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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shanghai Fair Provides Buying Opportunities for Upcoming Holidays

Jewelry retailers in Asia will have a final opportunity to stock their shelves for the upcoming Christmas holidays and Chinese New Year festivities during the China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shanghai (Shanghai Fair), from November 9 – 12 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center.

More than 300 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions will showcase the latest contemporary jewelry, classic bestsellers and trends during the eighth edition of the annual trade fair, organized by UBM Asia.

In 2011, retail sales of consumer goods in Shanghai exceeded RMB677 billions, up 12.3 percent from 2010. Retail sales of gold and jewelry alone grew roughly 25 percent, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

Given its November schedule, the Shanghai Fair provides the last-minute opportunity for buyers wanting to add to their inventory for the busy Christmas and Chinese New Year festivities.

Pavilions dedicated to luxury jewelry manufacturers, jadeite manufacturers from Taiwan and gems from Sri Lanka are among the features of the fair.

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‘Pigeon’s Blood’ Ruby Necklace Leads Diverse Christie’s Hong Kong Jewelry Sale


It’s a rare jewelry auction these days where diamonds are not the most prestigious items for sale. This auction will break the trend as leading the sale of Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Autumn sale is a Burmese no heat “pigeon’s blood” ruby and diamond necklace (pictured above) with matching earrings (below) by James W. Currens. The necklace has an auction estimate of $3.5 to $5.5 million; and the earrings have estimate of $2.5 million to $3.5 million.


Designed as twenty-six graduated oval-shaped rubies weighing between 5.38 and 1.27 carats, each ruby comprising the necklace named, “Red Scarlet” is accented by a cluster of marquise and pear-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18k yellow gold. The matching pair of earrings are titled the “Red Butterflies” for their shape, and each feature a pair of Burmese rubies over 7 carats. The rubies all come from the Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma, which is considered to be the source for the finest quality “pigeon’s blood” rubies, the term used to describe the brightest and most valuable red color for rubies.

More than 300 items will be on sale for the November 27 auction at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. The pre-sale estimate is valued at approximately $70 million. An assortment of diamonds, emeralds and sapphires from the world’s legendary mines, natural seawater pearls, and, being Hong Kong, jadeite jewelry will be among the items featured. Highlights include: 

Emerald, pearl and diamond earrings in platinum, featuring Colombian pear-shaped emeralds weighing 23.34 carats and 23.18 carats. Its estimate is $3.5 million to $4.8 million. CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

Diamond and pearl earrings, featuring a pair of 6-carat pear-shaped diamonds from the legendary Golconda mine in India. Its estimate is $1.2 million to $1.9 million.  CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

A natural pearl and diamond necklace with an estimate of $1.2 million to $1.5 million. CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

A lavender jadeite bead necklace, consisting of 63 slightly graduated jadeite beads measuring from 8.8 to 11.3 mm, and a jadeite cabochon and diamond clasp mounted in 18k white gold. Its estimate is $1 million to $1.5 million. CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

A 36.58-carat fancy brown diamond ring with an estimate of $1 million to $1.5 million. CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

An 8.59-carat fancy pink cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond and sapphire ring, by Paris-based American jeweler, JAR. Its estimate is $3 million to $4.5 million. CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Harry Winston Is Not For Sale

The Harry Winston salon in Paris.

Harry Winston Diamond Corp. issued a statement Thursday saying it is not in talks to sell its luxury jewelry and watch business.

“While it is the company’s general policy not to comment on market rumors, it confirms that it has received various indications of interest regarding a potential purchase of its luxury brand segment. It is not in active negotiations regarding any such transaction,” it said in the statement. “The company does not intend to make any further public announcements regarding this matter unless it concludes that they are warranted by the circumstances or are required by law.”

The statement came as a result of stories from Reuters and other outlets stating that Harry Winston “has been approaching potential buyers such as luxury groups LVMH and PPR.”

Harry Winston Diamond Corp. is a business with assets in the mining and retail segments of the diamond industry. Harry Winston supplies rough diamonds to the global market from its 40 percent ownership interest in the Diavik Diamond Mine. The company’s luxury brand segment is a diamond jeweler and luxury timepiece retailer with salons in key locations throughout the world.

Harry Winston shares ownership of the diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada with mining giant Rio Tinto, which owns a 60 percent stake. The miner has announced its intention to sell all of its diamond mines to concentrate in larger mining segments. Harry Winston was reportedly in talks to buy the mine outright.

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Tiffany Promotes Senior Executives

Frederic Cumenal
Beth Canavan

Tiffany & Co. said Wednesday that it is shifting and expanding responsibilities for two executive vice presidents, Beth Canavan and Frederic Cumenal.

Cumenal, 53, joined the international luxury jewelry retailer in March 2011 from the LVMH Group. He has been responsible for Tiffany's businesses in Asia, Japan, Europe and Emerging Markets. Effective immediately, Cumenal will expand his role to assume responsibility for all of Tiffany's worldwide sales activities.

Canavan, 58, joined Tiffany in 1987 and through progressively greater responsibilities has headed the Americas region in recent years. She will now report to Cumenal who reports to Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany's chairman and chief executive officer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

50-Carat Flawless Diamond Sells for $9.5 Million

50.52-Carat Pear-Shaped Diamond that sold for $9.5 million.

NEW YORK — Big diamonds sparkled during Christie’s sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York on Tuesday. Leading the way was a pear-shaped D color flawless diamond of 50.52 cts., which sold for $9.5 million, or $188,000 per carat, to a private collector. The stone is mounted in platinum and may be worn suspended from a necklace with a 2.28 carat, circular-cut D-color diamond surmount.

It was one of several major diamond lots sold during the auction of 369 lots held during two sessions Tuesday. The other top sellers were:


* A pair of pear-shaped fancy yellow and colorless diamond ear pendants of 52.78 and 50.31 cts.(pictured above)  that achieved $4.5 million. The diamonds are surmounted by circular-cut fancy yellow and white diamonds Mounted in yellow and white gold. The pendants may be easily swapped or detached completely, giving the owner three options for how to wear them. Its estimate was $4.5 - $6.5 million. The buyer was listed by Christie’s as Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading.


* A 68.35-carat oval-cut fancy intense yellow, internally flawless diamond sold for $3.16 million. The gem with excellent polish and symmetry had an estimate of $2.2 - $3.2 million.


* A pear-shape fancy light pink SI1 diamond ring sold for of 10.52 cts sold for $2.21 million, or $210,000 per carat; well above its estimate of $1 million to $1.5 million.

* A 28.20-carat square-cut fancy intense yellow VVS1 diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels that sold for $902,000.


* A 10.05-carat pear-shaped diamond on a ring, flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond, mounted in platinum took in more than $1.2 million.

* A 12.05-carat pear-shape F color flawless diamond that sold for $842,500.

* An 11.68-carat marquise-cut F color VS1 diamond ring by Harry Winston that sold for $746,500.

All totaled, the auction achieved $50 million and had a sell-through rate of 87 percent by lot and 93 percent by value.

“Private collectors and dealers reacted more than positively to a 369-lot auction that was finely-tuned in terms of prices and selection of gems to current market conditions,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland. “Natural pearls, colorless flawless diamonds, and colored diamonds of high quality once again dominated the day, making for a vibrant atmosphere in the saleroom.”


Natural pearls again proved to be a dynamic force in the auction market. This was underscored by the sale of a double strand natural pearl necklace for $3.66 million (pictured above). It has 120 large-sized individual pearls, ranging in size from 6.50 mm to 12.25 mm in diameter, and ranging in coloration from white to light cream, with subtle rosé and green overtones and superb luster. It is accented with a 3-carat, D color diamond clasp signed by Cartier. Its estimate was $2.8 – $3.5 million.

During the morning session, a single strand of 83 natural pearls, measuring from approximately 3.15 to 9.75 mm, sold for $158,500, nearly double its high estimate; and an antique diamond and sapphire brooch set with a natural baroque pearl, measuring approximately 15.90 – 16.70 x 20.40 mm, brought in $170,500, nearly tripling its high estimate.


In addition, a 32.31-carat cushion cut Burmese sapphire ring (pictured above) sold for $986,500, nearly double the high estimate of $500,000.

Bidding was robust throughout the day, gaining strength in the afternoon session, with dealers in the back of Christie's saleroom loudly clamoring for attention, competing with those in the front of the room and many phone and online bidders.

Sharing the auctioneer duties was Kadakia, along with Christie's Asia president, François Curiel, the Christie’s jewelry veteran who moved to Hong Kong recently to head the auction house’s jewelry operation in the booming Asia market.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

High-End Brands Showed their Stuff at The Luxury Review Event

YNY Jewels specializes in well-designed pieces made with fancy colored diamonds, colored gemstones and precious metals.

LOS ANGELES — Jewelry and watches shared the spotlight with luxury brands from an array of industries during the recently held The Luxury Review: Los Angeles at The Petersen Automotive Museum.

Bozeman Watch Company is one of a few timepiece companies based in the U.S.

Hosted by Rand Luxury, the event brings together brands from multiple industries including automotive, jewelry, resorts, spirits, electronics and home design. These companies get exposure through a guest list that includes press and media, product analysts, studio executives, product integration and product placement professionals, tv/film producers, personal shoppers, stylists and of course affluent consumers.

Based in the The Woodlands, Texas, Dannini specializes in diamond jewelry designs.

The event was held October 3 and about 30 brands participated. There was food, wine and champagne and free samples from several vendors.

B.M.R. Watches specializes in high-end, high-performance mechanical timepieces primarily for auto racing enthusiasts. These are the creations of watchmaker Bernard Richards. Brand ambassadors in the racing world include: Jean-Eric Vergne, Manu Collard and Cyrille Lemoine.

The next Luxury Review will be held in New York on October 17 at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Winners of the JNA Awards

The 2012 September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, the tradeshow hosted the inaugural JNA Awards during a ceremony held September 20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. The JNA Awards honors and recognizes excellence and achievement in the jewelry trade.

The event, the first of its kind in Asia, was organized by Jewellery News Asia of UBM Asia in collaboration with UBM Awards.

The success of the awards was prevalent in the fact that all of the sponsors agreed to participate in the next edition prior to the awards presentation. Recipients of the JNA Awards for 2012 are as follows:

Lifetime Achievement Award, Nicky Oppenheimer, former chairman of the De Beers Group
Oppenheimer received JNA's highest accolade for his outstanding contribution to the world diamond industry over the course of a career that spans 44 years. The third generation of the Oppenheimers to lead De Beers, he has added his own, distinguished contribution to a family legend that dates back to 1902 when his grandfather, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, arrived in Kimberley to work as a diamond buying agent. He presided over important changes in the history of the De Beers Group. Under his leadership, De Beers opened up new markets for diamond jewelry in China and India, and established the De Beers' Best Practice Principles, a standard of ethical business behavior that has set the benchmark for other global industries.

Three Decades of Excellence, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd.
The world's largest jewelry retailer by market value continues to raise the bar of excellence and creativity in the gemstone and jewelry industry. The Hong Kong-listed company has an extensive retail network, with more than 1,600 points-of-sale in Greater China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Brand of the Year, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd.
With its immense reach and presence in the Greater China market, the company is viewed as a trendsetter in the industry and one of the most iconic brands in Greater China.

Employer of the Year, Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd.
The 30-year-old diamond manufacturer continues to demonstrate the same passion and commitment that it has for a business that celebrates enduring love and romance. It has not lost sight of the core corporate values: excellence in innovation, manufacturing and talent management. By connecting with its employees and keeping them engaged, the India-based company is able to clearly communicate the group's vision and goals with its staff.

Industry Innovation of the Year – Manufacturing, TTF High Jewellery
Since its establishment in September 2002, the Shenzhen-based jewelry manufacturer has been producing jewelry pieces of outstanding design and craftsmanship. TTF has mastered many high-level techniques in jewelry making, including K-gold production, which gives gold lasting color and shine.

Industry Innovation of the Year – Retail, Plukka (HK) Ltd.
Leveraging the power of social media and online marketing, Plukka (HK) Ltd is changing the dynamics of jewelry trade and manufacturing. Launched less than a year ago by partners Jai Waney and Joanne Ooi, the Hong Kong-based e-Retailer is bringing the concept of group buying to a larger audience.

Manufacturer of the Year, Pranda Group
The Thailand-based company prides itself on being a leading supplier of high-quality jewelry to some of the world's most recognizable retail brands, while offering its own branded jewelry products. With a 4,000-strong workforce in seven manufacturing facilities, the company produces more than 10,000 new designs and over 8 million pieces annually.

Retailer of the Year, Luk Fook Holdings (International) Ltd.
One of Hong Kong's most successful home-grown brands, Lukfook operates more than 920 retail outlets worldwide, more than 870 of which are in China. The company uses innovative technology to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and enhance customer experience.

Sustainability Initiative of the Year, Jewelmer International Corp.
Renowned for its golden South Sea cultured pearls, Jewelmer champions sustainable development in its operations and projects. Based in the Philippines, it adopts the most ecologically friendly practices in its pearl farms in Palawan. Jewelmer's Save Palawan Seas Foundation also provides coastal communities with livelihood alternatives to destructive fishing practices.

Young Leader of the Year (Age 30 or below), Chris Benham (The Inspired Collection)
Benham has led the New Zealand-based company into winning several domestic and international jewelry design awards over a span of just three years. Known for its fresh, innovative approach to diamond jewelry design, The Inspired Collection has also won major design contracts with highly respected companies, including Hiersun, a retailer with more than 200 bridal jewelry shops in China.

The following companies have been selected as honorees of the inaugural JNA Awards 2012, Wonder of the World category:

Vitalit, Thailand, two entries — Vivid Orange Natural Mandarin Garnet in finest cut cushion shape or Natural Spessartite (Garnet); and Pinkish Red Spinel of Pamir Mountains origin.

Makhni Enterprises, Thailand — A pair of rare 8 carats unheated rubies

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

September Hong Kong Jewelry Fair Honors Award-Winning Jewelry Designers

Design talents from across the jewelry and gemstone field were honored during the Welcome Reception of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair on September 21. The ewinners of the IU Awards were named and awarded, celebrating their achievements in the field of lapidary arts in colored gemstones, while guests at the event enjoyed a parade of the finalists and winning pieces.

Organized by the International Colored Gemstone Association and UBM Asia, the IU Awards is billed as the world’s first international gem-cutting and jewelry design competition dedicated to colored gemstones. Divided into two major categories—Jewellery Design and Gem-Cutting—the competition received 221 entries from 25 countries and regions.

The Top winners in the IU Awards are:

Jewelry Design Compeition: Dragon Awakening, by Ip Suen Hang of Hong Kong

Gem-Cutting Compeition: Chrysanthemum by Natalia Samorukova of Russian Federation

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The Girard-Perregaux Unveils 1966 in 41 Millimeters

The latest edition of the Girard-Perregaux 1966 timepiece comes in a new size of 41 millimeters and in pink gold. Its opaline surface reveals a slightly curved dial with 15-minute markers that take the form of slender batons. The two leaf-shaped hands are joined by a central seconds hand in blue steel, while the date is visible at 3 o’clock.

The enlarged case is adapted to the dimensions of the self-winding mechanical caliber GP4500, designed at the manufacture’s R&D department and produced and assembled in its workshops. Composed of 188 pieces, the caliber has a power reserve of 54 hours. Its pink gold oscillating weight, engraved with the name of the brand, is adorned with Côtes de Genève decoration.

An alligator strap with pink gold pin buckle is the finishing touch on this classic timepiece that retails for $16,500.

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Breguet Celebrates the First Watch With Unveiling of the Reine de Naples Watch and Jewelry Collection

Reine de Naples ladies timepiece

Abraham-Louis Breguet is said to have created and delivered the first wristwatch, for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples on October 5, 1812. To pay tribute to this historical piece and its creator, the Swiss luxury watch brand that bears the creator’s name went off to Naples for a celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of the event.

The Breguet celebration held on Oct. 5 and 6 on the Gulf of Naples included a tour of Reggia Di Capodimonte, which was the home to Caroline Murat, who occupied the throne of Naples until 1815 and a gala and an historical exhibition, “Reine de Naples,” on the Isle of Capri.

The Swiss luxury watch brand also unveiled the 10th anniversary of its “Reine de Naples” ladies watch and jewelry collection. Launched in 2002, this collection is a tribute to the first wristwatch, ordered by Caroline Murat from Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1810 and delivered in 1812.

Reine de Naples ring in 950 platinum paved with brilliant-cut diamonds (2.48 ct), with baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 7.50 ct), and an oval-cut blue sapphire (9.50 ct).

The “Reine de Naples” anniversary special has a striking mechanism that marks the top of every hour with two chimes repeated three times. A pushpiece at 2 o’clock disables the function. Along with the usual technical imperatives involved in designing an oval movement, this timepiece incorporates the results of fundamental research by Breguet into the acoustics of chiming and repeating watches.

The geometry of the bridges, the oscillating weight and the decoration, displayed through the sapphire crystal back of the watch, form the image of a garden pavilion in the Mediterranean style, identical to the stately residences of Caroline Murat. To do justice to the lavish setting in which the piece is unveiled, the bezel and the snap of the “Reine de Naples” anniversary special are set with 28 brilliant cut diamonds and 27 blue sapphires. The striking hammers appear above the dial at 11 and 1 o’clock, while between them the diamond heart of a rose engraved in gold indicates the engagement of the hour striker. The silvered gold dial and its flange are paved with 233 brilliant cut diamonds and 303 blue sapphires with different nuances, offering a subtle color gradation. A crown placed at 4 o’clock and set with a briolette-cut diamond adds a sublime final touch to this exclusive anniversary watch, mounted on an alligator strap with a folding clasp set with 26 diamonds.

Reine de Naples tiara in 950 platinum paved with brilliant-cut diamonds (12.75 ct), baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 8.00 ct) and an 8.37 ct oval-cut blue sapphire.

The Reine de Naples jewelry set consists of a ring, pair of earrings, necklace and tiara, all in 950 platinum. The central motif of the jewels in the set is an oval-cut blue sapphire. It is surrounded by two ovoid rings paved with baguette-cut diamonds in an elegant and refined echo of the case of the first wristwatch, which had an oblong shape. 

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50-Carat Diamond to Lead Christie’s Upcoming Auction

Diamond ear pendants, 52.78 cts. and 50.31 cts. (117.04 cts total with surmounts). Estimate: $4.5 million - $6.5 million.

Christie’s first sale of the fall jewelry season will include three diamonds of more than 50 carats each and a rare double strand of large natural pearls.

The two-session sale on October 16 at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom also includes signature jewels, rare gemstones and more statement diamonds among its 372 lots. It is expected to achieve more than $35 million.

The top colorless diamond in Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale is a pear-shaped D-color flawless diamond of 50.52 carats with excellent polish and symmetry. The stone is mounted in platinum and may be worn suspended from a necklace with a 2.28 carat, circular-cut D-color diamond surmount. The estimate is available on request.

Among the colored diamond highlights is an oval-cut fancy intense yellow, internally flawless diamond of 68.35 carats with excellent polish and symmetry. It has an estimate of $2.2 - $3.2 million.

In addition, a pair of diamond ear pendants brings together a pear-shaped fancy yellow diamond of 52.78 carats and a pear-shaped white diamond of 50.31 carats surmounted by circular-cut fancy yellow and white diamonds Mounted in yellow and white gold, the pendants may be easily swapped or detached completely, giving the owner three options for how to wear them. Its estimate is $4.5 - $6.5 million.

The double strand natural pearl necklace is formed of 120 large-sized individual pearlsRanging in size from 6.50 mm to 12.25 mm in diameter, the pearls range in coloration from white to light cream, with subtle rosé and green overtones and superb luster. It is accented with a 3-carat, D color diamond clasp signed by Cartier. Its estimate is $2.8 – $3.5 million. The auction house said it is “one of the finest to come to auction at Christie’s in the last five years.”

The sale will 130 signed jewels by Buccellati, Bulgari, Cartier, Graff, Marina B., Oscar Heyman & Brothers, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Harry Winston and Raymond Yard.

Among the highlights of iconic design is a “honeycomb” motif ruby and diamond bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels. Crafted from hexagonal-cut rubies and diamonds, the gems are set using the firm’s trademark “mystery-set” technique which eliminates any visible prongs from the surface of the bracelet. Its estimate is $100,000 - $150,000)

The sale also includes a selection of jewels by Marina B, granddaughter of Sottiro Bulgari. The sale features a number of her designs accompanied by their original renderings, including a ruby and gold “Simona” bangle set with a shield-shaped fancy yellow diamond (estimate: $50,000 - $70,000), a “Georgina” ring featuring an oval-cut ruby of 10.54 carats (estimate: $200,000-300,000) and a pair of diamond, amethyst and pink tourmaline “MBC” ear pendants (estimate: $25,000-35,000).

One-of-a-kind creations by the Indian designer Viren Bhagat are among the most coveted of contemporary jewelry designs on the auction market today. As a special fundraising item within the sale, Christie’s offering a pair of “flower blossom” pearl and diamond ear clips by Bhagat (estimate: $30,000-50,000). The sale will benefit the Salaam Bombay Children’s Fund, a decade-old organization that works with disadvantaged children across India to empower them with opportunities and skills that enable them to make the right choices for their health, education and livelihood.

Others sale highlights include:

* Pear-shaped diamond ring of 10.05 carats, D color, internally flawless. Estimate: $1 million – 1.5 million.

* Pear-shaped fancy light pink diamond ring of 10.52 carats by Galt. Estimate: $900,000 – 1.1 million.

* Pair of pear-shaped diamond ear pendants of 6.94 carats and 6.79 carats. Estimate: $600,000 – $800,000.

* Colombian emerald and diamond ear pendants of 22.12 carats and 21.47 carats by Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate: $600,000 – 800,000.

* Cushion-cut Burmese sapphire diamond ring of 32.31 carats. Estimate: $350,000 – $500,000.

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Chopard’s 2012-2013 Winter Collection of Jewelry, Watches, Clocks and Games

Luxury house Chopard recently unveiled a collection of jewelry, timepieces and even a backgammon set for the winter season. Items include the following:

L.U.C Quattro Table Clock
The table clock is inspired by the famous Haute Horlogerie L.U.C collection and one of its flagship models. For the very first time, Chopard offers a table clock equipped with a mechanical hand-wound movement with an eight-day power reserve.

Imperiale Jewelry
To accompany the Imperiale watch, Chopard created a new line of jewelry. The motif that adorns the dials of the watches, inspired by the traditional embroideries that once decorated imperial gowns and cushions, is apparent within the design of the pendants, earrings, rings, and bracelets. The collection is set in 18k rose gold or white gold, featuring amethyst, pink quartz or chalcedony.

Happy Sport Chrono
The Happy Sport chronograph in diamond-set rose gold remains loyal to the very essence of the Happy Sport collection—with a white mother-of-pearl dial and delicate gem-setting.

Precious Temptations
Chopard creates a banquet of sweet delights, combining precious stones with gems to create an array of pink sapphires, amethysts, rubellites, tsavorites, tourmalines and opals.

L.U.C Quattro
The new L.U.C Quattro is powered by one of the biggest successes of Chopard Manufacture—the four-barrel L.U.C 98.01-L movement. The timepiece adopts the new aesthetic codes of the L.U.C collection that combines Haute Horlogerie with distinguished lines.

Backgammon Set
Chopard’s backgammon set is in black-lacquered sycamore wood featuring red, cream and black sycamore marquetry.

Animal World Collection Seal Lion Necklace
To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Chopard has taken on the challenge of signing an Haute Joaillerie collection of 150 unique animal-themed pieces. This year Chopard introduces its Sea Lion Necklace with white south sea cultured pearls and diamonds.

Happy 8
The Happy Diamonds collection explores the symbolism of the figure 8 with a new collection of watches, pendants, rings and earrings. The ideal curves, richness and power of the figure 8 have inspired Chopard to create a collection where the infinity purity of the lines echoes that of the materials in a subtle association between diamonds and gold.

Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono 2012
The new watch, with its matte grey, vivid colors and racing stripes, is a tribute to 1970s racing cars. Equipped with a mechanical self-winding movement chronometer-certified by the COSC, the timepiece displays the hours, minutes, small seconds and the date, naturally complemented by chronograph functions and a tachometric scale.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Montblanc Honors Quincy Jones For His Patronage of the Arts

Quincy Jones talks about his life after receiving the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When Quincy Jones was a child growing up in Chicago and Seattle, he wanted to be a gangster. Instead, he settled for being one of the most influential and accomplished persons in the entertainment industry.

Jones—the famed record producer, conductor, arranger, film composer, television producer and trumpeter—was honored Tuesday, not for his five decades of spectacular accomplishments in music, television and film, but for his commitment to develop the talent of young musicians as well as preserving and maintaining the heritage of African-American music. This includes working with or contributing to the National Black Arts Festival, the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation and the Jazz Foundation of America.

The 79-year-old legend received the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award during an outside reception at the garden of Chateau Marmont on a clear, crisp night with some of Hollywood’s best-known names, including Sir Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Terri Hatcher, Billy Zane and Jones’ daughter Rashida Jones. The luxury brand based in Hamburg has a long history of supporting arts and culture throughout the world.

Jones received a $20,000 award, which he will donate to the Jazz Foundation of America and a special edition Montblanc Patron of the Art Limited Edition 2012 Joseph II writing instrument. Joseph II, Holy roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790, created scholarships for talented poor students and was also a great supporter of Wolfgang Mozart.

Jones, a Chicago native, after accepting the award, told the story of how his father worked as a carpenter for the “Jones Gang,” a notorious African-American gangster organization that was eventually taken down by Al Capone. The young Jones and his family found themselves on a Trailways bus headed for Seattle. He wanted to emulate the gang members he saw all the time. At the age of 11, the “baby gangster” and his “gang” broke into an armory building in Seattle that served as a recreation center where they ate the ice cream and lemon meringue pie. Then they started raiding the offices inside the building. It became a life-altering moment.

“We ate it all up (the ice cream and pie), had a pie fight and individually broke into all of these offices,” he said. “I break into one office which was a supervisor’s office and I see a Spinner piano. Eleven years old and I still wanted to be a baby gangster. I see that Spinner and I almost closed the door and something said ‘turn around idiot and go into that room.’ I walked over to that piano and the voice said ‘this is what you will do the rest of your life.’”

He spoke about facing and overcoming hardships. For example, the difficulty he had to become the first African-American film composer, which he thanked Poitier for helping to make possible, and the difficulties and rewards of taking “The Road Less Traveled.”

“Life is a struggle. It is and it’s suppose to be,” he said. “God gave us that struggle and we have the choice to make the negative parts of our life a problem in which we sit and worry about and get emotional about. Or a puzzle you can solve. Always try to make it into a puzzle that is solvable. It’s not something you give up on.”

On his early years as a jazz musician and composer, he said: “We didn’t care anything about money. We didn’t care about fame or none of that stuff. We just wanted to try and revolutionize music.

Jones’ longtime friends, Poitier and Freeman, both as well known for their eloquence in speech as for their accomplished acting careers, spoke on his behalf.

“When a remarkable honor is paid a friend I am gratified,” Poitier said. “But not nearly so much as in now when the friend is here, with us, in the healthy glow of his middle years to receive it, taste of it and walk away onto other challenges leaving behind this unique reminder of victories won, risks taken, choices made…. My friend. I am sure you will go on to even greater things yet.”

Freeman then took the stage. “When I was thinking about tonight I was trying to think of the exact moment I met (Jones) but I couldn’t. It seems like he has always been a part of my life. That’s because when you meet someone you admire so much. When you spend time with someone who has accomplished and is accomplishing so much. When you are a friends of someone whose talent is as big as his heart, the connection is timeless.”

Freeman also paid Montblanc a note of recognition: “Normally I would write a few notes about what I wanted to say on my iPad. But in honor of this event I wrote them down using my Montblanc pen.”

Rasheeda Jones provided her unique insight when introducing him for the award.

“My father is the perfect recipient of Montblanc’s culture arts patronage award, not just because of his unbelievable contribution to the arts and his commitment to supporting young artists, but it’s because he lives his life so artfully. He wakes up every morning with inspiration and curiosity. He writes his own daily symphony of travel and career endeavors, and friendship and laughter and humanitarian efforts. He relentlessly fine tunes his craft by continuing to learn from others he admires. By staying present. He could easily rest on his laurels and collect awards but he doesn’t. He strives to know more, see more, say more and do more everyday. That to me is a true nature of an artist.

This award is given each year to individuals in 12 countries who have a long history of giving their time and their talents to supporting the arts and art projects. Jan-Patrick Schmitz, Montblanc North America CEO and president, stressed in an interview earlier in the day that the award is for people who have made a difference in the lives of others through arts and culture.

“Quincy Jones is a living legend but that is not why he is receiving the award. What he is recognized for tonight is his patronage for the arts,” he said. “He has been very supportive of the arts, in particular, trying to help children break the cycle of poverty through creativity, education for music and academic achievement.”

World-renowned classical pianist Lang Lang, chairman of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, was in attendance and performed a special piece for Jones by Franz Liszt titled, “Dedication.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jürgen Abeler Ring Collection Up For Auction

Christie’s South Kensington will be offering more than 500 rings—dating from ancient Egypt and Rome through the 21st century—from the Collection of Jürgen Abeler of Wuppertal, Germany. The majority of the 103 lots, including several groups, will be feature as part of the auction house’s jewelry sale on October 9. More than 40 important ancient rings will be featured in its antiquities sale on October 25.

Estimates for individual rings start at £200. All items on offer from the collection will be on view October 5 till 8 at Christie’s South Kensington saleroom on 85 Old Brompton Road.

Highlights include a 16th Century signet ring of Johann Ernst von Sachsen, Julich, Kleve and Berg the great grandson of Sibylle von Julich, Kleve and Berg, sister of Anne of Kleve (Cleves) (1515-1554) wife of Henry VIII, King England(1491-1547), illustrated above left. Other highlights are mourning rings for Vice Admiral Nelson, killed at the Battle of Trafalgar illustrated above center, and the composer George Frideric Handel illustrated above right. The sale will also include a selection of modern conceptual and design rings.

Born in Wuppertal in 1933 into a family of watchmakers and goldsmiths, Jürgen Abeler continued this tradition. Abeler’s interest in rings stemmed from his grandmother’s Christmas present in 1955 of Heinz Battke’s book on the history of the rings, “Geschichte des Ringes in Beschreibung und Bildern.” Abeler would eventually acquire the author’s own collection of rings. Abeler would collect rings from myriad sources and locations—auctions, antique shops, private hands and foreign lands. The result was a collection ranging from Roman and Egyptian examples to rings highlighting 21st century design. In Jürgen Abeler’s own words he wished to create “a coherent, comprehensive overview about the whole topic up to (the) modern day.”

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Hublot Raises $1 Million At Charity Boxing Auction

Champion boxers participate in WBC fundraiser. AFP PHOTO/Sandy Huffaker/Hublot

Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot created 12 unique timepieces dedicated and signed by 12 legendary boxers in support of the inauguration of the World Boxing Council Charities. The 12 watches were then auctioned off Saturday during the gala dinner at the at the Bellagio hotel raising $1 million for the fund.

The boxing champions who participated in the auction included Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Lewis, Jeff Fenech, Larry Holmes, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Azumah Nelson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya and George Foreman. 

Boxing legend Thomas "Hitman" Hearns is seen with the Hublot King Power timepiece. AFP PHOTO/David McNew/Hublot/Handout

The all-day event included a press conference with Hublot CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe, and the 12 legendary boxers. Each champion spoke about the partnership between Hublot and the WBC and presented their individual Hublot King Power WBC timepiece.

More than 300 persons then attended the evening gala where top boxing announcer, Michael Buffer, led the live auction on a staged ring with international auctioneers, Bonhams. The 12 winning bidders received their watch from each fighter.

All of the funds raised will support the charitable initiative of the WBC, including the retired boxer’s pension and emergency fund in over 40 countries around the world.

The World Boxing Council is the world's largest sports sanctioning body with operations in 164 countries and 10 federations. It is the owner of the “Green Belt,” the highest form of recognition a champion boxer can receive.

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Vacheron Constantin Partners with U.S. Watchmaking School

Students of the NAIOSW Swiss watchmaking classes of 2013 and 2014 along with school officials and Vacheron Constantin representatives.

Vacheron Constantin, and the North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking have formed a two-year partnership to promote and support high watchmaking in North America.

Vacheron Constantin is the first Swiss watchmaking brand to partner with the NAIOSW, based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The partnership is an extension of the brand’s worldwide support of the Institute of Swiss Watchmaking, of which the NAIOSW is a branch.

Students in the classes of 2013 and 2014 that the Swiss luxury watch brand is sponsoring celebrated their first day of school on September 13 with a reception hosted by Denis Jaquenoud, president of NAIOSW, and Hugues de Pins, president, Vacheron Constantin North America.

The North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking opened its doors in 2009 with a mission to preserve the art of fine watchmaking and meet an increasing demand for qualified watchmakers and craftspeople. The program accepts only six students per year to guarantee ample one-on-one training.

Vacheron Constantin will mentor and educate students about the watchmaker’s career from a brand perspective. The brand will supply educational tools on high watchmaking topics, such as the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, founded in 1887. Students who graduate at the top of their class will be invited to Vacheron Constantin in Geneva for a three-week “Discovery Internship.”

“This partnership is faithful to our values of perpetuating the tradition of high watchmaking and transmitting the know-how of our watchmakers,” de Pins said.

Two certificates are offered at the NAIOSW: the Watch Encasing Technician Certificate which requires 640 hours of training over four months, and the Watchmaker Certificate which requires 3,000 hours over two years. The two-year Watchmaker program provides advance education and training. Both programs meet the exacting requirements of the "Swiss Made" standard and feature a student-centered learning environment based on theory and experience. The Institute’s trainers have a more than 50 years of watchmaking and teaching experience combined.

The NAIOSW is part of The Institute of Swiss Watchmaking, founded in 2008 in partnership with Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program, an independent institution based in Switzerland. WOSTEP partners with watchmaking schools throughout the world to ensure high training standards and quality education in accordance with the demanding criteria of the Swiss fine watchmaking industry.

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