JNET banner ad

Leibish & Co

Thursday, July 30, 2015

June Hong Kong Jewelry Fair Attracts 25,000 Buyers And 2,300 Exhibitors

Attendance at the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair totaled 24,838 from 105 countries and regions who viewed 2,286 exhibitors from 45 countries and regions. The fair, which was held June 25 – 28, took place in more than 70,000 square meters of exhibition space at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The number of exhibitors is up 20 percent compared to last year. The 28th edition of the fair featured new pavilions, including the Fashion Jewellery Pavilion, the Stainless Steel Jewellery Pavilion and the Designer Arena. The Diamond Pavilion and the Gemstone Pavilion had more than 480 diamantaires and 500 gemstones suppliers. 

“The June Fair diversified its product offerings by adding new pavilions. There was positive feedback on the new pavilions and the international profile of exhibitors,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia.

Mainland China, a key driver in the world’s jewelry market, accounted for 36 percent of the total number of visitors. The Top 10 sources of visitors from outside Hong Kong and mainland China were: India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Korea, Australia and Indonesia. Overall, the Top 10 visiting countries accounted for 19 percent of the total number of visitors.

Other highlights of the fair include:

* The press conference announcing the finalists for the JNA Awards 2015. The annual awards honors companies and individuals that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the jewelry and gemstone industry, with a focus on their accomplishments in the Asian region.

* The 55th Paspaley Pearl Auction.

* Diamond auction by Alrosa Group, Russia's the leading diamond mining company

* Seminars conducted by leading international jewelry organizations and companies included Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory, the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong and GRS Lab (HK) Limited. 

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Danica Patrick Introduces Tissot 10th Anniversary Watch At Reis-Nichols Jewelers

Danica Patrick with the Tissot PR 100 Chronometer Danica Patrick Limited Edition 2015. Photo credit: Harold Hinson Photography 

Danica Patrick, the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, celebrated her 10th anniversary as brand ambassador for Tissot on July 25 at the Reis-Nichols Indianapolis jewelry store. The watch brand and Patrick unveiled the Tissot PR 100 Chronometer Danica Patrick Limited Edition 2015.

Patrick was in Indianapolis to compete in the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race the following day. Earlier in the day she drove in qualifying time trials.

The stainless steel 29 mm quartz powered watch features a mother-of-pearl dial adorned with round-cut diamonds in the shape of a large number 10 at the 10 o’clock marker. In addition to her years with Tissot, 10 also is her longtime number as a driver. The caseback is engraved with Patrick’s signature logo. The $725 watch is limited to 100 units.

The Tissot PR 100 Chronometer Danica Patrick Limited Edition 2015

Petite and fit—in a tight-fitting knee-high skirt, colorful top, high heels and curls on her normally straight long black hair—Patrick looked more like a glamorous fitness model than a world-class race car driver. This was underscored by her sculpted forearms when she wore the watch for photos.

“It’s dressy and casual,” she said about the watch. “Having something that bridge between the two is my style anyway. I travel so much. Do you know how much it weighs to carry all that jewelry and all those watches? So I have the perfect one to go with everything.”

From left: Justin Thompson, Tissot US Brand Manager, Danica Patrick and BJ Nichols, president of Reis-Nichols.  Photo credit: Harold Hinson Photography

Patrick has had different levels of input over the design and functions of the 10 watches that bear her name during the decade-long period with Tissot. The timepieces over the years featured different technical functions and styles. However, she finds lots of similarities.

“They all feel like they were racy and sporty but there were some sort of elements whether simplified or glammed up just a little bit,” she said. “Even the second edition of the signature watch was similar to the first but it had diamonds on it.”

One of her favorites was the 2006 Tissot T-Touch, which had a range of functions, including an alarm that she used on the road for many years. “It’s just a cool watch with some neat features.”

Justin Thompson, Tissot US Brand Manager, and Danica Patrick. Photo credit: Harold Hinson Photography

She adds, “My style (for watches) would be a little bit sporty, classic, a little bit oversized. “I like diamonds in everything. If I could buy something with diamonds around the outside or not, I’d pick with.”

At the racetrack her watch and sunglasses are the last things she removes before getting into the race car, she says. However, inside the car a watch has very limited use.

“I wish I had one on a bar in there or somewhere so I can see what time it was so I know how much practice time is left,” she says. “You’re sitting in the garage and the first thing they do is pop the hood so you can’t see the time anymore and you have no idea how much is left. I have to ask what time it is in the car.

“As far as lap times go I would have to manually hit the button and that would be a little distracting.”

Patrick began racing professionally in 1998 and moved up the ranks until reaching the prestigious IndyCar Series in 2005. It is where she has had her greatest success. In 2008 she became the only woman to win an IndyCar Series race at the Indy Japan 300. She finished third at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, the highest finish ever by a woman.

She began racing on the NASCAR circuit in 2010 where she has been struggling.

Prior to the event at Reis-Nichols, Patrick qualified at the 15th position for the Brickyard 400. The following day, she finished the race 27th.

When asked about her goals, she replied: “To win.” 

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

Pilot Hong Kong Mineral And Gem Fair To Continue Under New Name

The first edition of Mineral & Gem Asia at the AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong, attracted more than 4,600 local and overseas visitors. UBM Asia, which owns and organized the event, said more than 1,900 of the visitors were trade buyers, including exhibitors and visitors from UBM Asia’s June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which ran simultaneously with the mineral fair. 

“The launch of Mineral & Gem Asia was an important milestone in UBM Asia’s fair history,” said Wolfram Diener, senior VP, UBM Asia. “It gave global buyers a platform to source effectively from suppliers from around the world without having to travel to many overseas shows.”

The fair featured 103 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions while the visitors came from 55 countries and regions in Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, Oceania, Middle East, Central, North and South America.

Rare and preserved fossils from the Stephen Hui Geological Museum of The University of Hong Kong were among the exhibits at the fair, including Permian invertebrate fossils and Jurassic and Tertiary plant fossils unearthed from Lantau Island and Dong Ping Chau in Hong Kong.

Both the Hong Kong Geological Museum and the Mineralogy Society of Hong Kong hosted onsite educational activities.

Christoph Keilmann, CEO of Mineralientage München Fachmesse GmbH, the fair organizer of The Munich Show, gave the new fair early praise, saying “it was an excellent start with the potential to become Asia's leading mineral show.”

Hong Kong-based visitors totaled 2,981. The largest group of visitors from outside Hong Kong came from mainland China (835); followed by Taiwan (126), India (83), Thailand (82), Japan (62) and Australia (41).

The fair included a showcase of three dinosaurs—Tyrannosaurus rex-King Kong, the Allosaurus and the Suuwassea—which were displayed to the public for the first time in Asia; along with a three-dimensional model of the Thermopolis Archaeopteryx and an Archaeopteryx fossil.

Six seminars discussed a variety of topics, including minerals, gemstones and gold specimen collecting. 

The fair will be renamed Mineral, Gem & Fossil Asia and will be held June 24 – 27, 2016, at AsiaWorld-Expo. The June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, meanwhile, will be held June 23 – 26, 2016, at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

Holding the two fairs at the same time will enable gemstone exhibitors at the Hong Kong fair to attend the mineral and gem fair, UBM Asia said. In addition, there will be an enhanced advertising and promotion campaign to attract more trade buyers to the fair. 

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gary Roskin Named ICA Executive Director

The International Colored Gemstone Association has appointed well-known gems and jewelry expert Gary Roskin as its executive director.

Roskin will start the new position August 4 and will work from ICA's New York office. He will be responsible for its day-to-day activities and development. He will report to the ICA Board of Directors.

Gary Roskin is a highly respected gemologist and journalist with extensive gems and jewelry industry experience. He established Roskin Gemological Services, which includes the well-known Roskin Gem News Report, and was the Gemstone Editor of BASELWORLD Daily News. In addition, he was formerly the senior gemstone editor of JCK magazine, and the executive director of the GIA Alumni Association.

“It is indeed an honor to be the new executive director of the ICA,” Roskin said. “ICA is a not-for-profit organization which promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of the colored gemstones and jewelry industry. This is in line with my personal beliefs and relates to all of the things I have written about and have taught for decades.”

ICA President Benjamin Hackman said: “We are delighted that Gary will be joining the ICA in such an important position. There is no doubt that this pivotal role will enhance the work of the ICA, which is the leading worldwide organization in the field of colored gemstones and jewelry. ICA will benefit from Gary's vast experience in the industry: from jewelry to gemology and gemstones to diamonds. ICA’s Board of Directors and I are happy to welcome Gary to his new position.” 

The International Colored Gemstone Association, a non-profit organization, is the only worldwide body specifically created to benefit the global colored gemstone industry. ICA was founded in 1984 and is now comprised of over 600 gemstone dealers, cutters, miners and retailers from 47 countries who are devoted to advancing and promoting the knowledge and appreciation of colored gemstones.

ICA’s global network works to develop a common language for promotion and consistent business standards necessary to improve international communication and trade of colored gemstones.

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Faberge’s Summer in Provence High Jewelry Collection

Fabergé Summer in Provence earrings

Provence, with its colorful landscapes that has attracted artists for centuries, is one of the most sought out places in the world to spend the summer. Natalia Shugaeva, Fabergé’s head designer, interpreted a traditional summer in the French region through a collection of high jewelry and watches.

Fabergé’s Summer in Provence collection features textured and layered jewelry that resemble the landscapes and floral patterns of the region with a contrast of colors—particularly blues, greens and pinks with a sparkle of diamonds. The collection of necklaces, earrings and rings combines turquoise beads, pearls, polished enamel, baguette emeralds, diamonds and extremely rare Paraiba tourmalines.

Fabergé Summer in Provence multi-coloured sapphire ring

The pieces are tied together with a floral ribbon, which serves two purposes. Primarily, it represents the Provence region’s summer bounty of flowers and plants; and it interprets the ribbon on traditional, long, flowing summer dresses.

The high watch portion of the collection uses the same color palette, materials, design codes and ribbon motif as the high jewelry collection. There are three variations of the 37 mm watch ranging from a model in all white diamonds to pieces adorned with emeralds and multi-colored sapphires. Turquoise, pearls, enamel and Paraiba tourmalines are also included in two models.

The watches are powered by an automatic movement made for Faberge with a 50-hour power reserve.

Fabergé Summer in Provence emerald and turquoise timepiece

The top model is the Summer in Provence Emerald watch with an 18k white-gold case decorated with 374 diamonds, 17 Paraiba tourmalines, 10 emeralds and a ribbon-like turquoise-colored enamel strip and a crown topped with an emerald.

The dial is paved with 332 diamonds, 10 Paraiba tourmalines and 15 emeralds. Flowers scattered on the dial and bracelet are made of freshwater mother-of-pearl. Green leaves on the dial are made of chrysoprase and finished with the continuation of the ribbon-like turquoise-colored enamel strip. It is limited to five pieces.

The brand first unveiled the collection at the Baselworld watch and jewelry tradeshow in March. The collection will be available worldwide in September. 

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Latest Timepiece Offerings For ‘Only Watch’ Charity Auction

Only two of the 44 unique timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction remain to be seen. Recently, five watches for the biennial event, being held November 7 in Geneva, were unveiled. They are from Ulysse Nardin, Hermes, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Vulcain. It’s a diverse offering that feature sounds, various artistic applications and of course fine movements. 

Ulysse Nardin
The Stranger timepiece (top photo) is a music box that plays the song “We Are the Champions” by Queen, inspired by the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy, which Patrik Hoffmann, Ulysse Nardin CEO, says is, “led by champions for champions.” The song written by Freddie Mercury plays on the hour and on request. The luxury watch brand is able to use the song through a copyright exception granted by EMI Music Publishing Germany GmgH company, sub-editor of Queen Music Ltd.

The watch is powered by the Ulysse Nardin manufacture caliber 690. It’s housed in a 45-mm black titanium case, with anthracite dial and cherry red blades of the musical mechanism. The Only Watch logo, also in cherry red, is above the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

The luxury brand released a unique version of its “In the Pocket” watch for the charity in red leather. The unusual timepiece can be worn as a pocket watch or a wristwatch through the use of a versatile hand-made leather case and cord. The watch was first created in 1912 for Jacqueline Hermès, a child at the time, so the young horsewoman could ride without having to attach her watch to her clothing or slip it into her pocket. 

The watch and leather case and cord were first reissued in 2012 and a second model was released in June. The Only Watch version is in a rose gold case and buckle, and clad in “H red Swift calfskin.” The H1837 mechanical self-winding movement is made at Hermès manufacturing facility in Switzerland. The watch showcases the luxury brand’s traditional skill in leather goods and its newfound skill as a movement manufacturer. 

The Swiss luxury watch brand reached to its past as a supplier of chronographs to the French air force and navy to introduce the Type XXI 3813. It’s equipped with the same flyback function featured on the original 1950s model. Another characteristic of this one-of-a-kind model lies in its central chronograph minutes counter ensuring instant readability. It’s also equipped with a date aperture, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, a day/night indicator and small seconds subdial.

For the first time, the mechanical self-winding 584Q/1 caliber is housed in a platinum case (42 mm), fitted with a bidirectional rotating bezel. Its matt slate grey dial, crafted in an exclusive execution for Only Watch, bears stylized Arabic numerals composed of a white transferred base coated with Superluminova, enhanced by luminescent hands and hour markers.

Vacheron Constantin
The unique Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Ajourées timepiece for Only Watch combines the luxury watch brand’s skill in openwork engraving and in Grand Feu enamelling. The manually-wound openworked Calibre 4400SQ took hundreds of hours to achieve the proper balance between airy aesthetic appeal and optimal functionality, according to the luxury watch brand. Artisans removed about half of the caliber 4400 to create a piece of 3D sculptural art. 

The watch is further enhanced through Grand Feu enamelling. In-house enameling artisans have created a red ring topping the caliber. The ring is accentuated by Roman numerals, evoking those of the central clocks in the large railway stations of late 19th century Europe. The openworked Only Watch logo appears on the ring at 3 o’clock.

The independent luxury watch brand chose the winged stallion, Pegasus, to grace the dial of its Only Watch submission. Renato A. Vanotti, Vulcain CEO, says the divine symbol emphasizes the “heightened power of the natural forces—the innate capacity for spiritualization and for inverting evil into good.”

The stallion in an action pose on its hind legs is backed by scene in which the top half is lit by fiery red and yellow colors and the bottom in cool blue. The entire scene is created with hand-made grand Feu cloisonné enameling and is unique to Only Watch and topped with 12 diamond cabochons used as hour markers. The 42 mm pink gold case houses the Vulcain automatic cricket-caliber V-20 movement. The caseback is engraved with the Only Watch logo.

Only Watch is an auction of unique timepieces created and donated by watchmakers for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This will be the sixth edition of the auction, which began in 2005. All the funds raised by the watches will go toward finding a cure for the disease, which affects 1 in 3,600 boys, resulting in muscle degeneration and premature death. 

For the first time the auction will move from its traditional home in Monaco to Geneva. It will be held November 7, marking the start of the week of watch auctions in the Swiss city. Also for the first time, the event is organized by Phillips auction house in association with Bacs & Russo, along with traditional organizers the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy and the Monaco Yacht Show. 

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

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Master Ultra Thin Squelette

Jaeger-LeCoultre wasn’t satisfied with one high watchmaking skill in its latest timepiece. It had to combine no fewer than four of these skills with its Master Ultra Thin Squelette: skeleton working, guilloché engraving, enameling and gem-setting. 

Let’s not forget that being ultra-thin is the watch’s greatest achievement. With a total thickness of 3.6 mm, it is one of the thinnest watches ever made. The hand-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 849ASQ with 119 components is a mere 1.85 mm thick, while providing a 33-hour power reserve. To further complicate things, the movement was carefully skeletonized into a work of art that can be viewed on both sides of the watch. 

The timepiece is available in four models: pink gold, pink gold set with brilliant cut diamonds, white gold, or white gold set with brilliant cut diamonds

The gold surrounding the skeletonized movement is first adorned with a guilloché motif. Then enamel is applied in either a deep blue for the white gold model or a “frosted chestnut brown” for pink gold version. For one white-gold model, mother-of-pearl is applied. The gold chapter ring is divided into 12 zones that make it easy to view the numerals within its limited space. The motif, the enamel or mother-of-pearl application, and the 12-zone chapter ring is also on the reverse side of the timepiece.

With all the different hand-crafted art and technical acrobats that went into a watch with such a small size, it seems a bit underwhelming to mention the gem-setting technique that went into this timepiece. In this instance it’s brilliant-cut diamonds that adorn the bezel of two of the models. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre is producing some of the most elegant watches being made today. Despite all of the techniques used in the Master Ultra Thin Squelette, the Swiss luxury watch brand didn’t sacrifice the watch’s elegance. 

The only question is its durability. A watch this thin with a skeletonized mechanical movement and housed in very thin gold case could have issues. But that’s down the road. 

The watch reportedly costs from $59,000 to $76,000. 

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