While some of us pride ourselves in our gift giving abilities, many others have a tough time finding the perfect gift year after year. For husbands thinking about what to get their wives, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite wifey gifts for 2017 and included some tips to ease the stress of shopping for your anniversary.
Back in November we talked in our Guide to Luxury Watch Buying about the various things to take in consideration while you’re on the search for a Swiss-quality, high fashion, luxury grade timepiece. While that article is good and all (one of our reader’s favorites in fact), we only spend a little time discussing the relationship that watch complications have on the price, quality, and versatility of your timepiece.
So, to help our readers understand a little bit more about the complicated (sorry) world of watch complication, here is a quick guide to some of the most popular ones that we see here at PJD.
What is a Complication?
Since the beginning the world of Swiss haute horology has always been all about competition. Every watchmaker has always seen what their competitor was doing and has tried to outdo and out-innovate their neighbor. In addition to creating more extravagant looking pieces than their competitor, complications were a good way to make a watch more useful and interesting to the watch-buying public.
Nothing matches the elegance and style from a man’s watch. As far as accessories go, we think it’s one of the most, if not the most, important element for a man’s look. Here at PJD, one of our favorite Swiss watch makers is world renown Ulysse Nardin. The handsome designs from Ulysse Nardin are unparalleled in design and craftsmanship and have paved the way for advancement in men’s watch design.
We’ve put together a little intro into the designers in the hopes that you’ll appreciate their watches just as much as we do!
There’s nothing quite like fall. Bringing with it falling leaves, dropping temperatures, and pumpkin spice lattes, this time of the year allows us a brief respite from the heat of the summer and the upcoming mania of the holiday season. Instead of using this down time to prepare ourselves for the inevitable onslaught of in-laws, we here at Premiere Jewelry Designs have instead taken this time to reflect on the last few months in the world of watches.
What follows is a list of five watches that we’re loving right now. Included on this list are timepieces that pay homage to Triple Crown winners, legendary explorers, pioneering divers, and undersea monsters, as well as a modern update on a timekeeping classic.
For years, Piaget has been one of our very favorite watchmaking brands. Already being called a “game changer”, the Polo S. is an update of the classic Piaget Polo watch. Made of stainless steel, the Polo S. timepieces marks an aesthetic departure for Piaget, who have been known for ultra-thin timepieces. A little larger than previous models, these Polo S. watches are still stylish, fashion-forward, and streamlined.
Why We Love It:
It doesn’t get quite as fashionable as the Piaget Polo S. Our favorite Polo S., the bold and blue G0A41006 model, features a comfortable stainless steel bracelet, breezy design, as well as luminous and easy-to-read hands. Made entirely in-house, this watch is extremely versatile, and can make the switch from day to night seamlessly.
- Self-Winding Movement
- Stainless Steel Bezel and Case
- Date and Chronograph
- Water Resistance up to 100 meters
2. The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition (model: 01 733 7720 3185-SET LS)
An homage to the pioneering deep-sea diver of the same name, from the watchmaking masters at Oris comes the Carl Brashear Limited Edition diver’s watch is truly a unique timekeeping experience. Essentially a bronze version of Oris’ signature Divers Sixty-Five timepiece, the Carl Brashear features a unidirectional bezel, a blue face, and distinctive stylish face dots.
Why We Love It:
There are so many reasons to love this piece. Firstly, the story of Carl Brashear (which inspired the film Men of Honor) makes this watch a great conversation piece. Additionally, due to bronze’s natural protective patina, these watches will vary in appearance as the watch ages.
- Automatic Movement
- Date Display
- Bronze Bezel and Clasp
- Water Resistance up to 100 meters
3. Longines Conquest Classic Triple Crown Limited Edition (model: L2.7188.8.131.52)
Truly one-of-a-kind, the Conquest Classic Triple Crown limited edition was designed to commemorate Longines’ longtime relationship with horseracing. Featuring a deep brown color (meant to resemble American Pharaoh’s coat) this watch features a chronograph, peripheral date track, as well as three sub-dials, including one of a horse and jockey racing down a track.
Why We Love It:
More than just marking a historic racing moment, the Longines Conquest Classic Triple Crown is a display of a legendary watchmaker operating at the top of their game. We just love the distinctive face which manages to fit a massive amount of information in without being too cluttered or overstuffed. Additionally, this piece is water resistant up to 50-meters, and available made in three metals that include, stainless steel, rose gold, and a stainless steel/gold combination.
- Automatic Movement
- Date Display (Including Date, Day, Month)
- Moon Phase Sub-dial
- White Gold Bezel with a Stainless Steel Case
4. MontBlanc Heritage Chronomètrie Dual Time Vasco da Gama (Model: 113779)
A tribute to the explorer Vasco de Gama, MontBlanc’s Heritage Chronomètrie offers a unique twist on the regular second time zone complication. Made entirely in-house, this timepiece shows not only a second time zone’s current time, but also indicates whether it is night or day at home with a unique skyscape display.
Why We Love It:
There’s no way around it, the Heritage Chronomètrie is a fun and stylish Swiss watch. Perfect for the man on the go, this models’ sub-dials are a great way to be reminded of where you’re from and where you’re going. In addition to this piece’s inherent sentimentality, the Heritage Chronomètrie is undeniably stylish, and features a stainless steel case and bezel, as well as beautiful rose gold hands.
- Automatic Movement
- Water Resistance up to 30 meters.
- Date Display and Second Time Zone Sub-dial
- Sub-dial Indicating Night or Day in Second Time Zone
- Stainless Steel Bezel with Alligator Leather Band
Made by London “cult watch brand” Mr. Jones, the “Vingt Mille” watch is one breezy timepiece. Less expensive and more informal than the other watches on this list, the “Vingt Mille” features a fantastically-drawn squid on the face, with the squid’s tentacles serving as the minute and hour hands. Like Mr. Jones’ other fantastical watch designs, the “Vingt Mille” is meant to be an homage to Jules Verne’s classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, signified by an “N” for Captain Nemo on the crown.
Why We Love It:
While the “Vingt Mille” certainly isn’t as formal or luxurious as the other watches on this list, its bright coloring and lighthearted design make it the ideal accessory for a relaxing weekend, tropical vacation, or the perfect gift for the booklover in your life.
- Quartz Movement
- Black Leather Strap
- Water Proof up to 50 Meters
Now it’s your turn!
Show us what watch you’re wearing!
Here at PDJ we love a few things. We’ve already talked about loving Halloween, same-sex marriage, and of course Tacori, but we also love fine art. Merging our love of art with our love of Swiss watches, we’ve put together a little list of some of our favorite luxury-grade timepeices and the fine art that may have inspired them.
Hublot MP-08 Antikythera Sunmoon King Gold and Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss
Part of Hublot’s Masterpieces collection, the limited edition MP-08 Antikythera Sunmoon King Gold watch (Model #908.OX.1010.GR) by Hublot is truly one-of-a-kind watch. Made of 18-karat rose gold, the Antikythera Sunmoon is a tribute to the mysterious navigation device (thought of as the first analog computer) found in a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. The watch itself has 295 complications, month, moonphase, and sky position indicators that features the names of constellation as well as the astrological sign that the moon is currently under. Additionally, the MP-08 is manually winding and is limited to a run of just 20 models.
Austrian-born Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was extremely influenced by the art of the ancient Greeks, and was a pivotal figure in the burgeoning Art Nouveau scene. The Kiss (1907-8), is probably Klimt’s most well-known piece. In the piece, Klimt skillfully combines classical European imagery with innovative artistic methods to create a painting that seemingly exists in multiple times and place at once. Strangely mystical yet instantly recognizable, The Kiss marks a point in early modern art where the lines between representation and expression begin to merge. Simultaneously folding into their own expansion.
Hublot Big Bang Pop Art and David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures)
From Hublot’s popular Big Bang collection, the Big Bang Pop Art (Model #341.VG.9089.LR.1622.POP15) takes traditional European stone-setting techniques uses them to create this loud fashion-forward piece. This 18-karat yellow gold timepiece is adorned with nearly 200 gleaming green tsarvorite stones, and features a distinctly-colored alligator strap. Additionally, the skeleton-style hands and charming minute, date, and calendar complications only add to the sense of high-class functionality and controlled madness that the piece evokes.
Born in 1937, David Hockney played an important part in the development of pop art in the early 60’s. Hockney’s pieces tend to be bright, clean, and seemingly simplistic yet ultimately complex, similar to Hublot’s Big Bang Pop Art watches. Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures) (1972), comes from a point in Hockney’s career before he moved into the world of experimental photo collage, a preoccupation with self-portraiture, and other innovative creative technologies (Hockney has been called the foremost “i-Pad painter” by some modern art critics), and is typical of his interest in motion, light, space, and the influence this all has with relationships and emotionality.
Hublot Classic Fusion Enamel Britto and Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930
Made of slick-looking polished black ceramic, the Hublot Classic Fusion Enamel Britto watch (Model #515.CS.0910.LR) pays homage to the kinetic pop art of Romaro Britto. Simple, yet still somehow complex, the Classic Fusion Britto fits nicely into the already established family of Hublot Classic Fusion timepieces with its signature bold solid metal bezel and distinctive exposed screws. Additionally, unlike some of the other watches on this list, the Classic Fusion Britto is water resistant up to 50 meters, allowing it to be a watch that someone would be able to wear in situations that other models just couldn’t handle.
Painted in (obviously) 1930, Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow is one of Piet Mondrian’s (1872-1944) most quickly-recognizable pieces. As one of the founding members of the De Stijl artistic movement, Mondrian was concerned with creating works that dealt in pure abstraction. Sacrificing nearly all representation for expression, Mondrian’s work was quickly embraced by the European and American avant-garde, and has had a lasting and intense influence on the fashion and design world.
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Scubatec and Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke
Shifting from Hublot to Carl F. Bucherer, the Carl F. Bucherer Scubatec watch (Model #00.10632.22.33.01) is one of the most classic diver’s watches in the game. With a unidirectional ceramic and 18-karat rose gold bezel, large easy-to-read numbers, and innovative screw-down crown, this watch, and the others in the Patravi Scubatec family, are as functional and hearty as they are stylish. Additionally, the Bucherer Scubatec is water resistant up to 500 meters and, unlike the other watches on this list so far, the Scubatec features automatic movement, so the wearer doesn’t have worry at all about winding.
Painted in 1965 as a part of his a series of paintings called Brushstrokes, this piece by Roy Lichtenstein (1932-1997) was made to poke fun at the at the haphazard way the Abstract Expressionist painted. Brushstroke is typical of Lichtenstein’s work in that it resembles comic book print (and apparently inspired by a story in the October 1964 issue of Strange Suspense Stories) and is especially concerned with the precision and symmetry of every single stroke.
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Tribute to Mabu and J.M.W. Turner’s Peace–Burial at Sea
Also from Carl F. Bucherer’s Patravi collection, the Manero Tribute to Mabu watch (Model #00-10903-03-13-01) is a throwback to the innovatinve Valijoux 92 movement that gained Carl. F. Bucherer significant attenion in the early 1950’s. More than just a tribute, each Manero Tribute to Mabu model contains the actual refurbished mechanics from a number of the original Valijoux 92’s. Made with a 18-karat solid rose gold bezel, the Tribute to Mabu features chronograph, tachymeter, and manual inner-movement.
A forerunner of the Impressionist movement, the paintings of J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) often portrayed epic scenes of historical moments, where the chaos of time was expressed in subtle and muted tones and colors. For this painting, Peace — Burial at Sea (1842), Turner decided to paint the sea burial of his close friend, and was hung along with a painting called War that was meant to be a comment on Napolean’s “shamful” death. More than just capturing the explicit details of this sad moment in Turner’s life, the muted and demure tones Peace invokes a feeling of immediate loss and grief, while simultaneously projecting a feeling of celestial optimism and forethought.
Now It’s Your Turn!
With the holiday season just around the corner, we’ve started to get more and more questions about what to look for in a timepiece. Last week we talked about what to look for in a Swiss-made watch and a few weeks ago we talked about the five watches we we’re loving at that moment.
This #TimepieceTuesday we decided to slow things down a bit, and go into more detail about the differences between the five most common watch types that you’d come across in your holiday horological hunt.
1. Dress Watches:
Understated and subtle, dress watch category are specially designed to evoke the most elegance and sophistication to the wearer’s formal or semi-formal attire. Dress watches are usually lacking in extravagances like complications, jewel adornments, or overly-showy faces, and are made to with more streamlined designs. Generally dress watches are made of simply constructed 18-karat white, yellow, and rose gold, as well as silver and high-grade platinum.
Our Dress Watch Pick: Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic (Model #FC-306MR4S6)
Frederique Constant, a relative newcomer to the Swiss watch game (they were founded in 1988), has always been one of our favorite timepiece designers. The Slimline Automatic shown above is no exception. Its streamlined, no frills design is subtle enough to complement any outfit, while at the same time distinct enough to make a lasting impression.
2. Diving Watches:
Made to be worn deep in the ocean, diving watches a a popular choice in the timepiece world due to their rugged construction, water resistance, and movable bezel used to time a diver’s remaining time underwater.
And if diving isn’t so much your speed, diving watches have become popular among non-divers. This is due the watches’ bold face, easy-to-read dials, water-resistance, glowing easy-to-read hands, as well as their hearty and long-lasting construction.
Our Diver’s Watch Pick: Ulysse Nardin Marine (Model #1503-150 62)
Similar to Frederique Constant’s Slimline Automatic, the Ulysse Nardin Marine timepiece fulfills a few roles. Firstly, this watch is slim and fashionable enough to be worn on a wearer’s day on land, while its rotating bezel, large numbers, and water resistance makes it ideal for taking any nautical adventure.
Similar to diving watches, aviator watches (sometimes called a pilot’s watch) were made to especially appeal to the needs and wants of the pilots of the burgeoning aviation industry at the turn of the 20th century. Originally made to be read in low-light situations, today’s aviator watches feature a selection of complications that often include tachymeters, 12 and 24-hour bezels, as well as an array of additional faces and dials.
Our Aviator Watch Pick: Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar Watch (Model #87.2430.4054_21.C721)
This entirely Swiss-made pilot watch by Zenith is one of our faves. It features an array of information on the face including, date, day, and chronograph without appearing too cramped or crowded. Additionally, this watch displays Zenith’s trademark screw-lock oversized crown.
Usually of a more streamlined design than diver or pilot watches, drivers’ watches are built to last. Made popular by auto-enthusiasts, such as Steve McQueen and, salad dressing pioneer, Paul Newman, most driving watches feature tachymeters, stopwatch functions, two or three subdials, as well a multitude of buttons and colors made to resemble an automobile themselves.
Our Driving Watch Pick: TAG Heuer Carrera Watch
Inspired by classic racing legends, the Carrera line of watches by Tag Heuer features chronograph, minutes, seconds, hours subdials, and a tachymeter bezel, as well as a special anti-reflective treatment for optimal face readability.
Fashion & Smart Watches:
More simple and more stylish than a dress watch, today’s fashion watches combine modern minimalist design elements with straightforward colors, faces, and designs, to create stylish and one-of-a-kind timepieces.
Also extremely popular today, are smart watches which are made to sync with smart phones to track a wearer’s daily routine, as well as to keep track of messages, calls, emails, etc. Since their release, smart watches have become extremely fashionable, and are now nearly indistinguishable from their fashion, dress, and other watch counterparts.
Our Fashion/Smart Watch Pick: Frederique Constant Smart Watch (Model #FC-285B5B6)
Who said that a smart watch had to be boxy? Lately the Swiss timepiece masters at Frederique Constant have been making smart watches that are a combination of the fashion watches and dress watches that are already loved so well. This particular watch tracks the wearer’s daily steps, calories burned, and distance traveled, while also features notifications when the wearer receives a call, text message, or other digital update.
Show Us Yours!
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they decide to take a plunge. When they realize that enough is enough, that it’s time to settle down, find a lifelong relationship full of support and compassion. Meaning of course, that a person wants to find that perfect watch that will bring a long lifetime of sartorial satisfaction.
With so many choices out there, finding the right timepiece might seem impossible, but when, like a watch at a repairman, the search process is broken down to its separate parts it becomes as easy as proverbial pie.
Before you shop:
Even before you enter a store, you should develop some sort of idea of what it is that you want in a watch. Consider your lifestyle, do you need a watch that is hearty and resistant to damage? Or do you need a watch that you can wear to the office every day? Knowing your reasoning behind wanting a watch can make it much easier to find a piece that you’ll feel comfortable and want to wear as much as possible.
Other things to research and consider before heading into the store are:
Today, most watches powered through quartz or mechanical movement, with both offering different features and attributes.
On the one hand, quartz-type watches are usually more damage-resistant and less expensive than mechanical timepieces, yet they are powered by a battery, as well as often garner less appreciation in the horology (just a fancy word for fans-o-watches) community due to the lack of technological expertise and know-how that goes into their construction.
Alternatively, mechanical type watches don’t require any batteries, instead they are powered by manually or automatically (self-winding) wound springs that move the delicate mechanisms within. Mechanical movement watches are often better built and more classically stylish than their quartz counterparts, at the same time, they’re also more delicate and require semi-regular expert cleaning and maintenance.
The technical term for watch features including, date, moonphase dials, different time zone subdials, and more, complications can have a significant effect on the price and should be handled brands with a stellar track record of, usually Swiss, watchmaking excellence.
Amongst timepiece aficionados, there is usually considered five main styles of watches. Choosing which style to go with greatly depends on a wearer’s sense of fashion, individual personality, as well as personal and professional lifestyle.
The five main styles are:
- Dress Watches: Understated, simple, and made to compliment business attire.
- Divers’ Watches: Rugged, water resistant, and easy to read. Such as this Breuget Maine Diver’s watch below.
- Aviator (Pilot) Watches: Similar to diving watches, but with more complications.
- Drivers’ Watches: Streamlined, automobile-influenced, features stopwatch functionality.
- Fashion and Smart Watches: Stylish, minimalist, and boldly colored. Fashion watch styles also include the increasingly popular field of smart watches.
Additionally, after researching various retailers’ websites, as well as watch blogs and message boards, the next step is to head into a trusted local retailer and actually seeing the watches in a more intimate and close-up situation.
Where to shop:
While it might be more simple to shop for a watch at a large online retailer or chain jewelry store, smaller, family-owned, independent jewelry retailers are really the best for finding 100% genuine, top-of-the-line, luxury-grade timepieces.
The staff at these smaller retailers — such as Dejaun Jewelers, for those readers located in the Los Angeles ares — usually receive more training and have more experience with watches, most usually are involved themselves in the timepiece community and will offer more assistance than at larger-scale stores.
What to look for:
The first thing that you want to look for in a watch is its physical appearance. You’re never going to be happy with your watch if you just don’t appreciate the general look and feel of it. If you’re immediately drawn to a piece, be sure to try it on, take your time, savor the aesthetics of the watch, and make sure you’re entirely satisfied with it.
When trying on watches, make sure that the size of the watch face fits nicely upon your wrist. The face shouldn’t look too large or too small, as a general rule the lugs of a watch (the part that attaches the band) should be just at the edge of the wrist. Generally, the ideal face size for men’s watches is around 37-41mm, while average ladies’ face size is between 26-30mm.
Depending on the designer, the number of complications, rarity, and materials used in construction, timepieces can found in prices that vary from extremely inexpensive, to very very expensive. While most watches fall comfortably somewhere in between these two extremes, with timepieces you really get what you pay for.
It is safe to assume that the higher price, the higher the quality of the piece. While this isn’t true 100% of the time, it generally is the case.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider before you buy any watch is, do you enjoy the piece. If treated correctly, a good watch can last a lifetime and like Freddie Rumsen famously said, “it’s not a timepiece, it’s a conversation piece”, so be that any watch you choose will be a watch you love.
But Don’t Take Our Word For It!
A couple weeks back it was my mother’s birthday. She was celebrating her 60th so I really wanted to make it special in some way for her. After days of contemplating what kind of gift I was going to get for her, I decided that a watch would make for a beautiful gift. I had heard about a few well-named brands through some of my girlfriends when asking for their recommendations, one of them called Michele watches. I was so eager to get my mom a watch that she would love, so I went online to check out Michele watches that same evening. I browsed through hundreds of pieces; inspecting every fine detail of each watch as thoroughly as possible. There was an overwhelming amount of information, but I can say that I was definitely confident in my final choices
I widdled them down by searching through Moyer’s Fine Jewelers’ website for a few hours and realized they sell a few of the top brands in the industry. Their selection of Michele watches was amazing. My ultimate choice ended up being the Serein Mid Diamond watch in rose gold with the willow diamond dial. My mom was so ecstatic I don’t think I, or any one else for that matter, could have chosen a better birthday gift.
Browsing brilliant images of radiant jewelry & watches on a Friday night gives me an excited feeling. Searching for the right price is not always easy. Sometimes I feel charitable and give to my favorite store, rather than settle for the cheapest solution. Service is more important to me than anything.
Baron’s is one of my favorite retailers. Their sophisticated Raymond Weil collection sold me instantly. The brands Baron’s Jewelers have to offer can vary at times, but I trust them to supply the best and provide me with incredible service. They are regarded as one of the best jewelry websites in their region as well, since I Google’d Raymond Weil watches and they came up. I’m looking forward to seeing what other collections they will carry in the future.