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.
How would you feel when someone gives you an expensive diamond jewelry piece? Ecstatic? Anna Kendrick, the 29-year old star of “Pitch Perfect,” thinks otherwise. That is, a crazed fan sent to her address a pair of diamond earrings. It sounded so creepy that she threw it in the trash. She felt it didn’t feel right to wear it, much less give it to her friend or a family member. The incident sounded like straight from a serial killer suspense script that Anna was sure she did the right thing. And, oh, the diamond gift came with a letter that professed the man’s “love” for her. We wonder though had the diamond been a Stephen Webster, would it find its way to the bin? Perhaps she’d think twice. Last time we heard, refuse collectors are scampering to find Anna’s discarded diamond.
Stephen Webster is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Friday, September 05, 2014
Engagement diamond rings need not be the same old story; rather, they can be infused with modern style, while their classic lines are retained as with Michael M. rings. The diamond signature has a wide array of engagement ring styles, each one with unique quality. The Bicolore Collection, for instance, intertwines gold and platinum as a symbol of the strong partnership in marriage. The metal is set with colored diamond center stones. Trinity Collection, on the other hand, showcases micropave, U-settings and channel-set shanks. Two smaller stones hug a major diamond at the center, creating a masterpiece of detailed work. Likewise, the Princesse Collection exemplifies the best princess-cut diamond ring. Michael M. sets the princess like an inverted pyramid and flanks it with cascading side stones for an impressive finish.
Michael M. is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
It’s enough to make you grab that Hearts on Fire you’ve been eyeing and call her to pop the question. One Christmastime, Matthew McConaughey wrapped a ring in eight different boxes deep for Camila Alves, mother to his children. Camila kept on opening each box, and because the family tradition calls for taking turns to open one box in each round, she got to stop opening further for more turns. She was wondering about the fuss with the gift and got the surprise of her life when she opened the last box: the ring. Matthew took the ring, got on his knees and said, “Will you marry me and take my name?” It’s a classic proposal, but still, it packs in a punch that only the most romantic in us can dish out.
Hearts on Fire is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Aaron Basha has a line of exquisite leather strap bracelets in which to hang the signature cute charms. The leather straps come in 16 cm leather in various colors. Choose from red, orange, black, blue, brown, purple, and more to match your dress and the charms. The clasp is sold separately, and you have a wide array of clasp designs to match with this simple but elegant strap. Even without a charm, the strap can be used as a wrist highlight when you’re wearing a light colored casual dress. It can also act as a breaker or neutralizer when worn with a set of gold or silver cuffs or bracelets. Of course, it’s best displayed with an Aaron Basha charm, whether it’s an animal, a car, heart, star, train, or any other trivial Aaron Basha creation.
Aaron Basha is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Jennifer Lopez, once spotted wearing a Chimento, has been spotted recently wearing a twinkling set of eyes beside “Dancing with the Stars” Maksim Chmerkovsky at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Fans were quick to ask—is she…wearing the Chimento? Seriously, they want to know if she and he are it? A stolen picture showed the two in a flirty engagement, too close and intimate for “just simply talking.” Predictably, Lopez denied they’re a thing. She said they’re just being flirty in a nightclub. What could be out of the ordinary there, really? Chmerkovsky also denied the rumor and admitted they’re in a bar, she’s sensual and he was easily swayed to admire her flirtatious stance. We cannot blame him, can we? Still, it begs the question—are they it?
Chimento is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
You’re probably aware of the diamond basics: carat, cut, and clarity. If you want to know more about diamonds the better to appreciate it, Kwiat shows you a more advanced assessment of the precious stone. The table is the flat face at the diamond’s top. In charts, you’ll see a table percentage, which indicates the proportion of the table to the diamond’s overall diameter. The girdle is the widest part of the diamond. A diamond chart benchmarks the girdle from thinnest to widest. Wider girdle is preferred because they’re stronger; in fact, finer diamonds even have facets in their girdle. Above the girdle is the crown and below the girdle is the pavilion. The depth is calculated by matching the diamond’s overall height against its widest diameter.
Kwiat is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Next time you hear of a woman getting an expensive jewelry like Harry Kotlar, don’t be quick to envy her. A Harry Kotlar, admittedly, is one of the most impressive high jewelry pieces, but it’s not about the brand. Does a show of wealth will make you happy? Confucius once said, “Admirable indeed is a man (or woman) who did not allow his joy to be affected.” But if you go by a study on Chinese wealthy reported in The Economist, between 1990 and 2010, a period of increased wealth up to fourfold among many Chinese, the researchers didn’t find any significant increase in life satisfaction. The study suggests wealth is not easily tied to happiness, but it doesn’t mean it’s also a source of unhappiness. The point is, more than longing for expensive jewelry, long for the reason it’s given to you.
Harry Kotlar is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.