set off a chime at a designated hour. Usually reserved for the high jewelry Rendez-Vous designs, the moon phase complication has now been added to its smaller pieces with the Rendez-Vous Moon Medium and Rendez-Vous Moon.



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