Bellusso Jewelers Blog

Bellusso Jewelers Blog
2018-02-28

Each season, Pantone unveils the newest colors that will grace fashions, styles, home decor and accessories. Generally, the Pantone Color Institute is pretty specific. This year, though, with the spring 2018 colors "variety" is the buzz word.

As issued in the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report, the colors for spring 2018 consist of four essential classic neutral tones (this is the first time that Pantone has issued a classic color report) and 12 standout hues that run the gamut from pastels to bright acid tones of the 1970s, as well as darker jewel tones.

Meadowlark Yellow tops the charts as the most important color for spring. However, it takes a certain person to wear this bold hue, even if it does embrace optimism. Other key hues come in the red family in the form of Cherry Tomato (obviously red-orange) and Chili Oil (reddish brown), and in the pink family, with tones such as Pink Lavendar and Blooming Dahlia. Additionally pale blues and cool greens come into play.

For the classic side, because, let's face it, one needs to pair these tones with some neutrals, Pantone says the key colors are Warm Sand, Sailor Blue (navy), Harbor Mist (silver gray) and Coconut Milk (creamy white). The names make it sound  like we're in for a beach-and-water adventure this spring.

In all, the colors of the season seem to be more about individuality and personal statement-making. So, what's the best way to use the shades to your advantage this spring? Easy: colorful watches, watch straps and jewelry.  We have the answer; stop in any time to see.

Credits: All images courtesy of Pantone.

2018-02-26

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.

The high-watchmaking division of Bulgari is where four masters create the tourbillons and chiming pieces. (Photo: R.Naas, ATimelyPerspective)

Italian-born Bulgari (founded in Rome in 1884) has been bringing exceptional watches to the forefront in recent years, with some world-record setting timepieces joining the high-jeweled and haute horology ranks. Much of that growth and development is the result of strong leadership — after all, the brand is under the vigilant eye of veteran watch industry executive Jean-Christophe Babin, whose keen knowledge of the industry, eye for product and lust for cutting-edge technology has brought the brand to all new levels. Under his leadership, this brand has — in the past two years alone — unveiled both a world record-setting haute-horology watch with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, and at this year’s BaselWorld, with the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, which lays claim to the title of the worlds’ thinnest hand-wound Minute Repeater. The Caliber 362 consists of 362 parts and is just 3/12mm thin. When cased, the entire titanium watch — of which just 50 will be made — measures just 6.85mm in thickness.

The haute horology division, where world-record watches are made, sits on the top floor of the Bulgari Manufacture with sweeping views of the landscape. (Photo: R. Naas, ATimelyPerspective)

”It is essential for a top watchmaking brand to be easily identifiable as a brand from a glance, and to do that you must have key pillars, lines whose architecture speaks volumes,” says Bulgari CEO Babin.

“Our four pillars include the Octo and the Serpenti – both of which we are building upon this year…. The beauty of Bulgari is to bring a bit of surprise to our consistent identity,” says Babin, adding that the ability to craft such a masterpiece lies, in part, in the brand’s purchase 16 years ago of the Daniel Roth/Gerald Genta workshops.

Since that acquisition in 2000, Bulgari has taken the technical knowledge inherent in those brands and integrated it into its technical plan – keeping only the best designs and inventions. What has really propelled the brand to its newly enjoyed status as a true luxury watchmaker, though, is its incredible commitment to becoming fully integrated, to investing in substantial R&D and to its ability to hire some of the best master artisans available.

Like other watch brands, Bulgari deftly blends state-of-the-art machinery with hand craftsmanship. (Photo: R.Naas, AtimelyPerspective)

“With a strong base, we were able to build and develop new things thanks to the expertise of our watchmakers and design team,” says Babin. “The past decade has been one of great growth and savoir faire. We have invested fully in R&D and have built our workshops to be fully integrated.”

Indeed, a visit to the Bulgari workshops (a hallowed place that few get to visit) is a real eye-opener and a testament to a deft blend of integrated technology and hand craftsmanship. The Bulgari watch brand workshops – like many Swiss brands – are spread out in the Jura Mountains where the 350-people strong workforce makes everything from movement parts to dials, cases and bracelets internally.

Computerization helps the watchmakers at Bulgari remain incredibly efficient in channeling the work process of assembling movements. (Photo: R. Naas, ATimelyPerspective)

There is a main factory in Le Sentier where the movements (especially the Caliber 191, the ultra-thin Finissimo, and the complicated watches) are made; the assembly workshops and headquarters buildings are in Neuchatel; case and bracelet Manufacture is in Saignelégier; ;the dial-making workshops are in LaChaux de Fonds.

In the main portion of the Bulgari workshops, the mainstay movements are tracked and passed along computerized rails -- much like a tiny city of calibers. (Photo: R. Naas,ATimelyPerspective)

It is in the workshops in Le Sentier that most of the important action takes place. Here, the Octo Solotempo movement, Caliber 191, was born. Created about three years ago, it was Bulgari’s first fully in-house-made mechanical movement with automatic winding and instantaneous date. The meticulously finished movement has become the workhorse of the brand, powering many a timepiece.

In a special section of the workshops, more than 40 watchmakers produce this movement for the brands tens of thousands of watches built annually. It is a well-oiled machine, with each and every movement — bar coded from the beginning — undergoing dozens of watchmaking steps, multiple machine- and watchmaker-checked quality controls and more.

All of the movement components are hand finished and polished. (Photo:R. Naas, ATimelyPerspective)

Even more impressive is the blend of state-of-the-art machinery and old-world craftsmanship. Movement parts and calibers are finely finished using a variety of techniques by hand and by machine. All of the angling is done by hand, though, and even the tools the specialists use are made by him or her to ensure the best fit.

It is in the finishing that one can easily see why a mechanical, hand-finished watch costs what it does. The fine angling and finishing demands deep concentration, and hundreds of hours of unique skills go in to finishing one piece. At the haute horology level, it takes 20 hours just to finish the three pieces and the tourbillon carriage bridges for a single tourbillon watch—so that only two complete sets can be made in a week.

In addition to the superb finishing departments in the Le Sentier workshops, this building is also where the complicated watchmaking takes place – with the tourbillons, perpetual calendars and other specialty pieces being created by a team of 10 high-horology watchmakers.

In the haute horology workshops of Bulgari, everything is done by hand. (Photo: R. Naas, ATimelyPerspective)

As if this wasn’t enough, secreted away on the top floor of the workshops is the cream of the crop: the chiming department. In this bright and airy space overlooking the Swiss countryside, four watch makers works side by side building, tweaking and finishing each and every chiming Bulgari watch.

The art and craftsmanship that goes into building luxury timepieces with the name Bulgari carefully placed on them is a feat that few could have expected just a couple of decades ago. Now, however, that same art, innovation and craftsmanship has become a benchmark standard for the brand.

The true beauty of the high complications lies within the case — at the heart of the movement. (Photo: R. Naas, ATimelyPerspective)

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.