Bellusso Jewelers Blog

Bellusso Jewelers Blog
2018-02-21

Monday was President’s Day, so to honor our American leaders, we shine a spotlight today on some of their favorite watches.

Throughout history, pocket watches and, later, wrist watches have accompanied many of our leaders on their journeys, to the podiums for speeches and more. In some instances, our leaders purchased those watches and in other instances they were gifts. Either way, time has always had an important role in the White House.

Our very first president, George Washington, owned a Jean-Antoine Lepine pocket watch during his presidency. It is said he asked a friend to purchase the watch for him while that friend was abroad. Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, as well as our fifth president, James Monroe, each owned a pocket watch made by Daniel Vaucher, a famed French watchmaker. Monroe also wore a Gabriel pocket watch. Years later, our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was regularly seen with an American-made Waltham watch.

As the 19th century gave way to the 20th century, wristwatches came into vogue. One particularly favored brand with presidents was the Vulcain Cricket alarm watch, a favorite of both Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Franklin Delano Roosevelt wore a calendar watch by Tiffany & Co., whose movement was made by Swiss brand, Movado. In fact, Tiffany has created a tribute timepiece in honor of FDR's watch.

Post-World War II presidents also owned top-notch Swiss watches. John F. Kennedy, in the early 1960s, wore a Cartier and an Omega. He was also gifted a watch by Marilyn Monroe, but swiftly gave that watch away without ever wearing it. Other presidents, including Richard Nixon and Lyndon Baines Johnson, carried on the Vulcan Cricket alarm watch tradition. Although LBJ also owned and proudly wore a Rolex.

LBJ_Vulcain_Cricket_560

Our more recent US Presidents were less likely to sport the more expensive gold Swiss watches. Former President Bill Clinton has been seen wearing a Shinola, and, while in office, often wore a Timex. Similarly, President Barack Obama was seen wearing more affordable brands, such as Jorg Gray, TAG Heuer and a Shinola during his time in office. However, in his recently unveiled official portrait (done when each president leaves office), he is wearing a Rolex. As for President Trump: He has been seen wearing a Rolex and a vintage Patek Philippe.

2018-02-20

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.

German brand A. Lange & Sohne has unveiled the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange series of limited-edition watches. The watches pay tribute to Walter Lange who re-established A. Lange & Sohne 27 years ago, bringing the brand his great grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, founded back to reality. When he died earlier this year — just a few days into the 2017 SIHH – the world lost a good leader. These new timepieces honor his vision and tenacity, as he is responsible for building A. Lange & Sohne into the great success it is today — with more than 60 calibers and a host of important patents.

The A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watch with a stoppable jumping sweep seconds hand recalls the invention developed by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1867 and put into a pocket watch a decade later by Emil Lange: the jumping sweep seconds hand with start/stop function. Instead of being a creeping seconds hand like most mechanical watches that work via a series of about six different steps and show the second hand slowly and continually moving, the Jump seconds is a more complex system that actually indicates second by second movement, with the seconds hand jumping one marker at a time. This allows for exact measurement of each second via a subsidiary dial at 6:00 that has an outer rail track. By pushing the button at 2:00, the wearer can stop the seconds hand and start it again to measure more accurately without effecting the time measurement.

The new caliber, L1924 — named for the year Walter Lange was born — offers 60 hours of power reserve and is cased in a 40.5mm tribute watch made in 18-karat white gold (145 pieces — for 1845 when the brand was first founded), 18-karat pink gold (90 pieces for when Walter Lange founded the new A. Lange & Sohne), and 18-karat yellow gold (27 pieces for the 27 years of the brand’s existence under Walter Lange). Each of these retails for $47,000. There is also a one-of-a-kind stainless steel version with black enamel dial that is made strictly for a charitable auction taking place next year.

2018-02-14

Happy Chinese New Year! This Friday, February 16, marks the start of the Year of the Dog, the 11th sign in the Chinese Zodiac. To mark this momentous occasion, the master artisans at Breguet and Vacheron Constantin have created limited-edition dog-themed watches.

The dog embodies certain important traits that include loyalty, bravery, honesty and devoted attention. The dog is smart and incredibly lively. These are the features that Breguet hoped to interpret in their new timepiece: the Breguet Classic 7145 Chow Chow watch. Powered by a mechanical movement that can be viewed through the sapphire caseback, the Classic 7145 watch features the dog in the center of the dial, happily stealing the show. The fully engraved white gold dog sits atop some coins and is set against a hand guilloché dial. The detailing of the dog on the dial requires hundreds of hours of engraving work, as well as dozens of hours creating the guilloché ivory background. Just eight pieces will be made.

Another dog-themed beauty is from Vacheron Constantin. Part of the brand's Métiers d’Arts “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” collection, the new 40mm watch is a hands-free timepiece with a magnificently sculpted dog occupying the entire center of the dial, with leaf pattern scrollwork in the background. Without traditional hands to indicate the time, the hours, minutes, day and date are shown via apertures surrounding the dog. The watch is offered in platinum with a blue dial or in rose gold with a red dial and just 12 of each will be made.

This may be the best year to demonstrate your love for man's best friend.

2018-02-07

OK, men, Valentine's Day is just around the corner and you want to be on top of your game for that special woman in your life, be it a wife, a girlfriend or mom. While flowers are beautiful, they are so cliché — besides they die in a few days. Chocolates are sweet, too, but who isn't trying to watch their weight these days? Dinner — yes, romantic for a night. However, we suggest you look to give her something much more meaningful and long lasting: give the gift of time.

A watch makes a perfect gift. It says you care and that you took time to find the right timepiece for her. What's' more, it will last so much longer than all those other things — and as long as your love (Well, some watches might need a new battery if they are quartz, but you can stay on top of that five years down the road). Additionally, there is a watch for any budget. Here we bring you three tips for buying the right gift this year:

1- Think about the colors she loves. Watches come with all sorts of stunning straps, with vibrant hues, pastels and neutrals. Unsure of her favorite color? You can't go wrong with red or pink on Valentine's Day.

2- Think about those flowers you were considering. Certain watches have stunning floral motifs on their dial that let you give both concepts at once. Others also have heart motifs. You may want to look at those, or even better, just a beautiful swirl or hand-guilloché pattern on the dial that adds depth and dimension (much like that woman in your life has).

3- Think about her hobbies. Is she active and sports involved? A chronograph might be the right watch. Is she a business woman, busy traveling the world? Perhaps a dual timer or world timer watch would be a good pick. Does she like things simple and uncomplicated? Maybe a three-hands watch with date? Is she a hopeless romantic? Then you have to go with a moon phase watch.

Still not sure? Stop into our store any time in the coming week and we would be happy to help you find the watch that suits your message, your budget and your loved one. We can even send you on your way with a gift-wrapped box.

2018-01-31

International watch brands seem to have their attention focused squarely on the American market. This year, for the first time ever, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) is bringing its "Watches & Wonders" exhibition to the USA. Previously held in Asia, the Watches & Wonders show will be held in conjunction with the Miami Design District and is open to the public.

More than 21 brands will be exhibiting at the Miami Design Center over the President's Day weekend (February 16-19), and visitors will be marveling at some of the recently unveiled timepieces seen at the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) earlier this month. Mind you, the watches previewed at SIHH are not yet available in the US market, and when they are, they will be featured in our showcases. For now, visitors to Watches & Wonders may be able to see and touch some of them.

In addition to showcasing the newest trends, the Watches & Wonders show is also promoting a host of exciting programs, events and speakers, who will offer interesting takes on watches, jewelry and design, in general. Expect to see pop-up structures, too, from independent brands, such as Armin Strom, Romain Jerome, Roman Gauthier, Kari Voutilainen, F.P. Journe and Ralph Lauren.

Organized in partnership with Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Miami Design District, this four-day event will run concurrently with the 30th annual Miami Yacht Show and the Miami Design District Concours exotic car show.

2018-01-24

As we mentioned last week, women's watches were an important trend at the SIHH exhibition in Geneva, the first important watch show of the year. Cartier certainly pulled out all the stops with its newest elegant watches for women, with scintillating designs enhancing several key collections. In fact, for the Cartier Libre collection, the brand focuses on revelations and transformations.

After reviewing its finest archival pieces, Cartier unveils a host of new watches with an emphasis on black-and-white design and on diamonds and high jewels — in true Cartier style. The concept herein was to play with shapes — something this brand has done with panache since its inception. It has transformed, mixed and blended the shapes of its Crash and Baignoire, offering disruptive volumes and proportions for truly feminine pieces.

These newest watches were just unveiled and we are bringing you a close-up look here, but please keep in mind, they won't be making their way to the markets until late summer, early fall ... just in time to don some real glamour for the holidays.

2018-01-17

As we mentioned last week, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is taking place in Geneva this week — with more than 30 brands showing at this spectacular by-invitation-only exhibition. The show opened officially on Monday, and is in full swing, but here we bring you an insider's look at three key trends stealing the limelight thus far, and that we can expect to see coming into the market later this summer.

Chronographs and chic, sporty watches. There is a renewed interest in split-second timing this year, and many brands are unveiling sporty, chic chronographs that can measure distances or speeds related to one or multiple events. Generally, chronographs have two pushers to operate their time-tracking functions, but we are seeing some wonderful new Monopusher (single pusher) chronographs coming to fruition that are sure to offer a sleeker appeal in a nice contrast to the bulkier, bolder sport watch.

Vintage inspirations and anniversary collections. You just can't get away from the retro styling and vintage inspirations we are seeing at this exhibition — nor would you want to. In fact, the vintage accents run the gamut from 20th century hands and stylized numerals, to silver and parchment dial colors that recall the early 1900s. Some brands are even implementing historic logos on their dials as a nod to their rich past. This year also seems to be an important one for many watch brands, some celebrating 10 years, and other celebrating centuries. Additionally, some brands are paying homage to particular lines or collections that have anniversaries in 2018.

Women's watches. We have been talking about the women's watch market as a growing segment for at least a decade now. Every year, we witness more brands unveiling timepieces geared for women — and often including automatic and mechanical movements, as well as coveted complications. Moonphase and calendar watches remain a favorite for women, but this year we are witnessing a few more complexities, including tourbillons and repeaters. Make no mistake, though, there are still a grand number of women's decorative watches — sporting three-hands and diamonds or other designs — making their way to the forefront.  And, for women, color will be key this year.

We will bring you more in-depth news and product reports from the brands after the show concludes.

2018-01-10

With the new year upon us, we breathlessly anticipate a series of world-class watch exhibitions, including what promises to be one of the best shows of 2018: Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Opening on Monday, January 15, and running through Friday, January 19, this by-invitation-only Geneva watch exhibition is always packed with surprises.

This year, 30+ brands will showcase their newest timepieces at the Geneva Pal Expo space. This includes all of the Richemont brands, as well as Hermes, Audemars Piguet, Parmigiani Fleurier and a host of 17 independent watch brands. Each of these companies will unveil watches that they have spent years working on. For a fine watch to get from concept and design to development can take anywhere from a couple of years to 10, depending on the brand and the complexity of the watch. These designs introduced at SIHH are the ones that will grace our wrists for the coming year.

In addition to the brands exhibiting at the SIHH, a host of others will be showing their latest designs at different venues throughout the city of Geneva, with some independents up in the watchmaking cantons also opening their doors. A veritable Geneva watch week, this promises to be an exciting time, and we look forward to bringing you news of the latest watches from the brands we carry. Stay tuned.

2018-01-03

Welcome to the new year. We expect it to be an exciting one in the world of watches, so this is a good time to get started planning your newest watch wardrobe. Yes, that's right, a watch wardrobe. If you haven't already begun paying close attention to the watch you wear, this is a good time. Watches make a great statement about you and your interests. Lucky for us, this year promises to be a good one — especially since we see so many watch brands jumping on the best colors of the season. Let's face it, color is the ultimate expression of creativity and attitude.

The Pantone Color Institute recently issued its color trends for the winter season — which began late in December and runs through the next few months. The most prominent color on the list — not just for winter but for all of 2018 — is the divine Ultra Violet, Pantone Color number 18-3838. According to the execs at Pantone, this is an optimistic and empowering color — with a hint of rebellion in it.

Additionally, light, bright and intense colors — often with a pearlized or translucent look — come into play. These include celery or leafy greens (an extension of Pantone's Greenery color of 2017), bright yellow, rose, pink and berry hues, and a bit of blue. Black and gold continue to be strong and metallics are still important, but in a more neutral tone (taupe, almond, white) this winter.

So, when planning your watch wardrobe, take a look at the many different colored straps, dial accent colors and even yellow gold-and-black combinations on the market. We are sure you will find the right look to help you battle the winter doldrums.

Credits: PHOTOS COURTESY OF PANTONE COLOR INSTITUTE.

2017-12-27

As you enjoy the festive season and anticipate your New Year's celebrations, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays. May the new year ring in good health, success and happiness for each and every one of you and for those you love.

We look forward to a new and exciting year, as well. For those who are lovers of watches like we are, rest assured that in the new year, we will be bringing you a host of exciting new watches from all the brands we carry. Some of those pieces have been years in the making and are highly technical, while others are all about style and design. From the sporty to the chic, the new year will a very special time.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Joyful New Year!

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