Bellusso Jewelers Blog

Bellusso Jewelers Blog
2018-04-25

This past Sunday, April 22, was Earth Day, a day we dedicate to celebrating this world's splendor and natural resources. We were reminded of how we all need to do our share to  preserve nature's riches. The watch industry, in particular, has risen to the challenge.

Some brands have gone all out to support important causes that include saving our oceans, replanting our forests, providing clean water, fighting for animal rights and much more. While these efforts are usually highly visible, some brands have been embarking on endeavors that many will never even notice.

In fact, we have witnessed three key accomplishments many brands are able to lay claim to that demonstrate a commitment to our environment.

Responsible Sourcing. A number of brands are making a concerted effort to responsibly source precious metals and gemstones adornments for their timepieces. In some instances, brands are turning to ethically sourced (and traceable) gems, and to noble metals that are fairly mined and wherein the mining companies help to sustain the local environment.

Alternative leathers and vegan tanning. In some instances, watch brands are developing alternatives to leather straps that include using Alcantara leather (a leather lookalike that does not use animal hides, but rather a synthetic material), ethically sourcing alternate types of materials (such as trout skin or similar as taken from fish raised for food and using the skins). Additionally, some brands are providing leather straps that have been vegetable tanned, cutting back on harmful tanning elements that could seep into the environment.

Creating clean and sustainable work places. Many of the watch brands that are updating and refurbishing their Manufactures and workspaces, particularly those in Switzerland, are engaging in important environmental practices. Some are turning to air and water re-purification systems, geo-thermal heating systems, solar windows and power, and more — all in an effort to protect our Earth.

It should be noted that this year's key effort on behalf of Earthday.org is to educate people about the damaging effects of plastics on the environment and to end plastic pollution on land and at sea. They have ideas on how anyone can help, from individuals to organizations and more. Check it out at this link https://www.earthday.org.

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.