Pantone Announces Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery

Globally recognized as the authority on color, Pantone, an X-Rite company, has announced the color of the year for 2017: Greenery. The color has a Pantone number of 15-0343 and is a refreshing, revitalizing symbol of spring and new beginnings.

The color is a yellow-green shade that recalls spring foliage and the great outdoors. It is not as dark as a grassy green and, according to Leatrice Wiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront in fashions, and — as we will see as the year moves on — watches and jewelry.

Nick Cannon Explores Modern Love — and Diamonds — in the New Docu-Short, 'Why Real Is Rare'

Nick Cannon, the host of America's Got Talent and Wild 'N Out, explores modern love — and diamonds — in the newly released "docu-short" titled Why Real Is Rare.

Tapped by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) to study relationships and help unlock the magic and mystery behind finding "the real thing," Cannon looks into the lives of six couples to reveal new truths about human connection and commitment in the modern age.

"We share stories about the standout moments... that shaped their relationships, the challenges they've faced, and their unique take on why their commitment is the real deal," said Cannon. "Everyone loves in a different way, but they were all searching for something more genuine, and they found it in each other."

The campaign invites consumers to take a fresh look at diamonds as an ideal symbol of authentic, meaningful connection and commitment.
"This campaign explores the delta between being connected and having a connection," said Deborah Marquardt, Chief Marketing Officer of the DPA. "It's common today to have hundreds, if not thousands, of connections. People are 'connected' online 24/7 but the ability to find someone special and have a genuine emotional, physical and spiritual connection with them feels more rare than ever before. The moments when couples realize 'this is it' are as precious and individual as a diamond itself."

Check out the "docu-short", which runs 3:18, below...

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com; Photo source: Diamond Producers Association.

A Halloween Look at Skeleton Watches

Halloween is here and that makes this the perfect time to talk about skeletons. Well, not the kind we usually think of at Halloween, but the kind we think of when we think luxury timepieces: Skeleton watches. Referred to as skeletons or skeletonized watches, these timepieces are intricate and alluring because the majority of the metal movement parts have been cut away and sculpted to offer open-worked magnificence.

To create a skeletonized watch, skilled master artisans and watchmakers spend hours upon hours slimming pieces to their tiniest possible size so that only the minimum metal is visible. Sometimes the skeletonizing — the act of paring away the metal and then finely finishing it — can take several weeks to a month. It is also a fine balancing act, because as the metal is removed, the strength of the material can be compromised, affecting the integrity of the watch. The perfect skeleton is bare bones, but still generates maximum efficiency and precision.

Generally, once a movement has been fully finished, it is cased between a sapphire crystal and sapphire case back, enabling stunning see-through visibility of the beautiful work of art. Sometimes, certain brands opt to just showcase a portion of the movement instead of the entire movement. In those cases, there is usually an aperture in the dial for viewing the finely finished components. We invite you to stop in any time and take a look at the masterful work inherent in a skeleton watch.

Taking a Close Look at Watch Case Design and Construction

Last week we discussed how materials for cases, bezels, bracelets and straps are becoming more advanced in terms of durability, lighter weight and scratch resistance.

However, what we haven’t talked about is the very essence of the watch: the case itself. In fact, one of the most important design elements of a timepiece is its shape. From round to rectangular, from square to oblong, the look of a watch determines its appeal – and that starts with the case shape and its profile.

All cases are not created equal. A watch case can be artful, thoughtful, simple and elegant, or it can be bold, three dimensional, rugged and high tech in nature. One case may be easier to machine and put together than another case. In fact, cases can be milled from a solid block of material or can have dozens — even hundreds — of parts that must be put together.

In the early years of the 20th century, during the Art Deco period, many cases were square and rectangular (such as the famed Cartier Tank or the iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso). The Roaring Twenties yielded unusually shaped geometric cases and ergonomically curved cases, as well. However, by the late 1930s and into the 1940s and 1950s, we began seeing more round watches. This is because people were beginning to demand water resistant watches, and it was much easier to make a round watch water resistant than a square one with so many edges and angles.

Once the utilitarian need of water resistance was conquered, brands began working on cases that became art – and new shapes appeared, including sculpted cases, coin cases, Dali-inspired shapes and more.

Today’s luxury watch brands offer a case for everyone. While certain sports watch companies may mill a case from a single block of metal to render it more sturdy and rugged, other brands build complex cases with dozens of parts to demonstrate their abilities to produce a case worthy of the movement inside. These multiple-part cases are no weaker or less water resistant than a solid-block case, as long as the brand has focused on gaskets, fittings, screw-lock casebacks and crowns, and an overall precision interplay of parts.

The making of a watchcase starts from a mold—a plaster-like or 3-D printed rendition of what the case will look like. When all the parts and angles are approved, the case material is selected and high-precision cutting machines mill the case parts (lugs, sides, back, bezel, etc.).

Each of these parts is then fitted together and properly fastened and finished with stunning angles, bevels and more — all of which lead to a highly recognizable finished timepiece. It is no easy feat making a case that is distinguishable from across a crowded room, but top watch brands do it.

Stop into our store anytime and we can do a side-by-side comparison of some of the finest cases and shapes on the market.

How High-Tech Materials Play a Role in Watchmaking

While watchmaking technology has been steadily improving for more than five centuries, there always seems to be room for improvement. Today’s finest watchmakers continually push the boundaries when it comes to innovation – offering new and exciting technology, functions and even materials.

Gold, platinum and steel will forever be forged into watch cases, but today, many brands also take their inspiration from the space, aviation, automotive and medical worlds when it comes to super high-tech materials.

Among the favorites are engineered ceramics, multiple grades of high-tech titanium, hypoallergenic alloys, aluminium (a derivative of aluminum that can be colored and is super light weight), carbon fiber (a dense yet light-weight material that is super strong thanks to the layering or weaving of thousands of strands of fibers), kevlar and more. Some brands are even working with transparent sapphire to create cases that are virtually see through.

The point behind these materials is not just to offer an exciting marketing angle, but, more to the point, to offer more durability, more scratch- or shock-resistance and lighter weight. Indeed, the materials used have to meet a clear objective, whether that is achieving a certain color, a certain weight or a certain aesthetic appeal.

Some brands are even building their own alloys of gold that will keep the gold from scratching or wearing in any way. This, of course, makes them even more precious in the long run.

Additionally, brands are even perfecting the coatings they apply to the materials. Years ago, when one wanted to add a different color to a metal, the piece was bathed in an electroplating process. Today, at the high end of the luxury watch spectrum, a host of coating methods can be employed, including PVD (physical vapor deposition), DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) applications and other methods that make the coating last longer and resist scratching.

We invite you in any time to see our vast array of timepieces that utilize high-tech materials in their cases, bracelets, bezels and straps.