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.

 TAG-Heuer-Connected-Modular-45-smartwatch-SBF8A8013.80BH0933

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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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top 10 Can’t Miss Watches at Watch Fair 2017

Hamilton Jewelers Watch Fair

During our two day Watch Fair,  we welcome thousands of watch lovers to our Princeton store to shop our largest selection of watches of the year. What makes us different from other Watch events is our close connection with the best luxury watch brands in the world. We are able to get the newest pieces, some barely seen in the US yet, as well as limited edition pieces that few have seen anywhere.

For 2017 we have gone even bigger. In addition to showing all watches from all of our locations and special pieces shipped in from brands specifically for the event, we will also be hosting an exclusive TAG Heuer Connected pop-up shop and a Cartier Panthère pop-up shop to showcase these new releases which were some of the biggest of the year.

If you want to learn more about the event click here.

Because we can’t possibly review every timepiece we will be showing, we have made it a bit easier by highlighting the 10 watches we are most excited about at this year’s Watch Fair.  Read our choices and let us know what you think!

10. TAG Heuer Autavia Reissue

autavia2

Almost a year ago, Tag Heuer decided to let the public play a role in its product line by announcing the “Autavia Cup,” a competition in which fans were able to vote on the design of a historic Autavia reissue to be released in 2017. In the end, the fans chose the Autavia 2446 Mark 3, a design from 1966 known as the “Rindt” Autavia after Austrian Formula One world champion Jochen Rindt. The Mark 3 Autavia features a second execution case with a narrower bezel, applied steel markers with luminous dots at their tips, and polished steel lume hands. As Tag Heuer no longer makes manual chronographs, reproducing the original movement would have made the watch prohibitively expense. Instead, they increased the case size to 42mm (the original was 38mm) and added a newly designed automatic movement, the Heuer-03 calbre. The new design also features a date window in the bottom subdial, which makes the watch imminently more sellable. We have no doubt that due to its attractive price, neo-vintage styling, and historic fan-involved development, the 2017 Heuer Autavia is going to be a winner.

 9. Panthère de Cartier

Cartier Panthere

Last year’s successful Cartier Drive was pointed directly at their male audience, and for 2017, they have zeroed in on the ladies with the reintroduction of a classic design from the 1980’s, the Cartier Panthère. First launched in 1983, the Panthère features a square dial with small, discreet screws on the bezel. Its integrated lugs blend seamlessly into the five-link bracelet, whose silky movement inspired the watch’s name. Other than enforcing the bracelet and improving its waterproofing, the design remains the same, including the quartz movement. It’s offered in steel, bi-colored, gold, and white gold versions. Some models feature paved diamonds, and for the truly bold, a black enamel panther print that’s unique and unmistakable. In our opinion, the small size is yellow gold makes for a perfect everyday wearer that can stretch into the evening with subtle elegance and striking retro design.

 8. Tudor Black Bay 41

Tudor Black Bay 41

Following the popularity of the larger Datejust II in the past decade, the Crown-connected brand Tudor is offering a larger version of it’s pitch-perfect 2016 release, the Black Bay. Now at a larger size that most men will find in line with other modern releases, the Black Bay 41 features the same clean design as its 36mm counterpart. Unmistakable snowflake hands and a diamond-shaped marker on the second hand dominate the dial, and circular hour-markers harken to the ubiquitous Rolex Submariner, perhaps the most iconic watch of all time. This Black Bay comes with all the charm of a modern Tudor – including a rose design on the crown, a reliable automatic movement, and a bracelet that’s identical in quality to Rolex’s Oyster bracelet, the best fitting and comfortable bracelet on the market. Like all Tudors, the Black Bay 41 comes at an affordable price-point, and offers a value proposition that’s difficult to deny for a watch that works in almost any circumstance.

 7. Gucci Tiger Watch Collection – La Marché de Merveilles

 Gucci Mens Watch

Gucci’s rebooted La Marché de Merveilles collection features handsome gold PVD 38mm case attached to a retro, bund-style strap, and a reliable quartz movement. Most striking of all is the dial work, which showcase a flawlessly embroidered animal design. Choices include bees and snakes – but our favorite is the roaring tiger, a reminder to everyone who sees it that its wearer is stylish and ferocious. For the ladies, there’s a special design in which the dial’s tiger image runs up and down, past the case and onto the strap itself – a unique design that we haven’t seen anywhere else.

 6. Jaeger-LeCoutre Reverso Tribute Moon

 Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Moon

This year in Basel, Jaeger-LeCoultre made big-time waves with its round watches, particularly those with sector dials. A bit under the radar, however, they also made some compelling, subtle updates to its most famous design, the rectangular, swiveling Reverso. Most notable was the Reverso Tribute Moon, a stainless steel version featuring a dual timezone display, date, and moonphase complications. The reverse side of the dial, which most would use to keep track of “home” time while traveling, is simply gorgeous: two contrasting shades of blue, textured dial, polished hands, and applied indices. Both dials, front and back, have striking depth to them – recessed elements and a frosted finish on the front dial are indicators of exceptional design and execution, two things we are used to seeing from JLC. This is an exceptional timepiece.

5. Tudor Heritage Steel and Gold

4b_M79733N-0002_black_leather_brown_HW

Two-tone watches are no longer a thing of the past. On the heels of the all-steel Black Bay 41, Tudor has also introduced a gold and steel version of its incredibly popular dive watch, the Heritage Black Bay. And this one has something special under the hood: Tudor’s caliber MT5612, its in-house, three-hand with date movement. Both the end-links and the bezel are solid gold, while the crown and links are “gold-capped,” a process which creates a thicker and stronger layer of gold over the steel than traditional PVD. The watch comes on a bracelet or a handsome distressed leather strap, and like most Tudor offerings, is packaged with an additional fabric strap to add versatility to the piece. With its subtle date window and hints of gold, this is a rare watch that works with a suit in the boardroom and a golf shirt on the weekends, and unlike most desk-divers, isn’t one you’ll see on everyone’s wrist.

4. Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Thin Ultra Réserve de Marché

 Jaeger LeCoultre Master

Jaeger-LeCoutre’s Master Thin Ultra Réserve de Marché is a masterwork of design. The balanced dial features three of the most practical complications: sub-seconds, a 40-hour power reserve, and a circular date indicator. As a watch for someone who appreciates haute horlogerie, but who also wants to wear something that makes sense for his or her daily routine, there’s no denying the appeal of this mainstay from Le Sentier. Like everything JLC, those who are in the know recognize its deep roots, design prowess, impeccable quality, and the brand’s full intention to push the envelope when it comes to complication integration. Here, all four of these elements are wrapped up neatly in one undeniably appealing package.

 3. Hamilton Intra-matic 68

Hamilton Watch Intramatic 68

Though it can be difficult to find them, a number of Hamilton watches from the 1960’s and 70’s have become darlings of the vintage watch world in the past decade. In response to this cult status, Hamilton has designed the Intra-matic 68, a fitting homage to two of its most popular models. Though primarily based on Hamilton’s “Chronograph B,” the Intra-matic 68 also integrates design elements from Hamilton’s Chrono-matic with a date window and automatic movement.  This reissue hits so many marks. From its dome-shaped dial and curved hands, to its vintage-style pushers and solid steel caseback, to its perfect reverse-panda dial, the Intra-matic 68 looks like watch that was designed forty or fifty years ago, yet Hamilton has intelligently updated its size for a modern age. This budget-friendly chronograph packs inspired vintage design and contemporary wearability – easily making it one of our top picks this year.

2. Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante

 new breitling

If you know  anything about a rattrapante, you know 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.  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.

1. TAG Heuer Connected Modular

tag

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. 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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Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #3 Hamilton Watch Intra-Matic 68

hamiltonwatch

Though it can be difficult to find them, a number of Hamilton watches from the 1960’s and 70’s have become darlings of the vintage watch world in the past decade. In response to this cult status, Hamilton has designed the Intra-matic 68, a fitting homage to two of its most popular models. Though primarily based on Hamilton’s “Chronograph B,” the Intra-matic 68 also integrates design elements from Hamilton’s Chrono-matic with a date window and automatic movement.

 Hamilton Watch Intramatic 68

 

This reissue hits so many marks. From its dome-shaped dial and curved hands, to its vintage-style pushers and solid steel caseback, to its perfect reverse-panda dial, the Intra-matic 68 looks like watch that was designed forty or fifty years ago, yet Hamilton has intelligently updated its size for a modern age. This budget-friendly chronograph packs inspired vintage design and contemporary wearability – easily making it one of our top picks this year.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #4 Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Thin Ultra Réserve de Marché

Jaeger LeCoultre MasterJaeger-LeCoutre’s Master Thin Ultra Réserve de Marché is a masterwork of design. The balanced dial features three of the most practical complications: sub-seconds, a 40-hour power reserve, and a circular date indicator. As a watch for someone who appreciates haute horlogerie, but who also wants to wear something that makes sense for his or her daily routine, there’s no denying the appeal of this mainstay from Le Sentier.

 

Like everything JLC, those who are in the know recognize its deep roots, design prowess, impeccable quality, and the brand’s full intention to push the envelope when it comes to complication integration. Here, all four of these elements are wrapped up neatly in one undeniably appealing package.

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Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #5 Tudor Heritage Steel and Gold

tudor steel and goldWe have reached the top 5 and this handsome piece from Tudor definitely deserves its spot.

Two-tone watches are no longer a thing of the past. On the heels of the all-steel Black Bay 41, Tudor has also introduced a gold and steel version of its incredibly popular dive watch, the Heritage Black Bay. And this one has something special under the hood: Tudor’s caliber MT5612, its in-house, three-hand with date movement. 5_MT_masse_W_ISOv2_300

Both the end-links and the bezel are solid gold, while the crown and links are “gold-capped,” a process which creates a thicker and stronger layer of gold over the steel than traditional PVD. The watch comes on a bracelet or a handsome distressed leather strap, and like most Tudor offerings, is packaged with an additional fabric strap to add versatility to the piece. With its subtle date window and hints of gold, this is a rare watch that works with a suit in the boardroom and a golf shirt on the weekends, and unlike most desk-divers, isn’t one you’ll see on everyone’s wrist.

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Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #6 Jaeger-LeCoutre Reverso Tribute Moon

Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Moon

This year in Basel, Jaeger-LeCoutre made big-time waves with its round watches, particularly those with sector dials. A bit under the radar, however, they also made some compelling, subtle updates to its most famous design, the rectangular, swiveling Reverso. Most notable was the Reverso Tribute Moon, a stainless steel version featuring a dual timezone display, date, and moonphase complications.

 

The reverse side of the dial, which most would use to keep track of “home” time while traveling, is simply gorgeous: two contrasting shades of blue, textured dial, polished hands, and applied indices. Both dials, front and back, have striking depth to them – recessed elements and a frosted finish on the front dial are indicators of exceptional design and execution, two things we are used to seeing from JLC. This is an exceptional timepiece. Click the video below to get a close up.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #7 Gucci Le Marché de Merveilles

Our Watch Fair takes place every year during the Princeton University Alumni Weekend (aka the biggest party in Princeton), so we are partial to the new Gucci collection featuring Princeton’s famous mascot. All tigers aside, this collection is design at its finest from one of the world’s most notable fashion houses.

Gucci Mens Watch

 

Gucci’s rebooted Le Marché de Merveilles collection features handsome gold PVD 38mm case attached to a retro, bund-style strap, and a reliable quartz movement. Most striking of all is the dial work, which showcase a flawlessly embroidered animal design. Choices include bees and snakes – but our favorite is the roaring tiger, a reminder to everyone who sees it that its wearer is stylish and ferocious.

Gucci Watch

 

For the ladies, there’s a special design in which the dial’s tiger image runs up and down, past the case and onto the strap itself – a unique design that we haven’t seen anywhere else.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Top 10 Countdown to Watch Fair: #8 Tudor Black Bay 41

Tudor Black Bay 41Following the popularity of the larger Datejust II in the past decade, the Crown-connected brand Tudor, is offering a larger version of it’s pitch-perfect 2016 release, the Black Bay. Now at a larger size that most men will find in line with other modern releases, the Black Bay 41 features the same clean design as its 36mm counterpart.

 

Unmistakable snowflake hands and a diamond-shaped marker on the second hand dominate the dial, and circular hour-markers hearken to the ubiquitous Rolex Submariner, perhaps the most iconic watch of all time. Tudor Black Bay 41 Brown

 

This Black Bay comes with all the charm of a modern Tudor – including a rose design on the crown, a reliable automatic movement, and a bracelet that’s identical in quality to Rolex’s Oyster bracelet, the best fitting and comfortable bracelet on the market.

 

Like all Tudors, the Black Bay 41 comes at an affordable price-point, and offers a value proposition that’s difficult to deny for a watch that works in almost any circumstance.

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