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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Van Cleef & Arpels Ladies Watches Combine Gems With Poetry


I can appreciate a luxury brand that uses words, artistic expressions and multi-media displays to tell stories that are simple yet compelling. There’s almost no one who does it better than Van Cleef & Arpels. Each year, I look forward to their annual presentation at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), where they always find new and magical ways to tell their timeless stories of love. It’s not an easy task and few luxury brands are good at story telling these days even though many have great stories to tell.

This year the Parisian luxury house presented its newest versions of its “Poetic Complications,” high jewelry watches and a couple high jewelry show stoppers. “Hide and seek” is the theme of many of their new pieces.


“Rubis Secret” watch bracelet
This unique piece features white and pink gold covered in 115 oval-cut Mozambique rubies (151.25 total carats) of matching color. They are arranged in three even, smooth rows, despite slight variations of cut, from oval to cushion. Each row of rubies is separated by four rows of diamonds and further enhanced by tiny pairs of round diamond studs throughout the bracelet.


The “secret” in this bejeweled bracelet is a small, rectangular quartz-powered watch that discreetly slides in and out on a white gold plate. An “invisible” hinge for the sliding door is only visible when the drawer is opened when pressing on the rubies. The piece required 1,500 hours, or more than year’s work to complete. The price is available upon request.


Pompon
The luxury brand also introduced a versatile secret bejeweled timepiece that can be worn as a necklace or bracelet with or without the quartz timepiece hidden inside a surround of tassels. In style, this watch takes its cues from the fashion sense of the 1940s and 1950s, the jewelry house explained.


There are two versions of this high jewelry watch: One in pink gold, round diamonds, round pink sapphires, red spinels, white cultured pearls, coral and white mother-of-pearl. The other is a unique piece in white gold, round diamonds, onyx, black spinels, white cultured pearls and white mother-of-pearl.


Lady Arpels Ronde des Papillons
Perhaps more interesting from a story telling perspective is the newest versions of Van Cleef & Arpels’ “Poetic Complications” timepieces, including the Lady Arpels Ronde des Papillons (round butterflies).


The 38mm case white gold case has a bezel set with diamonds and crown set with one diamond. Inside is a dial made of mother-of-pearl, engraved gold and miniature painting that depicts what the brand describes as an “aerial ballet” made of a blue sky with white clouds and the occasional appearances of three butterflies and a swallow. The same motif is engraved in sapphire glass on the back of the case.

The automatic movement has a retrograde jumping hour, variable speed minutes and an on-demand animation module developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels.


The butterflies serve as the minute hands (really more like guides) and the swallow points toward the hour markers. There’s an animation mechanism activated by a button that allows for a 10-second animated show of the butterflies and birds flying within the clouds. The figures then return to their proper spots on the dial, allowing for the time that has passed during the animation.


Snowflake and Snowflake Fleurette High Jewelry Watches
Among traditional jewelry timepieces, the luxury brand introduced two versions that are covered in white diamonds.

The first has a 20mm platinum case with the bezel, white dial and platinum bracelet encrusted with diamonds (above). The second is an 18mm version called the Snowflake “Fleurette” (small flower) with very the same materials, similar details but a slightly different appearance.


All of the diamonds are of D and E for color, VVS clarity. On each side of the case, seven diamonds make up petals of a flower. On the Snowflake Fleurette model, the theme is repeated two more times. The more abstract Snowflake model is adorned with a diamond embroidery. Prong settings are combined with scalloped settings, which cover the edges of the stones with a hem of platinum.

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Piaget Adorns Stars At Film Independent Spirit Awards

Actress Jessica Chastain in an 18k white gold necklace set with sapphire beads, emeralds and diamonds from the Extremely Piaget jewelry collection. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Piaget)

For the ninth consecutive year Piaget co-hosted the Film Independent Spirit Awards, paying tribute to the top performers, writers, directors and producers in independent film. Actress Jessica Chastain, Piaget international brand ambassador, led the event attended by stars of notable independent films, including Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, Idris Elba, Jason Segel and Paul Dano.

Many in attendance were adorned in Piaget jewels and watches, including the Extremely Piaget, Possession and Rose jewelry collections; and the Limelight, Altiplano and Emperador watch lines.

Actress Jessica Biel in an 18k white gold Extremely Piaget ear cuff with diamonds and sapphires with an Extremely Piaget 18k white gold diamond ring and two 18k white gold Possession rings. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget)

Chastain wore an 18k white gold necklace set with sapphire beads, emeralds and diamonds from the Extremely Piaget jewelry collection. Presenter Jessica Biel chose an 18k white gold Extremely Piaget ear cuff with diamonds and sapphires with an Extremely Piaget 18k white gold diamond ring and two 18k white gold Possession rings.

Actress Brie Larson in  Piaget 18k white gold and diamond Possession bracelets with matching Possession rings and Piaget Rose earrings. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget)

Larson, the Spirit Award winner for her role in “Room,” wore Piaget’s 18k white gold and diamond Possession bracelets with matching Possession rings and a set of Piaget Rose earrings. Presenter Emilia Clarke opted for a pair of 18k rose gold Rose earrings with rose gold Possession and Rose rings. “Anomalisa” nominee, Jennifer Jason Leigh, wore a Piaget Limelight timepiece with a Piaget Rose ring and Dree Hemingway chose a set of Piaget Rose earrings and a Piaget Possession ring.

Emilia Clarke in Piaget 18k rose gold Rose earrings with rose gold Possession and Rose rings. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget) 

Ben Mendelsohn, nominated for Best Male Lead in “Mississippi Grind,” wore the 40mm Piaget Altiplano Date in 18k rose gold Dano, nominated for Best Supporting Male in “Love & Mercy,” wore his own 40mm Piaget Altiplano in 18k white gold. Presenter Anthony Mackie opted for a limited edition Piaget Emperador Coussin in 18k white gold.

Jennifer Jason Leigh in a Piaget Limelight timepiece with a Piaget Rose ring.(Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget)  

Mel Eslyn was the recipient of the Piaget Producer’s Award for her contributions to Independent Film. She received a $25,000 grant given to emerging producers who demonstrate creativity, tenacity and vision, and produce quality independent films, despite limited resources. Eslyn, who wore a suite of Piaget Possession jewelry in white gold, is known for her work on “The One I Love,” “Lamb,” “Uncle Kent 2,” and “Your Sister’s Sister.”

Anthony Mackie in a limited edition Piaget Emperador Coussin in 18k white gold. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget) 

“We have always championed bold and unexpected creations, which makes our relationship with the Spirit Awards a perfect fit,” said CEO, Philippe Leopold-Metzger.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Material, Packaging, Tools And Equipment Suppliers at JGF – Europe


Jewellery & Gem Fair – Europe will gather quality local and international suppliers of materials and packaging, tools and equipment used in jewelry manufacturing. Products on offer include loose gemstones, diamonds, pearls and jewelry findings.

The jewelry trade fair being held March 19 – 22 in Freiburg, Germany, will gather around 300 exhibitors in 15,000sqm of exhibition space. Of the total number of exhibitors, 46 percent are suppliers of loose materials and packaging, tools and equipment. Group pavilions will bring their market specialties to the fair.

This year, the Packaging, Tools & Equipment pavilion is 25 percent bigger than last year. Outilor, one of the exhibitors joins this pavilion for the first time, specializes on tools for casting, forming, polishing and plating for jewelry production. “By joining JGF, we hope to expand our network to different parts of the world,” said Marie Monjol, CEO of the France-based company.

Other major exhibitors in the pavilion include Berolina GmbH, Durston Rolling Mills, Jentner Plating Technology GmbH, Koras GmbH, Lampert Werktechnik GmbH, Niqua GmbH, Umicore Galvanotechnik GmbH and Wilhelm E. GmbH.

“Although demand for diamonds dropped globally last year because of the cooling demand in China, the industry expects to see a gradual improvement this year,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia.

Meanwhile, she noted that demand for colored gemstones, such as rubies and sapphires, is growing because of the consistency in supply and the marketing efforts of stakeholders. “The young generation is quite interested in colored gemstone jewelry, particularly those with trendy designs,” she said.

Buyers can expect to see European gemstone suppliers such as Caram e. K., Carl Friedrich Arnoldi GmbH, CHQ GmbH, Emil Weis Opals KG and Lothar Haag GmbH & Co KG from Germany, Imagem from France, and Pamir Gems Co Ltd from Thailand.

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Hong Kong Design Institute Exhibit At Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair


Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair – March is collaborating with the Hong Kong Design Institute in mounting a special exhibit of the work of its design students. The works will be displayed alongside those of more than 370 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions. The project is aimed at providing young talents, such as HKDI’s design students, an international platform for student to gain exposure, network with industry professionals, and explore potential opportunities. 

“This will raise industry awareness of our young talents and their design capabilities,” said Bill Silent Chan, HKDI program developer of Jewellery and Image Product Design.

Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair, owned and operated by UBM Asia, will be held March 2 to 5 at AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong. The four-day event will showcase the latest collections of fashion jewelry and accessories from more than 370 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions.

More than 80 percent of exhibitors will be from outside Hong Kong, reflecting the fair’s international status. Among the exhibitors are companies from mainland China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Peru, Thailand, Turkey, and Hong Kong and Taiwan regions.

Other attractions at 3FJ include four theme pavilions and six group pavilions: “Sense Zone,” “Stainless Steel Jewellery Pavilion,” “Fashion Accessories Zone” and “Fashion Jewellery Atelier.” Six group pavilions, representing mainland China, India, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan region, further add to the product offerings.

“Apart from the collaboration with HKDI, the ‘Fashion Jewellery Atelier’ at 3FJ is another platform that helps emerging talents,” Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs at UBM Asia Ltd. It is mutually beneficial to all industry players.” 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Daniel Craig’s Omega Seamaster Bond Watch Fetches $130,000


By Gretchen Friedrich, Jewelry News Network’s social media manager (a.k.a. Miss Moneypenny)

An Omega Seamaster 300, Bond Edition timepiece worn by Daniel Craig in the film, Spectre, sold for £92,500 ($131,813), shattering its high estimate of $28,000.

The watch was part of a special charity auction of 24 pieces of memorabilia from the 24th installment of the James Bond series at Christie's King Street, London. Ten lots sold at the auction raising more than 2 million British pounds ($2.87 million) for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières).

The Omega Seamaster 300, Bond Edition is the first limited edition Bond model produced by Omega. There were 7,007 released to the general market at a price of $7,500. Omega, the official watch of James Bond for 50 years, remastered this version with an ode to the original timepiece worn by Sean Connery during his stint as the famous spy. 

Omega Seamaster 300, Bond Edition timepiece worn by Daniel Craig

The NATO strap, the "lollipop" second hand, the presentation box that resembles a lockbox and the casing are all reminiscent of those seen in the early Bond movies. 

Selling the watch at such a price is certainly a coup for Christie's, but what does it mean for the watch market in general? 

Brian Walker, VP of marketing for Shreve, Crump and Low, who carries the Omega line in their flagship store in Boston, says it’s a positive signal for collectors. 

“Generally, when a watch at auction realizes an extraordinary hammer price such as the six-figure number for the Seamaster Bond piece, it excites the demand and increases resale value for the piece on the secondary market, especially on a limited-edition model.”

In other words, there could be some “shaken, not stirred” activity on Omega Bond watches currently in circulation. Cheers

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Uma Thurman, Gloria Steinem Support Forevermark’s Rhino Rescue Efforts

Uma Thurman attends the Forevermark and Explore Inc. dinner benefiting Rhino Rescue Botswana held at Le Bernardin Prive in New York, New York, Thursday, February 11. Photo by Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com

Forevermark, the De Beers diamond brand, and custom safari specialist Explore, Inc. joined together Thursday to support rhinoceros rescue efforts in Botswana. More than 100 guests attended a private dinner hosted by Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin Privé to launch Botswana’s Tlhokomela Trust.

“Tlhokomela” means “to protect” in Setswana (the main language of Botswana), reflecting the trust’s mission to perpetuate and expand Botswana’s vast and pristine wilderness areas and protect critically endangered rhinos and other species. Balisi Bonyongo, managing director of Debswana, a mining operation jointly owned by De Beers and Botswana, is chairman of the Tlhokomela Trust.

Gloria Steinem attends the Forevermark and Explore Inc. dinner benefiting Rhino Rescue Botswana held at Le Bernardin Prive in New York, New York, Thursday, February 11. Photo by Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com

Once widespread in Southern Africa, the white rhino is now listed as ‘near-threatened’ and black rhino ‘critically endangered’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. A rhino is killed every seven minutes in Southern Africa due to the skyrocketing value of rhino horn in Asia.

Special guests at the dinner included the Tshekedi Khama, minister of Botswana Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, activist Gloria Steinem, actress Uma Thurman, model Coco Rocho and husband James Conran.

Coco Rocha attends the Forevermark and Explore Inc. dinner benefiting Rhino Rescue Botswana held at Le Bernardin Prive in New York, New York, Thursday, February 11. Photo by Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com

Cherri Briggs, safari specialist and conservation-activist of Explore, Inc., conceived the event after taking Eric Ripert and Uma Thurman to Botswana in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of the rhino.

Forevermark’s support of the Tlhokomela Trust is part of the ongoing commitment by De Beers since the 1970s to protect the diversity of the natural world in which it operates, said Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark and executive VP of Marketing for De Beers. For every acre of land used for mining by De Beers, five acres are dedicated to the conservation of nature.


From left: Cherri Briggs of Explore Inc., Chongu Newman, Gloria Steinem, David Newman, Botswana Ambassador to the U.S. Photo by Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com

“Our passion for diamonds is matched by our deep sense of connection with the natural world, which we are dedicated to protecting for future generations,” Lussier said.

Both the Orapa Game Park and Jwana Game Park, which surround Debswana’s Orapa and Jwaneng Mines, are home to several thousand animals, including, rhino, giraffe, zebra, baboon, cheetah, leopard and many other animal species. The Jwana Game park spans more than 40,000 acres of protected land, while the Orapa Game park currently consists of 30,000 acres with plans to expand to more than 100,000 acres.


From left: Charles Stanley, president Forevermark, US; Tshekedi Khama, minister of the Botswana Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Gloria Steinem, Stephen Lussier, Forevermark CEO, EVP of De Beers Group. Photo by Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Last Minute Valentine Gifts By Etienne Perret And Alex Soldier

Etienne Perret orange diamond, 18k gold and black ceramic ring.

You haven’t even looked for a Valentine’s Day gift, have you? Well you’re in luck as you still have time to buy something special and Jewelry News Network has two designers that produce jewels that any woman would love. 

The first is Etienne Perret, who specializes in modern designs made with unusual materials. He is well known for using colored enhanced natural diamonds, in bridal and fashion pieces matched with 18k gold or platinum. These are real diamonds in which their color was created in a lab. These are much more affordable than natural colored diamonds and any color can be created. 

Perret is equally well known for creating pieces using “Ceramique” gem ceramic, which is both ultra durable and stylish. Perret also does custom design pieces but it’s too late for that now isn’t it. You can learn how to purchase his products directly or with one through the many retailers that carry his jewels through his website.

Alex Soldier butterfly studs.

As I mentioned previously Alex Soldier is a favorite of Jewelry News Network. His work combines traditional and modern themes with imaginative artistry and numerous jewelry making techniques. His handmade jewels often possess multiple textures, such as combining encrusted gold surfaces gold with intricate gold lattice, and movement, whether it is actually physical or the way the jewels reflect the light. 

Without really any mentors, his works, even when based on traditional themes, turn out looking unique. What he considers his strongest influence is his native Russia, more specifically, the city of Perm in the remote Ural mountain region. Russian themes are certainly represented in his work.

Alex Soldier products are available at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores or you contact the company directly through its website

And please hurry. 

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

2015 A Down Year For Gold Jewelry Demand

Colorful gold chains by Pomellato. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

There were few bright spots in the global gold jewelry market for 2015 as regional tensions continue to slow jewelry sales.

Annual gold jewelry demand declined 3 percent in 2015, year-over-year, to 2,414.9 tons as many markets remain under the strain of geopolitical tensions and instability, according to the World Gold Council. Fourth quarter demand meanwhile was a bit more stable with a 1 percent drop in jewelry demand, year-over-year, to 671.4 tons. In value terms, the decline was 9 percent. 

India, the second largest gold jewelry market in the world, was the main driver behind the gold jewelry economy this year, although it was not enough to offset losses in China, Turkey Russia, and the Middle East. In the U.S., steady, slow growth continues while spending on gold jewelry remains flat in Europe. 

India
A surge in demand in India during the second-half of the year resulted in a 5 percent gain in demand in 2015 to 654.3 tons (its third highest level on record) and ended the year with a fourth quarter increase of 6 percent to 173.1 tons. 

The WGC said November and December were “particularly upbeat” led by the five-day Diwali festival, which was preceded by a drop in the price of gold, leading to greater demand. Severe rains and flooding in southern India followed by reduction in foreign investment led to the first-half decline in demand. 

China
Demand in the world’s largest jewelry market saw a 3 percent drop in gold jewelry demand, year-over-year to 783.5 tons. Meanwhile, fourth quarter demand fell by 1 percent to 202.6 tons. The WGC blames the “economic slowdown and the stock market turmoil of the first half of the year was the primary driver behind this weakness, through its damaging effect on wider consumer sentiment.”

The WGC adds the country faces difficult times for retailers as tightening credit lines and slowing economic growth has put pressure on margins. Small regional brands, especially those in tier 3 and 4 cities, have suffered most. Larger retailers have fared better, “supported by a better product range and deeper pockets.” About 85 percent of the market consists of 24k jewelry with higher-margin 18k product grabbing more market share. Inventories are being managed conservatively, the WGC adds.

Hong Kong
The small but important market saw its gold jewelry demand “practically collapse,” with a 23 percent drop in the fourth quarter alone to 13.6 tons. The island is heavily dependent on mainland China tourists, which saw a steep decline in 2015 and into 2016. 

U.S.
Demand for gold jewelry increased 3 percent in the fourth quarter to 45.6 tons, matched by a “cautious” 3 percent increase in annual demand to 119.6 tons, the WGC said. The U.S. has now experienced eight consecutive quarters of growth. The main benefit was a drop in the gold price in the third quarter, which aided buying by retailers for the Christmas season. 

“The tentative uptrend that began in 2013 continues to hold for now, but feels fragile,” the WGC said. “On the one hand, consumers have seen their disposable incomes benefit from lower oil and heating prices. But on the other hand, a shift has been seen towards spending on travel and leisure rather than on retail goods. While creeping improvement in economic indicators provides some support, there is little call for enthusiastic optimism in the outlook for 2016.”

Other Asian Markets
Overall, the smaller Asian markets were a “mixed bag,” the WGC said, with growth in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and South Korea offset by losses in Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, the WGC said.

Vietnam was the high point as demand for gold jewelry expanded by 31 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter to 3.9 tons, yielding a 25 percent increase in annual demand to 15.6 tons. This is due to a steep drop in the local price of the precious metal in 2015, combined with lower inflation and stronger economic growth, the WGC said.

Turkey
The important gold jewelry manufacturing hub wrestled with economic, political and regional disruption over the past year and is seen by the WGC as one of the major causes of the global decline in gold jewelry demand in 2015. Fourth quarter results were very much along the lines of the year-over-year weakness seen over the preceding three quarters as demand fell 26 percent to 15 tons. The lira is weak, which kept local gold prices elevated. “The fragile domestic economic and political backdrop—and proximity to conflict in Middle Eastern countries—badly affected consumer sentiment in the market,” the WGC said. “As did the terrorist incidents that spilled onto domestic soil.”

Middle East
Iran is the only bright spot as demand in the region declined 5 percent to 51.4 tons in the fourth quarter, giving an annual total of 224.1 tons, the lowest since 2012. “Unsurprisingly, further falls in the price of oil and continued conflict across the region have fed through to declines in gold jewelry consumption,” WGC said. “Declining tourist revenues were an added factor in the UAE.”

Russia
Annual Russian jewelry demand slumped to a 14-year low of 41.1 tons—39 percent below the 2014 total. Demand in the market has “collapsed” since the middle of 2014, with six consecutive quarters of double-digit losses. “Already crippled by the after-effects of military intervention in the Ukraine (namely, a freefalling currency and international sanctions), the market has been further clobbered by plummeting oil revenues,” WGC said. “There is little room for improvement in demand over the coming year.”

Europe
Demand for gold jewelry in demand declined by 1 percent in both the fourth quarter and full-year of 2015 (to 35.7 tons and 75.8 tons respectively). Slight improvement in the UK (+1%) and Spain (+6%) were offset by declines in France (-5%), Germany (-2%) and Italy (-3%) continued to shrink. 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daniel Craig’s James Bond Omega Seamaster Up For Auction


The Omega Seamaster 300 Bond Edition. The same watch worn by Daniel Craig in the Bond movie, Spectre will be sold at Christie's

By Gretchen Friedrich, Jewelry News Network’s social media manager 

Christie’s London is celebrating the release of the movie, Spectre, the latest installment in the James Bond series, on DVD and Blu-Ray by doing what it does best, holding an auction. Proceeds from the February 18 sale will benefit several charitable organizations. 

Items from the Spectre auction at Christie's London King Street location include an Omega Seamaster 300 Bond Edition, one of eight watches worn by James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, throughout the film. 

The Omega Seamaster 300 Bond Edition in case, photographed at Shreve, Crump & Low

Owning this Seamaster 300 is extraordinary for several reasons. In addition to gracing the wrist of an international movie star, the Seamaster 300 is an exceptional timepiece, even without the Hollywood provenance. 

Omega produced only 7,007 Seamaster 300s, the first Bond watch with a limited production. “This piece is completely sold out worldwide, making it more difficult to obtain,” said Brian Walker, marketing VP for Shreve, Crump & Low

The Boston jeweler is one of a select group of exclusive boutiques to carry the Omega watch line. 

Walker adds that the second hand on the dial is a retrospective of the 1950s Seamaster design, one that resembles a lollipop. Other retro features are the NATO strap and the casing, which are similar to the watch worn by the original James Bond, Sean Connery. The strap holder on the bracelet reinforces the spy theme with a "007" engraving. 

The box for the Omega Seamaster 300 Bond Edition, photographed at Shreve, Crump & Low

The classic features house modern technological mechanisms, with a Co-Axial escapement that increases precision and durability. Plus, it's resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss, as well as water depths up to 1,000 feet. 

The presentation box is very Bond-esque as well with a combination lock securing the precious timepiece. Even Q would be proud to wear one with this kind of hardware. 

Christie's estimates the watch will sell for £15,000-20,000 ($21,000-$28,000). The Seamaster 300 Bond edition originally sold, directly from Omega, for $7,500. 

The live auction at the London showroom is limited to invitation-only guests. Interested parties can bid on the Seamaster 300, and the other Bond-related items (such as the Aston Martin DB10, designed specifically for the movie) online on Christie's website, and by phone. 

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Harry Winston Launches Timepiece To Support amfAR

Harry Winston's "Countdown to a Cure" men's timepiece

Harry Winston on Tuesday launched a limited-edition timepiece designed to bring attention to and help fund the mission of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

The "Countdown to a Cure Timepiece" for men and women also marks Harry Winston’s second year of partnership with amfAR. As the name suggests, the watch is designed exclusively for amfAR’s “Countdown to a Cure” campaign. It’s the first official product to benefit amfAR’s efforts to develop the scientific basis of a cure for HIV by 2020. 

A total of 20 percent of the retail sale price will go toward amfAR and its Countdown to a Cure initiative.

Harry Winston's "Countdown to a Cure" ladies' timepiece

As part of Harry Winston’s timeless Midnight Collection, the men’s version of the watch features a 42mm white gold case with a navy blue dial accented with a multicolor gradient, representing amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure campaign colors that symbolizes the fade of the disease from crisis to cure. The 32mm women’s model is set with 12 brilliant-cut diamonds and 19 vivid gemstones, from rubies and sapphires to spessartite garnets.

The men’s model retails for $21,200 and the women’s for $16,200. Each timepiece is limited to 20 pieces and they are available at Harry Winston salons worldwide. 

Harry Winston is in its second year of a three-year partnership with amfAR, in support of the organization’s mission to end the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research, and its “Countdown to a Cure” initiative, which is aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure by 2020. Launched in February 2014, it’s designed to intensify amfAR’s cure-focused HIV research program through strategic investments of $100 million over the next five years. 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine’s Day Gifts: Jewels, Watches And A Pen

The Noor Ring by Vara of London

It’s difficult for me to figure out the taste of my sweet, lovely wife, Maria—particularly with jewelry. But it turns out Mayuri Vara, founder of Vara of London, had just the thing: The Noor ring. 

Vara never met my wife but she knew this ring made with amethysts and smoky quartz set on gold plated silver would do the trick and she was right. My wife loved it and my life is better for it.  

I’m not going to make promises that these suggestions of jewels, watches and even a pen for Valentine’s Day gifts in all price ranges will make your life easier. But imagine how difficult your life will be if you forget Valentine’s Day, or you buy a gift without putting much thought into it. 

Below are some of my other favorites for this year:



John Hardy Dot Toi Moi Ring made of 18k gold with a freshwater pearls and diamond. 



Harry Winston Midnight Diamond Stalactites Automatic 36mm timepiece combines diamonds, pink sapphires and rubies set against a mother-of-pearl dial. Driven by the HW2008 automatic movement, it is available in 18k white gold, with the case accented with 84 brilliant-cut diamonds and a white satin strap.




Lagos Love Knot ring is available in sterling silver and in 18k gold with diamonds. 



The Montblanc Meisterstuck White Solitaire Rollerball is made with precious white lacquer and red gold-plated details. 



Lydia Courteille Scarlet Empress Collection Red Sapphire Earrings




Hidden Heart Georg Jensen sterling silver pendant features a modern design motif that subtly incorporates the shape of a heart. 



If vintage jewels are more your style you might go for this Art Deco Diamond Rose Bracelet by Boucheron, Paris, circa 1925. It is available at Siegelson in New York. 



Antonini 18k yellow gold ring with diamonds and sapphires that appear like pebbles on sand



The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ladies watch features a mother-of-pearl dial with 11 diamond indexes in 18k gold holders. This 38.5 mm 18k red gold ladies’ wristwatch, with its diamond-set bezel comes with a white leather strap with a mother-of-pearl effect. It is powered by the Omega Master Co-Axial caliber 8501, a movement that can resist strong magnetic fields.



Carrera y Carrera Love earrings in white and yellow gold with diamonds



French jewelry brand, Djula, with a white gold and diamond necklace that says “I Heart You”



Pasquale Bruni white gold earrings with diamonds.



Le Vian Chocolatier 14k Strawberry Gold ring with 2.91 carats of Chocolate Diamonds and Vanilla Diamonds



Sutra 18k rose gold earrings with opals and diamonds.

You have about 10 days left to shop so go to it. 

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Valentine’s Day: Unique Diamond Bracelet By David Morris

Rare 60-carat center stone unearthed at legendary Cullinan Mine

It might be the ultimate Valentine’s Day jewelry gift this year. London jeweler David Morris is offering a diamond bracelet with a rare 59.89-carat cushion-cut diamond. The D-colored diamond was created from a 120-carat Type 2a rough diamond unearthed at the legendary Cullinan mine in South Africa, where some of the largest and most important diamonds in the world were found. 

The center diamond was paired with 10.62 carats of pink and white fancy-cut diamonds in an en tremblant (to tremble) petal design set in 18k rose and white gold. The design was created by Jeremy Morris, the managing director and principal designer of the brand. 

The 120-carat rough diamond took eight months to cut and the design of the bangle took another 100 hours of work to make the design come to life. The creation combines old-world hand-crafted techniques with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technology.

Jeremy Morris said he was inspired by the main diamond’s attributes, which he described as the “cool, limpid waters of a pond.” The trembling movement of the pink diamond petals reflects the “swaying of the lilies floating upon it.” 

The piece is available at the David Morris, The London Jeweller, at its Bond Street flagship. Or it will be transported by guard to any location in the world. As an added bonus, Jeremy Morris said he will grant naming rights for the diamond.

Price upon request. 

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