Bellusso Jewelers Blog

Bellusso Jewelers Blog
2017-05-25

Earlier this week, we reviewed the pros and cons of different types of watch straps, including fabric, rubber and leather. Today, we take a closer look at bracelet watches.

Easily one of the most durable materials on the market, metal can have its advantages over straps. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on lightweight titanium and stainless steel bracelets, as those are the most popular with summer sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

Generally, a bracelet is made of individual links that are held together with pins, screws or both. Because of their labor-intensive construction, and their material, bracelets are typically more expensive than straps. However, bracelets can last for years compared to straps and are relatively easy to take care of. Generally, one just needs to wipe them down with a soft wet cloth or with a little dish soap. Additionally, bracelets are preferred in hot, sticky climates because leather straps that can stick to the skin.

Thanks to processes, such as PVD (physical vapor deposit) and IP (ionic plating), steel and titanium can be coated in a range of colors. While their natural silver hue is typically preferred, black has become the new stealth look, and sometimes blue, as well. Two-tone bracelets (a mix of steel and gold or gold-plate) are also becoming popular again.

Perhaps the only real disadvantage of a steel bracelet is the fact that it is heavier than both titanium and leather. Some people, however, like the feel of the weight on the wrist. As with all choices regarding straps and bracelets, the best advice is to buy what you most like to wear.

2017-05-23

With summer around the corner and more short sleeves and bathing suits being worn, it is a good time to address the issue of leather vs. rubber vs. fabric watch straps. While the decision about what type of strap to wear is typically a matter of personal preference, there are some factors that may influence your decision. These include climate, temperature, exposure to water and activity.

Leather

Leather straps are comfortable to wear and can be found in a variety of colors and textures. Leather ranges from calfskin, ostrich and stingray to crocodile, alligator, snake and more. Generally, leather straps are relatively easy to take care of in the right temperatures — often with just a wipe of a damp cloth and dish detergent. In severe heat and humidity, though, these straps tend to get a bit sticky on the wrist.

Rubber

Rubber straps are the perfect choice if you are a water person. Rubber weathers the elements beautifully: water doesn't bother it and it dries quickly without sticking to the wrist. Typically rubber doesn't fade or lose its luster. Many of today's top rubber straps feature embossed details or have tire treads or other motifs on them. Additionally, most are blends of polycarbonate and other materials that keep them from becoming dry or brittle.

Fabric:

Fabric straps come in all types and fabrics. Easily the most preferred fabric for outdoor use is a woven material typical of a NATO strap. Sometimes referred to as military straps, NATO straps have roots dating back to the early 1970s when British soldiers used nylon straps that were highly durable, could be easily cleaned and were not expensive to buy. NATO straps are easy to change and usually slip through the top lugs, pass over the case back and though the bottom lugs. The system acts as double security, too, because one need not worry about spring bars breaking or popping as with typical straps. They are very durable and highly functional, as they dry quickly, don’t stick to the wrist and are designed for extreme wear.

2017-05-18

Jackie Kennedy © Getty Images courtesy of Christie's Auction House

Christie's Auction House has announced that at its upcoming June 21 New York Rare Watches and American Icons Sale it will put up for auction a watch owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Cartier Tank watch, which the former First Lady wore for years and can be seen in many photos of her, is estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $120,000.

Apparently the watch was a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963 and has an engraving on the caseback: "Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” The 2:05 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. engraving references the beginning and end times of the 50-mile hike that took place in Palm Beach in 1963. The hikes were part of Kennedy's concept for people to get healthy.

Making the lot even more exciting is the fact that it is being sold with an original painting by Jackie in 1963 as a gift for Radziwill also commemorating the hike and with the same date and times on it. Her painting also features a handwritten note to Radziwill: "Jackie to Stas with love and admiration."

The watch and painting are being put up for sale via Christie's from an anonymous donor who says a portion of the proceeds will go to the National Endowment for the Arts.

All photos courtesy of Christie's Auction House.

2017-05-16

After a long investigation into the world of Haute Horlogerie (fine watchmaking), the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) in Switzerland announces that it has created a guide book to define what really constitutes fine watchmaking.  The White Paper on Fine Watchmaking — a detailed guide of criteria and brands — is the result of three years of work by the Foundation's Cultural Council.

The FHH tapped its Cultural Council of 46 independent, international experts from across all areas of the watch industry, each of whom worked pro-bono to give their input into what defines fine watchmaking and to bring it together into one document that informs and sets forth the defining values inherent in fine watchmaking.

Within the guidelines, there are four main categories: Historic Maisons, Contemporary Brands, Luxury Brands and Artisan Creators. Additionally, the Council has developed a criteria that examines seven areas of expertise, including R&D and Production, Style and Design, History and DNA, Distribution and After-Sales Service, Collectors, Brand Image and Communication, and Training.

It specifies 28 objectives and measurable criteria across each of these areas. Each brand is evaluated against these criteria by the Cultural Council experts. For the release of The White Paper, 86 brands were evaluated and 64 met the criteria. This evaluation will be repeated every 2 to 3 years to stay current with developments in the industry.

2017-05-11

Earlier in the week, we posted an item about how time — specifically a watch — is the best Mother's Day gift. A watch shows you took the time to think about her likes, her hobbies or interests, or her favorite colors or styles. Even better, a watch is something she will glance at every day she wears it — and be reminded of you. And, let's face it, a watch is all about showing that you recognize her time is important to her and that you respect that.

With these ideas in mind, we invite you come in and take a look at the wonderful selection of women's watches we have in the store, any of which will make the perfect Mother's Day gift. Styles abound at all price points. And, if you aren't sure what to get that special mom, our staff can help point you in the right direction.

This Mother's Day, give the gift of time.

2017-05-09

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. So what are your plans for your mom or your wife, the mother of your children? We have some ideas. Sure, going out to brunch or dinner is delightful (if you can stand the crowds), and candy is wonderful (though, when it's gone... it's gone). Flowers are beautiful (even though they will wilt and die). We suggest you give the gift of time.

In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, which recently conducted an annual survey with Prosper Insights & Analytics about the holiday, total spending for Mother's Day this year is expected to reach $23.6 billion. Even more important is the fact that $5 billion of that is expected to be in the jewelry and watch arena, setting a new Mother’s Day record for that category. That tally represents an increase of 19% compared with the $4.2 billion spent in 2016.

Jewelry/watches is, by far, the strongest of all gift categories, topping the list that includes the $4.2 billion earmarked for special outings, such as a dinner or brunch, $2.6 billion for flowers, $2.5 billion for gift cards, $2.1 billion for clothing, $2.1 billion for consumer electronics and $1.9 billion for personal services, such as a spa day.

By selecting a watch as a gift for Mother's Day you show her that you took the time to shop, to think about her likes and interests, and to give her something that will last a lifetime. Besides, every time she looks at that watch on her wrist, she's bound to think of you.

We have a great array of watch brands that can fit the bill for any budget and still be impressive. In fact, visit our blog later this week when we will give you a heads-up on the most recent watch trends for women so you can be armed with that info when you head out to do some shopping.

Please stop in soon to talk with our staff about finding the perfect Mother's Day watch.

2017-05-02

Planning to visit New York next week? If so, you may want to arrange your schedule so you can participate in the popular Madison Avenue Watch Week, May 8 - 13. This year, the 7th annual event offers watch lovers an in-depth look at the timepieces launched at the 27th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie and the Baselworld 2017 World Watch and Jewelry Show. This marks the first time many of these watches will be shown in the USA.

The impressive roster of participating watch brands include the following: A. Lange & Söhne, Chopard, David Yurman, F.P. Journe, Hublot, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai and Vacheron Constantin.

Each of these brands will be hosting a variety of events, including seminars, artisan demonstrations, watchmaker and mechanical technology presentations, special exhibitions and more.

Madison Avenue Watch Week is presented by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). The event is sponsored by The Wall Street Journal and supported by the Horological Society of New York. To register, visit www.madisonavenuewatchweek.com.

2017-04-27

Earlier this year, we announced that Greenery was the high-point color for spring as announced by Pantone. Additionally, the experts on color pronounced that reds would be hot for fall. Now, the Pantone Color Institute reminds us that for spring and summer (and even into early fall), a new palette of important colors is coming our way. Interestingly enough, we are already seeing these colors surfacing at many watch brands in the form of dials, accents and straps.

Key colors that are great for the wrist include the following: Primrose Yellow, a warmer rather than brighter yellow; Pale Dogwood, a super soft and muted blush pink; Island Paradise, a tropical turquoise; Kale, the vegetable color green; and six others shown below.

Stop in any time to see the watches we have that sport these tones so that you can be right on trend.

2017-04-25

We hear about all sorts of items being made via three-dimensional printing… but watches? Absolutely. In fact, over the past few years, more and more watch brands have been using 3D printing in creating prototypes of watches that are in the research and development stages. It considerably helps to speed up the process.

By three-dimensionally printing cases and bracelets, designers and watchmakers can study the ergonomics of the pieces, the sizes, the curves and the fit. In the past, a watch brand would create a mold and then have samples made for them to see, touch and feel. This process would easily take a few weeks each time something would be altered in the prototype. However, three-dimensional printing takes almost no time in comparison.

In a recent survey, more than 60 percent of watch executives said they already use 3D printing for prototypes of cases, dials, bracelets, buckles and crowns. The benefits of moving more quickly also equal a labor and time reduction, which may help influence eventual prices. Additionally, because objects are designed on a computer for 3D printing, it is very precise, giving watch brands an excellent representation of how the piece will turn out when finally made for real.

Thus far, none of the top luxury watch brands are actually making 3D-printed watches, however, several of the finest haute horlogerie companies are secretly investigating new production methods in laboratories and universities. We can’t wait to find out more, and when we do, we will keep you posted.

2017-04-20

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.

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. We will bring you more about the brands that dedicated their resources to ocean preservation on World Oceans Day in June.

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.

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.

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.

Page links: Next