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Leibish & Co

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair – March 2015 Opens


Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair - March (3FJ) opened Tuesday at Halls 3, 6 & 8 of AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong. The four-day event gathers more than 440 international exhibitors, presenting the latest designs and collections in fashion jewelry and accessories for Autumn/Winter 2015. 

The exhibitors come from 17 countries, including mainland China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, UK, USA, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

At the 9th edition of 3FJ, four theme zones and six group pavilions are featured. The four theme zones are “Fashion Accessories Zone”, “Sense Zone”, “Stainless Steel Jewellery Pavilion” and the “Fashion Jewellery Atelier.” The six group pavilions are mainland China, India, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. 

Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs at UBM Asia Ltd said the theme zones and pavilions “offer buyers unique market specialties. Grouping them into pavilions also makes it easier for buyers to navigate the show floor and quickly find what they need.” 

Lau added that 3FJ has been receiving growing support from the industry, as attested by the growing number of exhibitors. “There will be a wider range of product offerings that will cater to buyers with various budgets.” 

The trade fair runs till Friday.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Leibish & Co. Unveils Vivid Colored Diamond Collection


1.44 carat, Fancy Vivid Blue, radiant shape, SI1 Clarity, GIA graded; price available upon request

Online natural colored diamond company, Leibish & Co., has unveiled a collection of 62 vivid fancy colored diamonds at the Hong Kong Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show that opened Monday and will run till Friday.

Covering every color of the rainbow the prices for the gems run from $1,800 to nearly $70,000 for a diamond, not including those where the price is available upon request. All of the fancy colored diamonds in this group have been graded “Vivid,” meaning that it has the highest saturation of color. They are rarest of all fancy colored diamonds, according to the Gemological Institute of America.

The company, founded by Leibish Polnauer in 1979, sells to dealers and consumers primarily online but through more traditional channels as well. Polnauer said he released this collection to allow a broad group of people to buy the gems.

“They are seen as an ultra-luxurious item, one that is tempting, desirable, and out of the reach of most people,” he said. “As a company we have always worked to change that perception of color diamonds. With this in mind, we have released these special and unique diamonds with the precise understanding that they are available to anyone to buy, not just those few auction goers. Anyone with an Internet connection, or happens to be visiting the Hong Kong show, can shop for our vivid color diamonds.”

Polnauer said the stars of the collection are:

* 1.44 carat, Fancy Vivid Blue, radiant shape, SI1 Clarity, GIA graded; price available upon request (top photo)



* 1.08 carat, Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink, cushion shape, GIA; price available upon request



* 5.01 carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow, emerald shape, VVS2 Clarity, GIA; price available upon request



* 0.79 carat, Fancy Vivid Orange, radiant shape, VS1 Clarity, GIA; $276,600

“These four diamonds … are exactly the ones that are most popular at auctions today, and that make headlines,” he said. “These colors at these sizes are the most difficult to find, and the intensity makes them even more precious.”

These four as well as the entire collection are available by following this link.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Van Cleef & Arpels Used 8,000 Gems For Its Carpe Koï Watch Bracelet


Van Cleef & Arpels is known for its exceptional artistry, craftsmanship, creative uses of precious materials and storytelling. The Carpe Koï watch bracelet is the latest piece from the Parisian luxury house that displays all of these talents. The one-of-a-kind high jewelry piece was unveiled January at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) held January Geneva and I had to see it up close.

It is an orange-colored Koi carp in lifelike detail that represents what the brand calls its Mains d’Or (Hands of Gold), the skills of artists who first draw the piece in intricate detail followed by the hand-crafted techniques of its jewelers to create the jewel. This fish has a body made of 8,000 precious gems that took 3,450 hours to create. 

The bracelet combines yellow gold, white gold, diamonds, yellow sapphires, spessartite garnets, black spinels and “Paraíba-like” tourmalines (I’m assuming these are tourmalines (likely from Africa) with the same bluish and greenish color characteristics as the rare Brazilian Paraíba).


The carp has more than the sparkle of thousands of gems. It also has movement. The main feature is the mouth, which opens to reveal a quartz-powered watch dial, made of yellow gold, princess-cut diamonds, spessartite garnets and yellow sapphires. 

The watch bracelet is unfastened by pressing on the carp’s tail.

The Carpe Koï watch bracelet is the brand’s tribute to Japanese culture, as the Koi is “a symbol of love, as it enlivens Zen gardens with its bright colors, contributing serenity and life.” Known for swimming against the current, the brand says the Koi is also “a symbol of strength and courage.”

It appears to be a happy fish and with all of those gems I can see why. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Statement Necklaces, Earrings Sparkled At Oscars 2015

Scarlett Johansson wears a Swarovski crystal embroidered collar
 necklace with a Piaget Mediterranean Garden ear cuff set

It was the year of the statement necklace as major stars strolled the red carpet wearing large pieces in a variety of styles and materials. 

One of the most stunning necklaces of the evening wasn't even precious. It was a Swarovski crystal embroidered collar necklace worn by Scarlett Johansson. She matched the necklace with Piaget Mediterranean Garden ear cuff set in 18k pink gold with five pear-shaped emeralds, 278 brilliant-cut diamonds, four pear-shaped aquamarines and two pear-shaped green tourmalines.



Margot Robbie made a great statement wearing a Van Cleef & Arpels “Zip Antique Colombine” emerald necklace featuring diamonds and sapphires set in 18k yellow gold. It is a contemporary creation using the same techniques and similar design to the original that was created for the Duchess of Windsor in 1951. The piece is set with more than 150 diamonds and more than 300 sapphires. The zipper is fully functional.



Lupita Nyong'o may have out-done everybody with a white Calvin Klein gown adorned with approximately 6,000 white pearls, which were reportedly a mix of fake and real, that appeared to be part of the fabric of the dress. 



Anna Kendrick wore a diamond collar of five rows matched with marquis and pear-shaped diamond cluster earrings totaling 13 carats, reportedly by Norman Silverman. The necklace was tucked into the neckline of her gown. 



Cate Blanchett wore a multi-row turquoise necklace by Tiffany & Co. 


Jessica Chastain went another direction in a delicate and refined diamond necklace by Piaget. The actress was recently named a brand ambassador for the luxury jewelry and watch brand. 


It wouldn’t be an Oscars without Nicole Kidman making a red carpet jewelry statement. This year she wore more than $7 million worth of Harry Winston Diamonds, including 7-carat emerald-cut diamond earstuds, an 82-carat Caftan diamond bracelet, a 16.5-carat emerald-cut diamond solitaire ring and a 5.3-carat bezel-set diamond band ring.



Also, Dakota Johnson was adorned in a 100 carats of Forevermark Diamonds valued at $2.2 million.



Felcity Jones carried The Minaudière precious case (1947) from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection, crafted in styptor, yellow gold, and diamonds; and wore the “Dans les Étoiles” earrings featuring white and yellow diamonds and briolette-cut champagne diamond drops set in 18K white gold and “Snowflake” bracelet featuring diamonds set in platinum



Earring were the other big statement for the evening. Gwyneth Paltrow who wore Fire Phoenix Earrings and Pétales d'Amour Ring by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie.



Also in Anna Hu was Naomi Watts, who wore the Wallis Simpson Bracelet and Modern Art Deco sapphires earrings.



Model Dorith Mous wore approximately $70,000.00 in ethically sourced Donna Distefano jewelry including the ruby “Savannah” ring along with a rose cut diamond cushion halo ring called “Lizzie."

Other highlights included: 



Julianne Moore in Chopard earrings



Jamie Chung in Leticia Linton diamond cluster earrings with a tanzanite center stone.



Marion Cotillard chic in Chopard earrings



Giuliana Rancic in Forevermark Diamonds



America Ferrera Irene Neuwirth opal earrings



Recording artist Rita Ora in Lorraine Schwartz earrings

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

16 Luxury Watches from 16 Luxury Brands: The Best of SIHH 2015


The 25th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) was held about a month ago in Geneva. It is the first major watch tradeshow of the year and it is also considered by many to be the most exclusive and luxurious of them all. A total of 16 brands exhibit in which 11 are owned by Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company, Compagnie Financière Richemont.

There is an astonishing amount of creative, technological and innovative diversity in the Swiss watch industry and the products below represent the broad range of what’s available. I only focused on a single product from each brand so to be sure there will be more to write over the course of a year.

A Lange & Söhne
This year the company focused on sound with its Zeitwerk Minute Repeater (top photo). The Zeitwerk is a decimal minute repeater, which means it strikes at ten-minute intervals and at each minute.

The striking mechanism is triggered with a pusher. The time is sounded with a low-pitched chime for each hour, an offset double tone for each ten-minute period, and a high-pitched tone for each minute. For example, on the photograph of the watch the time is 7:52. When the pusher is triggered there are seven low sounding chimes for the hour. For the “five,” both hammers strike in an offset fashion five times. For the “two,” the high-pitched chime strikes twice.

A pusher is used—instead of a slide, typical for a minute repeater, because that is where the power typically derives. For the Zeitwerk the barrel of the caliber L043.5 mechanical movement provides the power.

If the minute repeater is going through its process at the same time a new minute is suppose to appear in the aperture, the jumping mechanism will pause until the minute repeater is finished.

Audemars Piguet
The Diamond Punk is a bold, tough looking timepiece that sneers at traditional, delicate jewelry watches.


A total of 56 white gold pyramids are faceted to create a spiky look reminiscent of the punk rock era. The pyramids are covered in 7,848 snow-set diamonds. A sliding cover reveals the 18k white gold dial, snow-set with 300 diamonds. It can be worn as a bracelet or timepiece.

More than 1,400 hours of work by designers, jewelers and gem-setters went into creating this watch.

Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier is using its Classima watch collection for men and women to introduce the world of luxury watches to young people. It’s positioning the watch as a way for young people to celebrate their first success, such as graduating college or landing that first job. This is a classic Swiss watch has a low enough price to get them interested and enough detail to keep their interests.


The 40 mm Classima Men’s in steel or two-tone versions has a redesigned dial with a date aperture at 3 o’clock and the center in line guilloche décor. The hours, minutes and seconds hands are in blued steel or gilt. It’s powered by a modified automatic Sellita movement.

The 36.5 mm-diameter size Classima Women collection of six watches is available in a quartz or automatic movement. The white or mother-of-pearl dial is centered with sunray guilloché.

Cartier
The French luxury house introduced a new watch shape, a new crown and new movement into one watch collection for men and women called Clé de Cartier.


Clé means “key” in French. The crown isn’t round. Instead it’s long with a cabochon sapphire in middle. You don’t pull the crown to wind the watch. You turn it like a key in a lock and it sort of locks into place after each revolution.

The new shape is a round case surrounded by a rounded cushion shape. The 1847 MC movement was made in house. There are five models in this collection, two for men and three for women.

Greubel Forsey
The young, independent company introduced its seventh “invention” at SIHH: The Mechanical Computer and its first application of it: The QP à Équation.


Described as a “sub-assembly” of 25 parts, it is being used to measure the Equation of Time. This is the difference throughout the year between solar time and mean time (conventionally fixed at 24 hours per day throughout the year). The length of a day in solar time varies according to the position of the earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun.

The Mechanical Computer in the QP à Équation automatically displays the indications of the perpetual calendar through to the equation of time: the seasons, the equinoxes, the solstices, the equation of time, and the date, day, month and the four-digit year. The eight indications are controlled by a single selector in the movement's winding crown. Turning it in either direction adjusts all indications with no risk of damaging the mechanism.

The equation of time is displayed by two sapphire crystal discs driven by the Mechanical Computer which rotates them independently to show the time difference as it changes throughout the year.

IWC
The Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition 75th Anniversary is reminiscent of the original Portugieser from the 1930s. The in-house 59215-caliber has an eight-day power reserve. The red gold reference is limited to 175 watches, while the steel case, ardoise (grayish purple) dial variant is limited to 750 pieces.


It has all the esthetic attributes of the Portugieser: Arabic numerals, slim feuille hands, railway-track-style chapter ring and small seconds at 6 o’clock. However, the inner chapter ring, hour indices and Arabic numerals are in gold-brown with black edging. The 18k red gold with silver-plated dial inherited the color scheme and company logo of its forebear almost without change. Light green dial elements on the stainless steel version contrast against the matte black dial. A new feature is the date display on the subdial at 6 o’clock.

Jaeger-LeCoultre
The dial of the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication depicts the starry Northern Hemisphere sky. The timepiece is dedicated to astronomical time measurement.


The sidereal orbital tourbillion in its titanium cage whirls around the dial in a counter-clockwise revolution in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds (reflecting sidereal time, which astronomers use to track stars and other heavenly bodies in the night sky). The 24-hour day (the “civil” time) is measured by a small sun on the outer part of the dial that rotates around the dial. The sky-chart and rotation is also used as a calendar that indicates the Zodiac and month.

Finally, there’s a minute-repeater that chimes the hours, quarters and minutes on demand. This is all powered by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 945 mechanical hand-wound movement.

Montblanc
The Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama traces the route from Europe to India by sea made by the Portuguese explorer. The 47 mm red gold case surrounds a three-dimensional dial. The 281-part, hand-wound tourbillon caliber MB M68.40, made at Montblanc’s Villeret manufacturing unit (which specializes in hand-made movements) features a one-minute tourbillon mechanism with a cylindrical hairspring.


The movement supports numerous functions, including: a triple time zone with local time displayed in hours and minutes; the home time presented on a three-dimensional 12-hour compass rose at 6 o’clock; and a pair of globes depicting the World´s 24 time zones in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, along with the passage of day and night.

Engravings and miniature paintings on the two halved globes indicate in relief the outlines of the continents, their borders and the oceans that separate them, recalling, on a daily basis, the sea route through the Earth’s two hemispheres that da Gama sailed in 1497.

The globes illustrate the day and night in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere along with latitude and longitude.

Panerai
Radiomir Firenze is a watch that honors its roots in the city of Florence. The AISI 316L stainless steel case is completely hand-engraved with motifs inspired by Florentine iconography. Each case requires more than a week of work by one engraver.


The 47 mm case has the same dimensions of the first watch created by the company in 1936. The watch is powered by the mechanical P.3000 caliber.

It’s limited to 99 units and will only be sold at Panerai’s historic Florence boutique in Piazza San Giovanni, where the company was founded. Since the case is hand-engraved, no two are identical.

Parmigiani
Honoring the 10th anniversary of a partnership between Parmigiani and luxury car maker Bugatti, the luxury watch brand unveiled two new timepieces: Bugatti Révélation and Bugatti Victoire. They are modeled after the Bugatti type 370 movement, which was the first watch produced by the partnership. The tubular shaped movement resembles an engine block. It was introduced to mark the partnership in 2004 and created a bit of a stir due to its unusual shape.


A third watch in the 10th anniversary line, Bugatti Mythe, was introduced in August 2014.

The motif of the Bugatti Victoire (pictured) is formed of concentric Vs, evoking the skid marks left on the track by a racing car. The geometric shapes were produced by engraving work on the white gold that makes it looks darker. The artisan who engraved this watch is the same one who worked on the Bugatti Centenaire in 2004, one of the first pieces in the collection. The side sections are set with diamonds. The leather strap was cut in the same V pattern.

Piaget
The company released the Emperador Coussin 1270S, the world’s thinnest ultra-thin tourbillon automatic skeleton watch, with a case measuring 8.85 mm thick. The cushion-shaped, ultra-thin (5.05 mm) tourbillon automatic skeleton caliber 1270S was designed and developed specifically for the 46.5 mm cushion-shaped case housing it. The caliber consists of 225 parts and took more than three years to develop.


The inverted architecture of this movement provides a view of the platinum oscillating weight and bridges. The off-centered micro-rotor and the tourbillion, topped with a P for Piaget, form a figure 8, providing a clear view of the main functional elements of this watch.

The watch is available in white and pink gold.

Ralph Lauren
The 867 collection, named after the New York flagship store at 867 Madison Avenue, reflects the style of the Art Deco era.


The Ralph Lauren 867 Petite Diamond timepiece has a 21.50mm 18k white gold case set with 289 round, brilliant-cut diamonds as well as 12 baguette-cut diamonds and attached to a black suede strap. It houses a Swiss quartz movement, decorated with Côtes de Genève.

Richard Mille
The centerpiece of the RM 19-02 Fleur lady’s timepiece is a tourbillon topped with a magnolia made of painted white gold leaves. Once per hour or on command with the push of a button, pink leaves of the magnolia opens to reveal the tourbillion. The center of the tourbillion extends up 1 mm imitating the stamen of the flower.


To make this happen, the grade 5 titanium tourbillon caliber uses 5 levers that surround the underside of the petals, with another system that uses a long pinion to raise the flying tourbillon and “stamen” upwards within the flower’s circumference. The energy for this action is supplied by a separate winding barrel.

Roger Dubuis
This year, the brand declared 2015 as the year of the “Astral Skeleton,” unveiling several skeleton interpretations. For its “creative” skeleton, the brand released the Excalibur Brocéliande. Decorative jewelry elements are entwined with the skeleton flying tourbillon movement and the dial.


The decorative elements of 18k gold vines include white round diamonds with touches of colored ivy leaves produced from precision cut gems in autumn colors of pink, yellow, and orange. They are added to the tourbillion movement without disturbing its operation.

The watch is available in a limited edition of 28-pieces.

Vacheron Constantin
For its 260th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin unveiled two timepieces in its Métiers d’Art collection distinguished by hand-engraved movements that keep with classic ornamental watchmaking traditions. The plates and bridges of the hand-wound calibers are adorned with delicate floral motifs, reminiscent of the engravings of the first pocket watches created by Vacheron Constantin.


The caliber 4400 hand-engraved movement of the Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Gravées is housed in a 950 platinum, 39 mm-diameter round case. There is no dial covering the movement in order to fully display the subtle floral motifs. It takes more than 10 days to craft the movement.

It is available only at Vacheron Constantin boutiques.

Van Cleef & Arpels
Successful luxury brands are exceptional storytellers, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any company that does it better than Van Cleef & Arpels.


The two newest releases in the “Poetic Complications” collection express the watchmaker’s art and the constant renewal of time. Both in white gold with a bezel set in round diamonds, these 38 mm timepieces combine the technical prowess of a quality movement with various hand-crafted techniques that display a gradual story over a 24-hour period.

For the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit Oiseaux de Paradis (Day Night Bird of Paradise), a bird of paradise sets its plume of feathers down upon a bird of paradise flower. As the day moves on, the feathers gradually recede making way for a diamond moon. The artistic scene was created with various hand-crafted techniques including cloisonné enamel and engraved gold.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Being Interviewed by Mark Patterson Jewelry


Mark Patterson Jewelry is an award-winning company with a great deal of success over the years as jewelry creator under its own brand and for its collaborations with jewelers like Tiffany & Co. The firm is founded by Mark and his wife, Josette. 

Mark, a goldsmith and jeweler, crafts the pieces while Josette, a designer, sculptor and painter, is the vision behind the company who creates many of the designs. 

The company is best known these days for its bridal jewelry. However, Mark says his first love is colored gems and in recent years he has returned to his passion creating a variety of pieces that use colored gems and ideas taken from his travels around the world. 

Josette’s vision for the company goes beyond designing and branding. In 2011, she started a blog where she interviews others in the industry who have blogs. Recently it was my turn to be interviewed. 

I spend so much of my time interviewing others that it always seems a bit awkward for me to be the one answering questions. Josette made it a pleasant experience and you can read the results by following this link

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Monday, February 16, 2015

The Nixie Machine at MB&F’s MAD Gallery

The Nixie Machine

MB&F is a company that has built its reputation on radically challenging traditional watchmaking in appearance and function. 

The small, lean young firm, founded by Maximilian Büsser, is equally known for its partnerships (the “F” in the name stands for “friends”) as much as for its innovative products. The company teams with independent horological professionals, artists, craftsmen, retailers, jewelers, established companies and others to create their limited editions timepieces, known as “horological machines.”

Extending the limits of watchmaking even further, the brand produced a table clock inspired from Star Trek and a music box in the shape of a futuristic spaceship that plays modern rock songs and the theme from the Star Wars movie. In both cases the company teamed with long-established makers of these items. In the former it was table clock manufacturer, L’Epée 1839, and the latter it was luxury music box maker, Reuge. 

In 2011, the company took the next logical step and opened a commercial gallery in Geneva near its headquarters that specializes in contemporary kinetic art, named the M.A.D. Gallery (mechanical art devices). I recently received a tour of the place from Juliette Duru, the gallery’s new communications manager, and Charris Yadigaroglou, MB&F chief communications officer. It’s not a large space but one could easily spend hours studying and even playing with the exhibits.



The item of the moment is the Nixie Machine by German artist Frank Buchwald (above and top photo). It’s a sculptural clock that tells the time using six glowing 1960s Nixie tubes. A Nixie tube is an electronic device that is a variant of a neon lamp, which displays numbers and other information. It also is known as a cold cathode display. 

The six tubes are presented as three pairs for hours, minutes and seconds; or day, month and year. They rest atop a long burnished steel and brushed brass structure with four extended legs. The clock consists of no fewer than 350 components hand-made by Buchwald. It is a available in a limited edition of 12. How it keeps accurate time is a mystery to me. 

It is by no means the only item to see at the gallery. There are many more art pieces of interest, including fingers made of iron that move at the flick of a switch, hand-made motorcycles that are both a work of art and riding machines, and a futuristic looking electric guitar that is considered by some to be the finest in the world. Of course there’s also an extensive collection of MB&F timepieces.

 
Among my favorites was the A.W.E. (Automated Winding Engine) by Martin Smith with Laikingland, a creative label based in the UK and The Netherlands. It’s a mechanical watch winder that is a large robotic arm powered by cam driven motors, gearboxes and safety sensors. It goes through a long elaborate series of playful movements to wind the watch. 3D printing was used to create the elbow joint and the sculptured forearm and fingers.

 
Also there was a disk made of watch components that was spinning and floating over a teak table. It is called the Apesanteur II by Quentin Carnaille. The artist describes the piece as “an invisible link between astronomy and mechanical watchmaking.” Magnets are used inside the disk and the teak base to allow the disk to levitate. 

In 2014, MB&F opened its second M.A.D. Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan. The concept seems to be ready-made for further expansion. 

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