Bellusso Jewelers Blog

Bellusso Jewelers Blog
2018-04-23

We are pleased to partner with ATimelyPerspective.com, the most authoritative source for watch reviews and news, to bring even more in-depth content to our blog. This article first appeared there.

Breguet introduces its Classique Tourbillion Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 watch — now with a Grand Feu enamel dial.

This long-awaited addition to the Grandes Complications collection features a striking, white enamel dial with classic blued Breguet hands, and a chapter ring with Breguet Arabic numerals. The simple dial has been deliberately pared down to the essentials, to give the tourbillion the full attention it deserves.

This Breguet Classique Tourbillion Extra-Plat Automatique watch is intricately finished, with the bridges, barrel and oscillating weight all hand engraved. The oscillating weight is a peripheral rotor that is crafted in platinum. The watch is incredibly thin at 7.45mm thick (with the movement measuring 3mm). Caliber 581 is equipped with a patented high-energy barrel with more spring coils. While this understated timepiece, has no power reserve indicator, it does in fact, maintain 80 hours of power reserve. The 42 mm watch is crafted in 18-karat rose gold with a mahogany brown strap, or in platinum with a blue alligator strap.

2018-04-18

An exciting exhibit about telling time in Medieval days is on display until April 29 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, and if you are in town, you won't want to miss it. Entitled Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time, the exhibit portrays how difficult it was to tell time — and the myths about time — in the Middle Ages.

The exhibit is a comprehensive look at pieces and manuscripts owned by the Morgan that date back from the 11th century and through the 16th century. Most pieces hail from major countries in Europe. Highlights include paintings of farming fields (done according to the projected season), or of sacred feasts (of time and of religion) to celebrate certain anticipated dates. Other items include a long scroll work that explores the mysteries of Golden Numbers, a medieval calendar and a study of how Julius Caesar's Roman Calendar finally came into being. A particularly unusual aspect of the exhibit revolves around how people of the time were obsessed with whether or not time beyond the grave existed.

Wall hangings include ancient wooden astrolabes and an entire 60-foot-long scroll manuscript depicting history as they knew it. In all, it is a fascinating walk through five centuries when time was viewed as seasons and as moons rather than as days, hours or even minutes. If you are in New York any time in the next 10 days, we recommend stopping in to the exhibit.

All images courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum. August: Reaping Wheat, “Da Costa Hours,” Belgium, Ghent, ca. 1515, illuminated by Simon Bening, The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.399, fol. 9v, purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910. Image courtesy of Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz/Austria.

2018-04-11

Last week we discussed some of the biggest watch trends emerging from Baselworld. One of those trends revolves around diving watches, as more and more people get involved in active sports. Understanding what constitutes a great diver's watch is important, as most high-precision diver's watches offer a series of functions that could prove useful. With summer approaching, one may want to consider a new purchase to accompany that deep dive.

To be a true dive watch, a timepiece needs to adhere to certain ISO standards. These standards vary depending on whether one is snorkeling, scuba diving or deep sea diving. For diving, the absolute minimum should be 300 meters of water resistance. Some people may choose 200-meter water-resistant watches, but those will really only let you dive to within 100 meters of the surface. Currently, some of the ISO standards are being reevaluated, and new standards will be issued later this year. Depending on the anticipated depth, having a watch that is equipped with a helium escape valve can also be useful.

Additionally, a good diver's watch should be equipped with a ratcheted, one-way rotating bezel. That bezel helps measure elapsed dive times and can help to indicate when one must begin to resurface. Having a one-way rotating bezel instead of a bi-directional bezel ensures that the bezel will not be accidentally pushed in the wrong direction — leading divers to believe they have more time left underwater than they actually have.

Underwater reading of time is also an important factor, and so most dive watches should have anti-glare crystals and Super-LumiNova hands and markers. These will ensure that even when very little light is reaching the watch, the time indications are still visible.

While case materials for dive watches have come a long way, the preferred case is typically titanium. The metal is light weight, highly scratch resistant and extremely corrosion resistant. Following titanium, dive watches crafted in steel or carbon are the best alternatives. Most dive watches are equipped with metal bracelets or rubber straps, but it is best if you can find a strap with an expansion bracelet to fit over wetsuits. Double-locking bracelet clasps are also a great idea for underwater adventure.

Depending on the brand, some of today's dive watches also offer other important features. These can include double- or triple-locked winding crowns and/or additional gaskets for added water resistance. Just a handful of brands also offer dive watches with an alarm function, wherein the alarm can be sounded under water.

Most dive watches are also COSC-certified chronometers. Chronometers are watches that have undergone rigorous testing by the Controle Official Suisse des Chronometres (COSC) observatory — or by a similar observatory in France, Germany or Japan — over a period of time. The watches are monitored in various positions and under different conditions of pressure, temperature, depth and gravity.

If diving is on your bucket list and you are planning a spring or summer excursion, we invite you to swim on in to our store anytime to check out our seaworthy timepieces.

2018-04-09

We are pleased to partner with ATimelyPerspective.com, the most authoritative source for watch reviews and news, to bring even more in-depth content to our blog. This article first appeared there.

Here’s a look at the IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” Jump Hour and jump minute wristwatch.

IWC Schaffhausen is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The Swiss brand – founded by Bostonian Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868 – now pays homage to its past and to the rich history of watchmaking with stunning new Jubilee watches in honor of its anniversary. While there are 17 limited-edition pieces, we are most thrilled with the incredible IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” watch (Ref. IW505002).

Crafted in 18-karat 5N rose gold, the technically advanced watch is the brand’s first ever wristwatch to house and original digital hours and minutes display – in the same configuration as it was built on the famed Pallweber pocket watches of 1884 that IWC created. The jumping numerals on the beautiful white lacquered dial are harmoniously designed with the small hours aperture at 12:00, the minutes aperture (via two windows) beneath it at the center of the watch, and the circular sub-seconds dial with outer track resides at the bottom at 6 o’clock. It is a clean, crisp digital indication of time via rotating disks.

The all-new movement for the IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition 150 Years watch has a patent pending for the ingenious mechanism.

The Challenge in Making the IWC Tribute to Pallweber 150 Years Watch

Even when IWC used this method to display time back in 1884, it was revolutionary. Today, it seems also to be a revolution and an evolution of time. The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” watch houses a new in-house-made movement, the 94200 caliber, which has a patent pending. The thing about a jump hour watch, let alone a jump hour and jump minute, is that the watchmaker’s challenge is building in enough energy to “jump” those indications at a synchronized time. This is not as easy as pushing a hand forward.

As such, the watchmakers developed a solution for the sophisticated display. The early Pallweber pocket watches used toothed cogs to move the disks, however, in the new wristwatch, the impulse that advances the single-minute portion of the minute disk is supplied by a separate wheel train with its own barrel. There is an ingenious release mechanism that unlocks the watch’s main wheel train every 60 seconds – enabling the jump ahead by one minute. After a full 10 minutes, the single-minute disc moves in concert with the 10-minute disk. On the 60th minute, the hour ring jumps ahead to the next numeral. The watch is equipped with 60 hours of power reserve thanks to the fact that the wheel train moving the minutes does not influence its main wheel train.

The new IWC Tribute to Pallweber 150 Years wristwatch takes its inspiration from the 1886 Savonnette Pocket Watch Pallweber made by IWC. It was the result of a deal between IWC and Joseph Pallweber in 1884, wherein IWC secured the rights to the Pallweber system.

The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition 150 Years watch, like all of the 150th anniversary pieces, features a lacquered dial with blued seconds hand and blued numerals and accents. Referencing the historical piece designed by Pallweber and made by IWC via F.A. Jones, the windows of the hours and minutes apertures are labeled. Just 250 pieces will be made with a white lacquer dial and blue accents – each retailing for an incredible price of just about $36,600.

About the Spirit and Creation of the IWC Tribute to Pallweber 150 Years Watch

“Our founder’s entrepreneurial spirit and his untiring quest for engineering excellence have left a lasting impression on IWC,” says Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC. “To this day, our watches combine precision engineering with design that is as unusual as it is timeless. Our Jubilee collection revisits icons from the past years of IWC and unifies them through a timeless design code to form a single striking collection.” In fact, each of the watches in the Jubilee collection – including Portugieser and DaVinci watches and others –bear a similar color-coding of white or blue with lacquer and enamel dials.

According to Christian Knoop, creative director at IWC, the dials are coated with 12 layers of lacquer, flat polished, brushed and then imprinted several times. “We drew our inspiration from the unusual aesthetic appeal of the enamel dials used for the historic Pallweber watches,” says Knoop. Stay tuned; we will be bringing you more about this exciting series.

2018-04-04

It is the biggest luxury jewelry and watch show of the year: Baselworld. The show recently closed its doors after a six-day event that proved highly successful. Retailers, consumer and journalists from around the world converged on Baselworld to see the newest, latest and greatest timepieces make their debuts. In most cases, these watches were years in the design, development and research stages. While they are hot off the presses, so to speak, the newest watches won't make their way to stores for at least another month or so, but that doesn't stop us from doing some trend spotting. Here are three key takeaways from Baselworld 2018.

Vintage, Vintage, Vintage

We can't say it enough. The biggest trend this year revolves around recalling our past. Many watch brands dug into their archives and developed watches based on an earlier, mid-20th-century watch that held some special meaning or appeal. While some brands re-interpreted designs of yesteryear by updating materials, colors, or dials, others unveiled almost literal reproductions of an early iconic watch. Some brands are even celebrating key anniversaries (50th, 60th, 75th) and releasing models in celebration.

Key vintage trends revolve around dial colors, with parchment, silver and lacquered white dials for many classic timepieces. However, also rearing their retro heads are blue and black dials — especially when combined with taupe numerals — as well as salmon or pink-hued dials. Another vintage trend has to do with numerals, markers and hands, with many brands adding Super-LumiNova and returning to classic fonts and hand styles. Lastly, elongated lugs are reappearing on the market — demonstrating a retro look and an ergonomic fit.

GMT Timing

While some key luxury brands continue to unveil high complications and complex novelties, many of the big-name brands favored more useful complexities this year. Such functions include dive watches, calendar watches and even chronographs. However, the most important function, it seems, is the GMT watch. Simply put, a GMT watch features  a 24-hour format hand that indicates a second time zone in very easy terms.  This year's favorite GMT watches are in chocolate brown, forest green, slate gray and ivory dial colors, in addition to the beloved blue.

Sports Watches 

As always, sport watches are an important category this year from both an aesthetic and function perspective. Classic sport watches and rugged sport watches dominate the scene, always with an eye toward design. On the classic sport side, many brands are inspired by the automobile racing world, with elements of the watch reminiscent of steering wheels, engines and grills. Even straps recall the sport, thanks to perforated holes that resemble leather driving gloves.

On the rugged and durable sport watch side, the sky  — or the sea — is the limit. Most popular this year are the dive watches, with many brands unveiling timepieces ready to weather the saltwater and harsh temperatures and depths inherent in diving. Some pilot watches emerge, as well, but these are taking a slight backseat to the more active sports, such as diving and mountain climbing. Key features in the newest sport watches include the use of a wide variety of materials for the case, ranging from high-tech ceramic and carbon fiber to the much-coveted alternative metals, such as bronze and even tantalum.

As mentioned, each of these trends is important in today's active lifestyles, where form and function come together to deliver a timepiece that does much more than just tell the time. We will have the newest watches of 2018 arriving in stores beginning next month, and invite you to stop in any time to see them.

2018-03-28

Easily one of the biggest watch trends spotted at Baselworld this year was the influence of car design and technology. Many brands unveiled watches that had some auto inspiration, whether it be a design detail or an outright auto partnership.

The love affair between cars and watches has been going on almost since the dawn of wristwatches and of automobiles back in the early 20th century. The synergies of precision timing, excellence and even high-tech materials and design make this a perfect match. While some watch brands offer designs that incorporate carbon fiber dials, rubber straps and bold racing colors, other brands form alliances with drivers, particular races and even racing teams — and then create watches in their honor.

Bulgari, for instance, has a relationship with luxury car brand Maserati. These two top-notch names have teamed up for a collaboration on watches that recently witnessed the unveiling of a Bulgari Octo jump-hour timepiece reflective of the automobile brand.

IWC has created a partnership with racing and with the world of vintage cars. The Swiss watch brand is a partner of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 racing team, and driver Lewis Hamilton is an IWC brand ambassador. Because IWC has been a partner with Mercedes-AMG since 2004, when the auto brand got involved with F1 racing, IWC naturally signed on, as well. The two partner brands have a host of synergies, so as Mercedes-AMG celebrates its 50th anniversary, IWC is right there. The brand's newly released Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG" is a 44mm titanium watch with an in-house-made self-winding chronograph. Additionally, IWC is unveiling another new watch this month at GoodWood, where it is the official timing partner of the Members Meeting.

2018-03-26

We are pleased to partner with ATimelyPerspective.com, the most authoritative source for watch reviews and news, to bring even more in-depth content to our blog. This article first appeared there.

Corum Magical 47 Bubble Watch by Elisabetta Fantone.

Corum has long been affiliated with artists for its legendary timepieces. Even back in the mid 1950s when founder Rene Bannwart experimented with drilling holes into coins to create dials, and when his son Jean-Rene turned to watchmaking artists such as Vincent Calabrese for the famed Golden Bridge, this brand was on the cutting edge of blending art and watchmaking technology. Decades later, when the brand was owned by Severin Wunderman, the beloved Bubble was unveiled, and frequently incorporated artistic dials as statement makers. Recently, under today’s ownership, the brand has not only re-established is artistic Bubble, but also has brought it to new heights — turning to a host of artists for some of the most unusual dials on the market. One of them most recent unveilings is the Corum Bubble 47 Magic by Canadian artist Elisabetta Fantone.

First shown to the world at Art Basel Miami, the Corum Bubble 47 Magical with dial by Elisabetta Fantone is the second in an artistic collaboration with the artist, who has been highly commissioned by celebs, such as Muhammad Ali, Celine Dion and others for her artwork. The newest Corum Bubble 47 Magic watch transcends time and space with an astronaut on the dial in a decidedly “space odyssey” sort of recollection. The dark green background engulfs the face of the space-suited astronaut — eyes wide open — with neon orange swirling lights aglow around him. The watch has no hands and, instead, time is indicated via a blue circle that engulfs hour and minute markers.

Elisabetta Fantone suite sponsored by Corum, at the National Hotel takeover in Miami. (Photo: R. Naas)

For those familiar with Fantone’s work, the brass-based dial is especially “her” – with manipulated painting and distinctive facial features. The look is made inky black and recalls deep space thanks to the black PVD grade 5 titanium case and bezel, and integrated black rubber strap. The watch retails for $6,400.

Our impressions: Even if you are not into space, astronauts and sci-fi, you will have a hard time resisting this watch. It screams adventure, action and unrivaled pop-art. As mentioned, this new watch was unveiled at Art Basel Miami, where there was a National Hotel takeover by Fantone, whose works were displayed everywhere, from the hotel lobby to the bottom of the swimming pool. She even decorated an entire suite sponsored by Corum, wherein the painting of the watch dial was the dramatic backdrop on the wall behind the bed, and where her artwork was converted to wallpaper for the walls and fabric for the pillows and coverlet.

This is the second affiliation that Corum has entered into with Fantone. The first Bubble Magical 47 watch Fantone crated was decidedly different, with a modern interpretation of the classic Mona Lisa.

2018-03-22

The Baselworld Fair opened today, and already we are seeing key trends emerge, including an emphasize on interchangeable watch straps, the introduction of new materials and a general downsizing of case sizes for men and women.

Interchangeability and versatility. As witnessed already at SIHH, watch brands are recognizing that consumers today like choice. As such, we expect to see a lot more brands offering interchangeable watch straps — with new methods for easy-click changeability and with grand diversity of leathers, metal bracelets, finishes and colors.

Continued use of new materials. While gold, steel and titanium remain the staple of watchmaking, we continue to see an evolution of new materials. Our favorite is the use of bronze because it develops its own patina over time, making the watchcase unique to its owners. On the flip side is the innovative use of sapphire, with more sapphire box cases being unveiled at the high-end of the spectrum, allowing for ultimate visibility of the movement, and with some brands unveiling new colors of sapphire. Additionally, certain cutting-edge brands are unveiling new alloys and new colors of alloys that bring an edginess to the timepiece.

Smaller case sizes. While the much-loved 44mm size for men and 36mm size for women will never go away, this year we are seeing a reduction in case sizes. For women, these reductions mean a emergence of "mini" cases (24mm) from couture brands, as well as from fashion-forward brands, and of 32mm and 34mm sizes that sit nicely on a thinner wrist. For men, 38mm sizes in a classic watch are beginning to populate the offerings. For comparison's sake, a US quarter measures about 24mm.

2018-03-19

We are pleased to partner with ATimelyPerspective.com, the most authoritative source for watch reviews and news, to bring even more in-depth content to our blog. This article first appeared there.

SIHH 2018: Cartier Rotonde de’ Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon, platinum.

Cartier has long been a leader in mysterious watches and clocks, and the Rotonde De Cartier Mysterious demonstrates the brand’s prowess in the haute horlogerie field yet again. In fact, the brand has been building mystery clocks since 1913 when the first such clock was unveiled. It was the result of a partnership between Louis Cartier and watchmaker Maurice Coüet, who was inspired by the clocks of the famous illusionist, Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin.

Essentially, a mystery clock is one where the connection of the hands to the rest of the movement’s gear train are hidden, giving the visual effect of them floating in the center of a transparent dial, the mystery being ‘How the heck are those hands working?’ In fact, the hands of the mystery clock are not driven by the typical central canon pinion, but instead are fixed on two large sapphire disks that are driven by hidden text and gears. being placed on transparent sapphire discs and the discs are rotated on via teeth on the periphery of the dial by hidden gears. Not too long ago, in 2013, Cartier brought the concept of mystery to new heights, unveiling the Mysterious Double Tourbillon movement wherein the tourbillon appears to be suspended in mid-air. It was a revolutionary piece snd game-changing in terms of technology.

SIHH 2018: Cartier Rotonde de' Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon is powered by the caliber 9465 MC, made in house.

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon

Now, Cartier unveils two new Mysterious watches that are guaranteed to have all eyes riveted on the wrist. The Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch, powered by the original 286-part caliber 9465MC (as used in the 2013 watch), is set to strike a number of visual queues. The flying tourbillon sits on a sapphire disc driven by gears that are partially concealed by the familiar skeletonized bridges that double as radial roman numerals. The tourbillon rotates around the centrally mounted fixed wheel once every five minutes and around its own axis once every 60 seconds.

Crafted in platinum and measure 45mm in diameter, the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch carries the ‘’Poinçon de Genève’’ certification. It is finished with a blue alligator strap and created in a limited edition of 30 pieces. It is also available in platinum with bezel paved with baguette-cut diamonds. Without diamonds and as shown here, it retails for $216,000.

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day and Night watch

SIHH 2018: Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day and Night watch.

The other impressive new piece is the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day and Night watch. This is an all-new mystery complication for the brand. Measuring 40mm in diameter and, housed in an 18-karat pink gold case, the watch is powered by the Cartier Calibre 9982MC. The mechanical movement with manual winding offers a mysterious day and night indicator with a sun (or moon by night) with an extra long ray that acts as the hour hand. It also offers a retrograde minute hand on the bottom half of the dial. The movement consists of 174 parts and 26 jewels and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Water reistan to 30 meters, the watch is also available in white gold. It retails for $63,000.

SIHH 2018: The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day and Night is powered by the Caliber 9982 MC movement.

2018-03-14

The first few months of every year are filled with so many events in the watch world, starting in January with the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) exhibition in Geneva and then running into the biggest watch show of the year, Baselworld, in Basel, Switzerland. This year, the Baselworld Fair official opens on Thursday, March 22, with pre-show events taking place on the 21st. The show runs through March 27.

This show is important for many reasons. To begin with, this is where the majority of watch brands — from Patek Philippe to Rolex — unveil their newest timepieces, watches destined to set the wrist trends for the coming year. During Baselworld, thousands of new timepieces are shown, many of which will start to make their way to stores later this summer and fall. This is where the trends are set, this is where the new materials in watchmaking are unveiled and this is where brands, retailers and even customers congregate to get the newest info on time and timekeeping.

About 800 brands will exhibit at the show. This list includes big name brands, niche brands, dozens of top independent watch brands and even some top jewelry brands. Additionally, around the city of Basel, another 30 or so brands are showcasing their new timepieces for those adventurous enough to step outside the show's cavernous halls.

We anticipate that this year's Baselworld exhibition will bring us some great new trends and directions for the coming year, and will keep you posted with more news and information very soon.

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