Friday, February 05, 2016
Since time immemorial, man had been pushing the limits of what he can do in almost every aspect of his existence. Take for instance the human capability to dive into deep waters and stay as long as he can underneath, without any mechanical support for breathing. This form of extreme sport had produced numerous modern-day heroes and without doubt, champion extreme freediver Guillaume Néry is the best in this game. For reaching such impossible feats, Ball Watch created the new Ball Engineer Master II Diver TMT Limited Edition DLC, a watch dedicated for Guillaume, who's also a brand ambassador. With a caseback engraved with his name, the watch also features a handmade scaled-down copy of the monofin used by Guillaume in his famous death-defying dives. It uses a Ball Caliber 9018 automatic movement and is certified to function accurately in any extreme environment.
Ball Watch is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
If its name is an indication of its true worth, then the IWC Top Gun Miramar watch collection is already an ace, hands down. An essential part of IWC Pilot's Collection, Top Gun Miramar timepieces had been a top choice among watch aficionados and users since its 2012 launching. The Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar is the latest edition into this choice line, which is aimed to cater to the entry-level market. Enclosed in a wholly hand polished ceramic case, the sporty Mark XVIII is powered by automatic caliber 30110 and aptly sized at 41 mm to correspond to popular market preference for smaller sized watches. Same as other Top Gun Miramar timepieces, hours are placed in the inner chapter ring, while the minutes and seconds in the main chapter ring. This focus on minutes and seconds provides for timely precision and draws its origins from aviation and military use, which is primarily to assist pilots to determine location and long flights, prior to the emergence of sophisticated aviation instruments of today.
This timepiece and other IWC collections are available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
First was the B50, perhaps Breitling's most sophisticated smartwatch for pilots featuring SuperQuartz chronograph movement with digital and analog displays. Now comes the new Breitling B55 Connected, which is basically the more advanced variant of its predecessor. The B55 Connected, despite its significant improvements from B50, actually goes back, and capitalizes, on the fundamental aspects of the smartwatch's parent, the smartphone, namely, its functional tactile screen and ergonomic interface. B55 Connected will enable wearers to use their smartphone to make various functions in their watch, including adjusting operating and display parameters, alarms, time zones, etc, which lead to substantial progress in efficiency and comfort. Conversely, wearers can send measurement outcomes done using B55 Connected to their smartphone, which can then be shared to users of other platforms like the Internet. With such unprecedented connectivity between a traditionally high-performing timepiece and a smartphone, other potential applications are simply vast.
Breitling is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
The now classic Chanel J12 watch for women recently took the ante further with the launching of the new Chanel J12 G10 collection. Dubbed as the most feminine G10 (or NATO) straps ever made, the Chanel J12 G10 seamlessly fuses a feminine touch into the trendy sport strap and the result is simply awesome...and elegantly Chanel, of course. The high-end fashion designer uses alligator leather for the Chanel J12 G10 straps, whose metallic elements are in 18k white gold or steel, depending on the version. The timepiece per se is endowed with elegant diamonds. For watch connoisseurs, check out the limited Chanel J12 G10s mechanical edition, featuring a 42mm wide 185 white gold case with a full pavé dial embellished with diamonds.
Chanel is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Amazing technical advancement, exceptional finishing, and an iconic design...these are the qualities that epitomize how fine watchmaking should be. Without doubt, all of these great characteristics are found in each A. Lange & Sohne timepiece. This quintessential German watchmaker never fails to amaze anyone, even the staunchest critics. Take for instance the top-of-the-line Lange One Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, which is so discreet and elegant, and among the most complicated watches ever made. If that's not enough, there's the breathtaking Richard Lange Jumping Seconds, which is the only watch where when you remove the crown to adjust time, the second hand will instantly move to the zero position, making time setting very precise!
These are among the many fantastic timepieces that make A. Lange & Sohne a cut above the rest. See them at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon, an authorized A. Lange & Sohne dealer.
Friday, January 29, 2016
When it comes to fine jewelry, diamond rings and earrings seem to take center stage. However, do not overlook the appeal of pendants. They can make or break your overall appearance. Especially if you’re wearing a low-cut neckline, the pendant and its necklace is the first jewelry people will notice as you engage them in small talk. Choose your pendants wisely, then, like an Alex Sepkus line of distinct designs and themes. The Cross in 18k gold featuring an encrusted cabochon sapphire and diamond, for example, lends to your neckline an elegant, classic appeal. The Little Lambs, meanwhile, evokes of medieval mysticism, which can balance a predictable formal evening affair. Moreover, you can etch your name with the Alex Sepkus diamond letter pendants. These are ideal for people who like to personalize jewelry, perhaps, as a gift or to capture a memorable event.
Alex Sepkus is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
The Christopher Designs Crisscut Diamond is patented and unique to the brand. You can never find another similarly cut diamond elsewhere. It isn’t just in the trademark; in fact, if you’re in the know on assessing diamonds, you’ll quickly see the difference of Crisscut Diamond from regularly cut stones. Look into the core of the Christopher Design diamond and you’ll notice it glows brighter with more intense fire inside compared to another diamond of the same size. The cutting technique is a secret—Christopher Designs isn’t revealing anything—but this we know: the facets are cut at a specific angle and distance to each other to create the patented style. Through laser precision technology, Christopher Designs is able to generate extra brilliance, which lends to the wearer more elegance.
Christopher Designs is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
Some jewelry brands use ancient civilizations as inspirations for their designs, while some others evoke royal elegance in their collections. Not Marco Bicego. It derives its inspiration from cultural and folkloric sources, elevating them into one of the most loved fine jewelry signatures. For example, Marco Bicego uses the tribal art of Africa to celebrate the allure of African culture and its environs. There is the feel of openness in the Marco Bicego African Collection, evoking the wide savannah space. Each piece is handcrafted and textured by hand to mirror the rustic appeal of golden grass of the savannah. At the same time, the collection exudes a dangerous feel, reflecting the dark secrets of the continent’s deep interior. The intricate designs in tiny details also reminds us of the interior jungles where mystery lurks.
Marco Bicego is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
When we talk about colored diamonds, the hues that quickly come to mind are blue, green, red, and yellow. For some reason, pink diamonds are often excluded from many colored diamond collections. In fact, pink diamonds have their own category. This exclusivity seems to place pink diamonds apart (if not above) from both colored and white diamonds. But why? One theory is that pink diamonds are not flamboyant or eccentric like colored stones. At the same time, pink stones are prettier or rarer than white diamonds. In both cases, we can see pink diamonds are hard to lump with either colored or white diamonds; hence, they have their own category. Actually, they have their own luxury brand in Suna Bros., the most popular jewelry for pink diamonds.
Suna Bros is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
The jewelry industry often finds itself lumped with energy companies when it comes to socio-ecological issues. Mining, for one, will always be controversial even if the critics themselves enjoy the products derived from mined elements, from their smartphones to computers. Another thorny issue is the social impact of gemstones, particularly diamonds, when sourced through countries and warlords who commit unspeakable violence against their people. That’s why it’s a refreshing air when we hear a jewelry brand that puts social responsibility along with its need to generate sales. John Hardy’s facility in Bali shows how commercial interest can elevate living conditions in communities, as well as preserve their traditions, rather than encroach into their way of life. The company uses traditional Balinese jewelry-making methods and promote Asian-inspired themes in its line of bracelets, necklaces, and rings. John Hardy isn’t just a jewelry signature, it’s a success social story.
John Hardy is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Wearing a cheap pair of earrings properly will always outdo wearing the most expensive pair the wrong way. The shape of your face has a lot to do with what type of earrings to wear. Studs work best for people with oval and long faces. Hoop earrings give oval-faced or heart-shaped women “more” jawline, while oval hoops give round and square faces a smaller appearance. Meanwhile, danglers like a Michael M. white and sliced diamond earrings are perfect for round or square-shaped faces. They lengthen the face giving it a more symmetrical look. Danglers also work with formal dresses and ethnic-themed clothes. Lastly, if your face is a combination of various shapes—not too round but not too heart-shaped, either—droplet earrings are a safe bet. They can neutralize a wide or long face.
Michael M is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Chimento is one of those rare jewelry signatures that is valued not only because of its luxurious material and craftsmanship, but because celebrities have worn it. What could be more glamorous than wearing something that your pop idol also likes, right? We once saw Madonna wore a Chimento, tweeting “shine bright like a diamond.” The superstar is referring to her Chimento gold and diamond bracelet, which complemented her John Galliano gown. This isn’t just a selfie shot, however, but a full-blown Oscars party among A-list stars. Spotted in Madonna’s part included Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The same getup was posted in Madonna’s Instagram, teasing her fans with her sophisticated getup. You, too, can be an A-list fashion authority with a Chimento to boot.
Chimento is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Hearts On Fire isn’t only good at making wedding rings, but also at dispensing wedding advice. In its blog HOF, the company posted a few important tips on how to plan your wedding without busting the budget or experiencing the usual hiccups. The tips were based on real-life experiences by Hearts On Fire customers. Here are the more important tips that we found: 1) Make sure the reception package includes all associated costs like service fees and taxes; 2) For hotel venues, ask for discounts if you’re using its other services like spa, restaurant, bars, etc.; 3) Preferably set your wedding day during off-season to get more discounts; 4) Instead of offering multiple menu choices, serve everyone with the same menu but more generous servings; 5) If you can’t get a discount, get more value. For example, ask for an hour extension or free use of the pool.
Hearts on Fire is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
If you’re not comfortable or have allergies wearing luxury jewelry but like the allure of precious metals and gemstones, there’s a way around it. Wear brooches or pins. Many jewelry signatures today like Kwiat include brooches and pins in their collections. These items can be worn without touching the skin so you don’t get the itch. The add glamour just the same, complementing a sharp suit or elegant dress. Brooches were originally used to fasten a large piece of cloth, which was the common dress for men and women during the ancient times. Over the centuries, they became a platform for design or badges that identifies one’s social status. The nobility would display brooches and pins made from gold or silver to signal to others of their wealth.
Kwiat is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Fake jewelry is the second most counterfeited item in the U.S. accounting for 29% of all seized fake goods every year. If you’re not careful you might be buying a fake signature brand. While there are nuances between a genuine article and a fake jewelry that you can closely examine, most buyers are not technically qualified to compare items. In such case, the best option is to only buy through authorized distributors of your preferred brand. For example, if you’re buying a Stephen Webster ring, make sure to visit an authorized dealer. You can check the shop’s background by inquiring with the jewelry company itself. On the other hand, if someone approaches you that they have a Stephen Webster for half the price, be suspicious; that may be a counterfeit.
Stephen Webster is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Friday, January 15, 2016
When it comes to assessing the quality of a diamond ring, don’t just limit your analysis on the carat, clarity, and cut. There’s also the setting to consider. After all, if the prong or mounting is unstable or poorly set, the stone may fall off. Not only can you lose a pricey diamond, but your ring will look awkward. That’s why when shopping for a diamond ring make sure the mounting is well crafted. For example, Mémoire uses hot extrusion, a special mounting process, to set the stone and make the ring more stable and durable. The heat process eliminates air bubbles in the setting making the metal fusion stronger. Then the prongs are laser cut to set the stone. The entire process is put under close scrutiny by the master jeweler.
Mémoire is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
If you want to take your luxurious diamond to the hilt make sure it is set on the most glamorous precious metal: platinum. It may look like silver or white gold, but platinum is distinctly luxurious because it’s rarer than other jewelry metals. It can be mined as pure platinum or as an alloy with iron. Many platinum deposits are located near nickel and copper mines, but platinum was largely dismissed in the past because people thought it “just” silver. A close inspection revealed that this metal is less susceptible to blemishes and stronger than sterling silver. And because it’s rare, the value is higher than gold. Today, platinum is the choice of top diamond jewelry brands like Furrer Jacot for its line of wedding and engagement diamond rings.
Furrer Jacot is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
When buying diamonds keep in mind of the three Cs: cut, clarity, and carat. These are the three aspects that define a signature diamond like a Cento from generic diamonds. The cut determines the amount of brilliance created by the diamond. A regular shaped raw diamond stone in the hands of a master diamond cutter will always outshine an excellent raw diamond worked on by an amateur cutter. On the other hand, clarity depends mainly on the raw state of the stone. Generally, the clearer the stone is the higher its value. But some diamonds have clarity imperfections that make them more valuable, like the case of rare yellow diamonds. Meanwhile, carat refers to the weight of the diamond. The heavier the diamond, the more value it fetches. You don’t have to master all these technical aspects to get a quality diamond; often it’s best to go for a known signature like the Cento.
Roberto Coin's Cento is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Many see diamonds as luxury items that the rich splurge money on because...well, they can. But diamonds are a good investment also, not only because their price is stable compared to the volatility of stocks, but also because you can pass them as an heirloom to the next generation: your children. For example, your daughter can inherit your wedding diamond ring to heighten her own wedding memories. No less than Prince Harry did this by giving the wedding diamond ring of her mother, the late Princess Diana, to his then bride, Kate. But because fashion trends do change, your wedding diamond ring doesn’t have to be worn as is by your daughter (in fact, it must be resize to fit her finger’s circumference). Rather, she can have the stone recut or reset on her choice of fashionable band like a Harry Kotlar.
Harry Kotlar is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Luxury and glamorous can be tiring sometimes that it’s nice to find a playful bracelet like Aaron Basha. Its novel design features ladybugs and other animals, as well as cars, bells, butterflies, frogs, and so on. You have a wide array of charming accessories to match your daily mood or remind you of a particular memory. For example, wear the evil eye bracelet at casual night parties to add tease to a sensual style. On the other hand, you can wear the baby shoes pendant during the day as a cute reminder to people how a fashionable mom you are. Flowers exude your feminine side, while frogs evoke a sense of childishness. Aaron Basha can also adorn your daughter’s dresses to match your own style.
Aaron Basha is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.