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Friday, February 22, 2019

Bradley Cooper to Wear Unique IWC Watch at Oscars Being Auctioned for Charity by Sotheby’s

Bradley Cooper in an IWC advertisement. Photo credit: IWC

IWC Ambassador Bradley Cooper will wear a unique IWC Big Pilot’s Watch to the Oscars ceremony on Sunday with a special engraving. The watch is being offered by Sotheby’s in an exclusive online auction with all proceeds going to benefit the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. Bidding opened $16,000 Friday and will run till March 4

A personal letter from Cooper to the new owner will accompany the watch. IWC is donating all proceeds from the sale to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation with all funds going to "Arrimage," a charitable organization that focuses on teaching visually impaired children how to read drawings using their sense of touch.

Big Pilot’s Watch single piece with a special engraving (Ref. IW500923), Bidding for the watch will open at $16,000. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s and IWC

The IWC watch Cooper will be wearing at The Oscars is a Big Pilot’s Watch single piece with a special engraving (Ref. IW500923). The timepiece features a midnight blue dial and is housed in a case made of 18k 5N gold. It is powered by the IWC-manufactured 51111-caliber movement. On the caseback there is an engraving of an iconic quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s The Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly."

A triple Oscar-nominee in 2019, Cooper co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in A Star is Born. The film has received eight Oscar nominations: “Best Actor in a Leading Role,” “Best Actress in a Leading Role.” “Best Picture,” “Best Adapted Screenplay,” “Best Actor in a Supporting Role,” “Best Original Song,” “Best Cinematography” and “Best Sound Mixing.” He previously earned Oscar nominations for his performances in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and American Sniper. Bradley Cooper became a brand ambassador for IWC in 2018. 

The unique IWC Pilot's Watch with special engraving: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly." Courtesy of Sotheby’s and IWC

“The support of disabled children and adolescents is one of the cornerstones of our CSR effort,” said Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. 

“IWC Schaffhausen’s master watch-makers have produced a complex and beautifully crafted symbol of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s pioneering spirit. After witnessing dreams come true on the stage of the Oscars this Sunday, it will be a privilege for us to offer this one-of-a-kind watch in our upcoming sale and to support the important work of the foundation,” added Mikael Wallhagen, head of the Watch Division for Sotheby’s in Geneva.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Celebrate The Year Of The Pig In Style With These Six Watches

By Tiziana Agnati
Accredited journalist and influencer specializing in luxury jewelry 

Usher in the Lunar New Year with these six watches in red. In Chinese culture, red is considered auspicious, which is why the color is so popular every Chinese New Year, adorning everything, from the lanterns that you hang in the patio to the clothes that you wear.

With the festive season being celebrated right now, look toward these six timepieces in this striking hue in order to attract more of that positive energy.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Celestial
If you fancy having the entire constellation on your wrist, this Rendez-Vous delivers an irresistible feminine expression of it. Dressed up in red with the different constellations enameled on the dial, the pink gold case also matches a bezel set with pink sapphires.

Breguet Marie-Antoinette “Dentelle”
The Dentelle watch evokes elegance with its distinctive lacework set with 89 diamonds around the 18K white gold case. A red ruby weighting about 1.3 carat and a red satin strap add fire to an otherwise icy mien that includes a white mother-of-pearl dial.

Franck Muller Watchland SA Long Island Peony
Known as the flower of riches and honour, the peony comes in a variety of soft pastel colours. Its loveliness - 8 of them in fact - now decorates the svelte rectangular profile of the Long Island with a rose gold case and a diamond-set bezel.

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier
The timeless Art Deco shape of the Tank get an uplift with a pink gold case, diamond-set bars on either side of the dial, the 8971 MC movement and, of course, a chic red leather strap.

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Manchester United
This special edition chronograph celebrates TAG Heuer’s third season as Manchester United’s Official Timekeeper. Naturally the club’s color stands out from the logo positioned prominently at ‘9’ and the flange of the 60-second scale, to the hour, minute and chronograph central second hands. Paired with a perforated rubber strap in, what else, red.

GRAHAM Chronofighter Oversize Superlight Carbon
The red of the rubber strap decorated with Clous de Paris pattern makes an eye-catching contrast against the shiny black of the carbon composite case, a material that makes the watch extremely light despite its large 47 mm diameter. Red also appears on the central seconds hand and chronograph counters’ hands as well as the “Superlight Carbon” print.

Tiziana Agnati is a journalist and influencer specializing in luxury jewelry with digital expertise. Learn more about her on her Linkedin profile where she communicates regularly with 100,000 followers. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Three New Cartier Watches For 2019

By Tiziana Agnati
Accredited journalist and influencer specializing in luxury jewelry 

The first big luxury watch trade fair of the year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), will be held January 14 – 17 in Geneva and Cartier as always will be the center of attention. The French luxury brand has provided a preview of limited edition watches that will be revealed at the SIHH. They will be available to the public later this year. 

These three timepieces fuse the aesthetic of a past era with the precision of modern technology appearing in gorgeous tones of burgundy, emerald and gold. These watches speak to a modern trend for wearing timepieces so beautiful they almost outclass jewelry, allowing women to streamline their accessories day and night with one dramatic piece. 

Cartier Libre

Cartier Libre is at the forefront of this trend, with watches that fuse femininity with glittering extravagance, playing with the Maison’s many signature forms and aesthetics. First up is the Tank Chinoise Red Watch, which is known for its rectangular face, rows of precious stones, and its historical importance. Designed in 1921, its unusual shape has become iconic for nearly a century, and now it has been imbued with particularly strong symbolism in China: red. The dial is bordered by two lintels of rubies, while a line of diamonds adorns the edges. The contrast between the two stones emphasizes the original Chinese temples architectural reference of the watch.

Cartier Diagonale

Next up is the Diagonale, which pays homage to Cartier’s heritage of disrupting the classics with unusual designs that delight the eye. With a minuscule dial distinctively stamped with Cartier’s watchmaking codes, this piece features an arresting crisscross design, highlighted by two diagonal rows of brilliant-cut diamonds. 

Cartier Baignoire Allongée

Finally, there is the Baignoire Allongée, which comes in celadon or black, the most ornate of the trio. This watch is gloriously creative and a spectacle in a timepiece. It is studded with emeralds and Paraiba tourmalines, black spinels, yellow sapphires or diamonds, threatening to outdo even the most dramatic of gowns. In moonlight or by candlelight each gemstone becomes a minuscule speck of color, while the dial is paved with diamonds that sparkle at night. It is an elegant timepiece that can be handed down for generations. 

Cartier is a brand that disrupts and endures. This means owning a Cartier watch is like having a piece of art on your wrist. 

Tiziana Agnati is a journalist and influencer specializing in luxury jewelry with digital expertise. Learn more about her on her Linkedin profile where she communicates regularly with 100,000 followers. 

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork

Monday, December 24, 2018

Ariana Grande Sparkles In Chopard Jewels On Jimmy Fallon Show For Christmas

I’ve never seen a performance by Ariana Grande and now I understand the hype. Wearing an oversized red Christmas sweater with a snowflake motif and dripping in Chopard diamond jewels, she spread Christmas cheer with the debut performance of her new song, Imagine, on the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” 

Backed by “The Roots,” the singer and band were tight throughout the song highlighted by complex rhythms and increased emotional tension that finished with virtuosic flair as the singer hit notes so high they sounded like whistles. 

Grande wore a necklace featuring a 5.01-carat heart-shaped brilliant-cut diamond and 10.31 carats of diamonds set in 18k white gold. Stud earrings centered with a 6.90-carat heart-shaped brilliant-cut diamond and a 6.69-carat heart-shaped brilliant-cut diamond and more diamonds set in 18k white gold, both from the “Haute Joaillerie Collection.” She matched this with a ring from the “L’Heure Du Diamant Collection” that contains 6.06-carats of diamonds set in 18k white gold; and a ring from the “Precious Chopard Collection” featuring 5.79-carats of rubies with diamonds set in 18k white gold.

There are lots of ways to spread holiday cheer, this year I chose this remarkable performance to do it. Happy Holidays.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Macau To Enter Rough Trading Through New Diamond and Gem Exchange

Macau is setting up an international trading center for diamonds and rough gems to leverage its relations with Portuguese-speaking diamond producers and take advantage of the rapid development and vast potential of China’s jewelry market.

The Macau China Diamond & Gem Exchange announcement

To help meet this goal, the recently formed Macau China Diamond & Gem Exchange (MDGE) used the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair to announce that it signed an agreement with the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC Macau) to promote the city as a global diamond and gem trading center.

The September 13 announcement was held at the AsiaWorld-Expo convention facility near Hong Kong’s international airport. 

“The rapid development and vast potential of China’s jewelry market has coincided with the evolving plans of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area creating an opportunity for diamond and gem trading in Macau,” MDGE said in a statement. “With available financing, low and simple taxation as well as an attractive free trade policy, Macau also has its own commercial and financial advantages to enter the global diamond industry. Building upon China’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy, and the strong support of Macau’s political leaders and business community.”

The organization added, “Through the strategic partnership between MDGE and SDE, the integration of SDE’s policy and management expertise within MDGE will accelerate progress to build upon Macau’s position as an international free trade port and the preferential policies of the Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macau Great Bay Area. Further enhancing this arrangement, ICBC will provide unique financial services to MDGE members as strategic partner of MDGE.”

The agreement allows for the training of professionals in authentication, design and transformation of jewelry. It also makes use of Macau’s position as a world tourism and leisure center and a platform of services between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

In addition, the agreement will allow MDGE to actively develop concentrated rough-diamond trading, which will drive rough diamonds into the Shanghai Diamond Exchange and further promote the Chinese industry.

Founded in 2000, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange is the only diamond import and export market in the interior of China and the fifth largest diamond trading center in the world.

China imports precious and semi-precious stones from Angola, Brazil and Mozambique.

The demand for diamonds in the wedding market in Macau and in the interior of China has grown significantly as a result of the rapid growth of the Chinese economy.

Spirits Remained High At Hong Kong Jewelry Fair despite Destruction Caused By Super Typhoon Mangkhut

It’s impossible to discuss the 2018 September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair without mentioning Super Typhoon Mangkhut. It landed in Hong Kong on September 16, as a Signal No. 10, the highest level of tropical cyclone warning signals in Hong Kong for 10 hours. It was one of the strongest storms in the city’s history and the strongest storm in the world this year. 

Storm damage just outside the Hong Kong convention

It tore through high rises, toppled construction equipment and destroyed some less fortified buildings. It toppled trees, stopped all public transportation and caused severe flooding along coastal areas. Some of the photos and videos being distributed among those of us stranded in hotels or at home were quite shocking. 

The storm understandably caused the full-day closure of the Hong Kong fair at both the AsiaWorld-Expo by the airport, for the last day of the materials portion of the fair, and at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre in the center of the city, during the third day of the finished jewelry portion of the show. If that’s not enough the storm forced the rescheduling of the 2018 JNA Awards gala dinner, which was held the following night. 

     One of the walkways to the convention center

Miraculously the convention center showed no sign of damage, despite being on the water’s edge. Despite the fewer people, everything appeared normal at the show, which is testament to the focus and resiliency and focus of the staff at UBM Asia, which owns and operates the fair, the convention center staff and the residents of Hong Kong. 

Between the one day closure and buyers leaving before the storm arrived, there was definitely a loss of business but for the most part everyone was happy. I spoke with several gem dealers at the JNA Awards gala dinner and all were satisfied with the business they did during the days the show was open. 

     One of many damaged buildings in the city

Earlier in the day, there were still a good number of buyers walking the halls of the Hong Kong convention center. I spoke with several exhibitors in the Fine Designer Pavilion and they were in good spirits sharing typhoon stories while showing their jewels to whatever buyers remained. Like the gem dealers, they said business was disrupted for the remainder of the fair but prior to the storm, sales were strong. 

Many of the dealers in this area, which specializes in new and second-market high jewelry, have been exhibiting at the September Hong Kong fair for years. I asked one of the veteran dealers why he continues to attend. He simply replied: “I make money.” 

2018 JNA Awards Recognizes Jewelry Industry Leaders

The seventh annual JNA Awards, one of the most prestigious award programs in the international jewelry and gemstone industry, was a success under extremely stressful circumstances. The glittering gala event, which honored industry forerunners and groundbreakers, was held during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair Hong Kong on September 17.

The winners, judges, organizers and sponsors of the 2018 JNA Awards

Super Typhoon Mangkhut came crashing into Hong Kong September 16 causing the event to be held the following day. You can read more about the herculean effort it took to stage the event by following this link. However, this story is about the winners and awards ceremony.

A total of 44 honorees or finalists across 12 award categories that made exceptional contributions to the industry were acknowledged at the awards ceremony. Out of the 44 finalists, 15 recipients were announced in a ceremony witnessed by prominent industry leaders and influencers.

Organized by UBM Asia, the JNA Awards is dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of excellence, leadership, innovation and best business practices in the jewelry and gemstone community.

Prida Tiasuwan, Chairman of Pranda Jewelry Public Co Ltd – PRANDA Group, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest accolade conferred by the JNA Awards. Prida is well-known for his tireless effort in bringing Thailand-made jewelry to the forefront of the global market. His bold vision and revolutionary ideas not only contributed to the success of PRANDA Group, but also benefited the jewelry industry as a whole.

The 15 Award Recipients across 12 categories are as follows:

1. Brand of the Year – Retail
Luk Fook Holdings (International) Limited – Hong Kong

2. eSupplier of the Year
Kiran Gems Private Limited – India

3. Industry Innovation of the Year

3a. Industry Innovation of the Year – Business Model
Shenzhen MOVER Jewellery Co Ltd – China

3b. Industry Innovation of the Year – Diamond Testing Technology
IIDGR (UK) Ltd – United Kingdom

3c. Industry Innovation of the Year – Manufacturing Process
PANDORA Production Co Ltd - Thailand

4. Manufacturer of the Year – Cutting & Polishing
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd – Hong Kong

5. Manufacturer of the Year – Jewellery
Kuwayama Corporation – Japan

6. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – ASEAN, Japan & Korea
Poh Kong Jewellers – Malaysia

7. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – Greater China
Shenzhen Sunfeel Jewelry Co Ltd – China

8. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – India
KGK Diajewels Private Limited – India

9. Retailer of the Year (500 outlets and below)
PT Central Mega Kencana – Indonesia

10.  Retailer of the Year (501 outlets and above)

11.  Sustainability Initiative of the Year
Jewelmer (KARAMAR CORPORATION) – Philippines

12.  Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 and below)
XU Xiao, Zbird / Shanghai Wisdom Jewelry Trading Co Ltd – China
Zulu GHEVRIYA, Prism Group – Hong Kong

“Our industry is facing some challenging times, but we should not be discouraged. Instead, this is the time to be innovative. This is the time to seek business opportunities with a different light and angle, and form alliances and collaborations to create win-win situations,” said Letitia Chow, Chairperson of the JNA Awards, Founder of JNA, and Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia. “Our Honoree companies and individuals embrace this mindset to drive their businesses forward.”

Headline Partners for the JNA Awards were Chow Tai Fook, Shanghai Diamond Exchange and Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones.

Honored Partners were KGK Group, Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited.