Friday, September 26, 2014
Another way to shortlist the high-end watch brand you want to buy is by looking at the internal features. There are three main areas to assess (but you can have more depending on your personal taste). First, check the number of jewels. If it has 17 jewels, it’s typical mechanical movement. If it’s 56, it features a more quality movement. One hundred jewels and more mean it has more precision. Second, check the water resistance. For serious diving, the watch must feature at least 20 atm. At the other end, a watch with 3 atm can withstand soft rain and splash. For swimming, 5 atm can suffice, while a 10 atm is okay for light diving. Third, how many functions do you want to go into the watch? You can have standard functions like hours, minutes, and seconds; or a more complicate one like Corum with perpetual calendar, chronograph, chronometer.
Corum is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Watches are engineered to move using either of the two movements: quartz and mechanical. While quartz uses batteries to power its movement, mechanical uses the traditional winding mechanism to move the dials. Furthermore, mechanical can be either automatic or manual mechanical, the latter being the oldest type of watch movement. You need to wind the watch every day or on a regular basis. Although it’s technologically outdated, manual mechanical is valued for nostalgia and engineering marvel. If you’re one of those select few who want to collect manual mechanical watches, Panerai offers a range of this movement. Its watches feature the following calibres: P.999, P.5000, P.3000, and P.3001. The Panerai manual movements have solid structure, long power reserve, and precision timekeeping. It can last a lifetime as long as the winding is done regularly.
Panerai is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
If you’re looking for a chronograph with class, Piaget Polo FortyFive should definitely be in your shortlist. It’s at the medium end of luxury watches, but this timepiece can stack up against the higher end signatures in elegance and function. It features a 45 mm titanium case and steel gadroons. The sapphire crystal prevents scratching, while its rubber black strap gives it a rugged yet still elegant look. But its prized feature is what’s inside: its automatic mechanical 880P PVD movement. It’s one of the thinnest chronograph movements, an engineering marvel at 5.6 mm. Fitted with two barrels, a balance with screws, balance stop, and oscillating weight, the Piaget movement provides Swiss precision functions, such as, flyback chronograph, second time zone, date, minutes, and small seconds.
Piaget is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
One of the keys to maintaining a healthy relationship is to understand that men and women think differently. Once you accepted this fact, it’s much easier to accept each other’s faults, whether perceived or real. Here are a few funny differences. Women take a month or more to pack things when planning for travel. Men? a few minutes before departure. Female friends are often more intimate and emotionally open that, most likely, the relationship lasts for two to three years before someone hates someone. Men couldn’t care less about each other’s feelings that they still meet up to their septuagenarian years, if they’re still alive. Women buy their shampoo after reading all the sales pitches the brand throws at them; men only read “shampoo” to buy the item. Female friends call each other by their names, while male friends call each other OTHER than their names. Women look at expensive jewelry like Mikimoto as a thing of beauty. Men look at it, well, as an expensive jewelry.
Mikimoto is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
Aside from price and features, watches can be classified by style. Preferably, you should have all three styles to match the occasion. Dress or classic watches are used for everyday corporate attire. They’re in gold or silver with plain and thin casing. They project sophistication and neatness. Then there are the designer watches, which you wear during formal evenings or equally sophisticated social gatherings. Their purpose is to project your wealth. Lastly, there are the sports watches. Bulky, rugged, and full of functions, they run the gamut of critical instruments to fancy toys for the big boys. They can also feature eccentric designs like Bell & Ross' squarish appeal. The two most popular genres for sports watches are pilot and diver.
Bell & Ross is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Thinking of an heirloom for your child this early? Strictly speaking, an heirloom should be something that has been handed down to you by your parents, who in turn had been handed out the heirloom by their parents and so on. But not everyone has the opportunity to have traditional heirlooms, although it doesn’t stop you from creating one for your generation and the succeeding ones. The number one rule to make something an heirloom is—it should have value, otherwise your kid will probably just throw it away. It can be of material value like diamond jewelry or an expensive watch like Patek Philippe, especially its complications line. But heirlooms can also be non-material value, such as, a secret family recipe or a book signed by a celebrated author. Better yet, it can be something that you created like quality furniture, perhaps, or your own autobiography of the clan, whose next chapter will be written by your child.
Patek Philippe is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
When choosing a watch brand, ask yourself the most important question before going into technical specifications: how much can you afford? It’s a brutal question, but it will save you from wasting time checking models that you can’t buy. Typically, watches come in three price ranges, each one caters to a specific market set. The higher end costs from a thousand dollars to above. These are usually mechanical watches featuring precious metals, carbon or titanium, and sapphire crystal. Think Longines as one example of this line. Then there’s the $300 to $700 range, which caters to people who want classy watches for their everyday attire. These are often quartz in stainless steel, leather, and mineral glass. At the lowest end is the $60 to $200 price range. Although they cannot match the high-end timepieces, these watches can sometimes replace the mid-range watch. They’re also quartz most likely and feature materials like plastic, resin composites, and plastic crystal.
Longines is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Buying a luxury watch is quite costly that you need to bear in mind these simple things to make the right choice. Look for sapphire crystal. True luxury watches like a Jaeger Lecoultre feature sapphire crystal and not mineral or synthetic sapphire crystals. Sapphire is virtually scratch-resistant and strong, but more expensive than other materials. Also check the body. It must exhibit a solid construction. At the least the luxury watch should be made of 316L stainless steel. Likewise, make sure that the watch is certified Swiss or Japanese movement. Another thing that separates a luxury watch from counterfeits is that the former is handcrafted by real watchmakers, not produced in an assembly line; hence, they’re more expensive. Moreover, check for precious materials and gemstones. Luxury watches should have these components to be called an actual luxury.
Jaeger Lecoultre is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
If you’re wearing just one type of watch for all occasions, you’re doing it wrong. Watches come in different types that fit what you’re doing, attending, or projecting at the moment. So it pays to have a set of watches to match the occasion. For instance, if you’re into an active lifestyle like diving or weekend running or biking, you should have a sports watch. This can be a Ball Watch that features mechanical movements for people in adverse conditions. If you’re attending a formal evening, wear a luxury or diamond watch. This is your prized watch to project your accomplishments, so it’s worth the investment. For everyday corporate scenarios, you can wear a dress watch that goes well with your suit or shirt. This watch is elegant, but unlike luxury watch, it doesn’t try hard to be the subject at hand.
Ball Watch is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Thinking which Breitling to buy to complement your style and personality? If you aspire to an active lifestyle but you’re not truly into extreme outdoor activities, you can project the style with Breitling Galactic models. This line has three watch types to suit your taste. Galactic 41 are ideal for those who don’t require a chronograph function (stopwatch), but want to show off an ultra sporty watch. This model features an optimal display and double-window calendar, while keeping a tinge of elegance. It’s cased in steel or steel and rose gold and can be encrusted with a gemset bezel. For your lady, the Galactic 36 Automatic or 32 is at once feminine and outgoing. The former features a version with mother-of-pearl and diamonds, while the latter has a more subtle refinement.
Breitling is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
The months leading to the iPhone 6 launching had seen rumors about the phone featuring a sapphire crystal cover in lieu of the Gorilla glass iPhones are known for. GT Advanced, the Apple supplier for sapphire crystal, was believed to have ramped up its production in Mesa, AZ, giving way to news that it’s preparing to manufacture large amounts of sapphire crystal covers for Apple. But what’s the big deal about sapphire crystal? Not a few observers would have wanted it in the iPhone; it’s stronger, scratch-proof, and simply more elegant than glass. But it’s quite more expensive, that’s why you only find it often in luxury watches like Chanel. Corning, the Gorilla glass maker, must have convinced Apple that the sapphire crystal isn’t for iPhone, never mind its superior strength and more luxurious element.
Chanel is available at Shreve & Co. in Post Street, San Francisco.
There are 3 movement types that make watches tick: quartz, automatic mechanical, and manual mechanical. There’s a misconception that quartz is for cheap watch as mechanical is for luxury watch. No, a luxury watch like Parmigiani Fleurier can feature a quartz model, too; although hardly any cheap watch features a mechanical movement because it’s expensive to make. Invented by Japanese engineers, quartz uses battery to power the movement. On the other hand, mechanical movement is perfected by the Swiss. The oldest known movement, the manual, requires daily hand winding to keep the watch accurate. Mechanical movement is often marketed now as haute horlogerie (collectibles) because, they may be outdated, but they still evoke classic elegance. On the other hand, recent technologies now allow automatic movement, that is, a built-in rotor uses your wrist movement to wind the watch.
Parmigiani Fleurier is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
You don’t need to master the intricate parts of the watch, but it helps to know the basic parts the better to appreciate a high-end watch like Baume & Mercier, which comes in both quartz and automatic mechanical movement. Typically, a mechanical watch has more components than a quartz one. It has roughly 130 parts and the number goes up as the watch features more complications. The mainspring provides the power, which it can get from a battery (if it’s quartz) or winding (if it’s mechanical). The balance wheel and hairspring mark the spacing of time, while the escapement distributes the impulses from the oscillator. The gear train transmits the power from the winding stem. Lastly, the dial train moves the hands. Of course, more complex watches will have more parts aside from this basic mechanical setup.
Baume & Mercier is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
Sometimes it’s not the watch that matters; it’s who’s wearing it. For IWC that means a slew of A-list Hollywood stars, who have been spotted to don the luxury watch. Bradley Cooper loves his IWC Big Pilot 7. The Alias star feels at home with IWC’s signature rugged elegance. Who else like this watch? Orlando Bloom was also spotted wearing it to complement his all black casual attire. Talk about the watch’s flexibility, while Cooper wears the same watch on a formal awards night, Bloom is comfortable donning it on an ordinary day. Jason Statham seems to agree with Bloom’s style, though. The Revolver actor was also seen exhibiting the IWC big Pilot 7 on a non-discreet, casual morning hobnobbing with friends. We wonder what makes this watch a celebrity favorite.
IWC is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Friday, September 12, 2014
In case you haven’t heard yet, A. Lange & Sohne opened new boutiques in Moscow and New York this autumn. Expectedly, the boutiques are located in a posh neighborhood: in New York’s Madison Avenue; and Moscow’s most exclusive shopping streets, Stoleshnikov pereulok. More than just a showroom, the New York shop is an A. Lange & Sohne manufactory, following the one in Palm Beach, Florida. On the other hand, the Moscow shop targets the growing community of A. Lange & Sohne buyers in Russia, one of the top watch markets in Europe now. Both boutiques feature the brand’s subdued elegance, featuring grey and neutral undertones accented by wood and leather furniture. The freshly installed carpet also adds a warm allure to your watch shopping, while attentive advisors are on hand to help you choose your A. Lange & Sohne.
A. Lange & Sohne is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
The first time we saw this John Hardy’s Wide Squeeze Cuff, we’re hooked. Made in sterling silver and 18k gold, it features an engraving of a dragon with African ruby eyes. The cuff’s body, in fact, is an engraving of Balinese culture that features the dragon on a smouldering volcano and a lush greenery of coconut trees and rice terraces provides the backdrop. The engraving pays tribute to 19th century Bali when it was divided into eight kingdoms with each royalty trying to outdo the others with the most elegant and royal jewelry pieces. The kingdoms had since ceased to exist, but the jewelry making practices remain, and this John Hardy cuff is but the latest addition. John Hardy claims it’s only making 75 pieces of these beautiful cuffs. See you in Bali, then?
John Hardy is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
When the occasion calls for, well, no occasion, what jewelry gift can you give? Diamonds are too fancy to give someone outside of birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and engagements. Earrings and necklaces are a tad formal also to surprise someone for no reason at all. Then there’s the bracelet. It’s a neutral, everyday jewelry piece that a woman can wear at work or in a party, which means it’s the perfect gift just for the sake of giving her something exquisite out of the blue. The Alex Sepkus bracelet fits the bill, a slew of sapphire and natural diamond flora decorates the 18k gold bracelet. It features an intricate pattern reminiscent of Moorish art of the Alhambra. Yes, it’s the perfect luxurious non-occasion gift for your loved one.
Alex Sepkus is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Diamonds have a way to make us do something out of the ordinary. For instance, profess our undying love by giving an expensive piece like Christopher Designs to our loved one. But some acts are less than romantic than they are vain. Take the new iPhone 6 encrusted in diamonds. Why would you want your iPhone in diamonds, really? Well, for starters, designer Alexander Amosu studded the phone with about 6,127 small diamonds and one really big diamond dressing up the phone. The big diamond is cut to shape like the Apple logo with a cushion cut, the piéce de résistance. The diamonds are encrusted on a solid 18k yellow gold using a process that took two months. Interested? You can have it for just about $2.75 million. But it still it begs the question—why would you want your phone like it?
Christopher Designs is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Beautiful diamond jewelry like Suna Bros. didn’t start as refined, seamless pieces. But they do start as one impressive piece, albeit rough on the sides. The jeweler’s challenge is to cut, sharpen, and polish the rough sides to achieve the finished diamond, which is about one-third of its raw size. Since diamonds cannot be fused together, diamond hunters go for lengths to discover the biggest rough diamond. Recently, an astounding 232.08-carat raw diamond was unearthed in South Africa. It’s a Type II D diamond, which means its top quality with no nitrogen impurities and it’s colorless. Experts estimate the price of the raw find at $10 million; it should easily go up once the diamond goes through refinement. The rare discovery is set for bidding between October and December.
Suna Bros. is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
She exudes classic elegance. Her brown eyes and hair highlight her sharp cheeks and angular chin. She’s Chiara Baschetti, Marco Bicego’s model for its 2014-2016 collection. If she looks familiar, it’s because she’s appeared in popular fashion brands, such as, Yves Saint Lauren, Estee Lauder, La Peria, and she also did a stint for Chrysler. Chiara’s Mediterranean looks fits the aura of Marco Bicego’s collections. She has a cosmopolitan style, while she maintains a subtle and reserved personality. Her features are understated but graceful, as a Marco Bicego Marrakesh that fuses gold in one continuing surface. She doesn’t need fancy makeup or dress, she’s is, like Marco Bicego, a beauty in the raw. You can catch Baschetti in Marco Bicego’s print and tv ad campaigns.
Marco Bicego is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.