Star Remix

Akwa's Blog

Ladies’ watches bloom with flowers, charms at BaselWorld

Jewelry and watch designers have eagerly met the growing demand among women who wish to wardrobe their watches. Women’s watches proliferated at BaselWorld, appearing in every shape, size, color and price point.

Pastel shades and feminine forms like hearts and flowers appeared most popular, and many designers seemed to have taken a cue from fashion trends while crafting their newest timepieces. Many of the women’s watches shown at Basel had straps made of nontraditional materials, from stingrays to pearls to silk.

The charm bracelet trend that has taken hold in the fashion jewelry arena has also asserted its influence within watches. Designers showed timepieces that hung on charm bracelets or were surrounded by tiny charms featuring letters, hearts, moons or stars. Other watches came with dangling briolette gemstones or pearls, reflecting a general trend in jewelry toward movement.

 

Several jewelry designers have noted the interest in fashion watches, offering timepieces with a distinct jewelry feel.

“Women are ready to invest in fine timepieces,” says Pippo National Sales Director Linda Gunn. “They’re more knowledgeable and they want to make an investment.”

Jewelry designers jump into timepieces

Jewelry designer Pippo, which launched its watch line in October, showed some exciting new pieces at BaselWorld. One highlight: the My Panse collection, which includes flower-shaped watches with topaz petals and diamond accents on bright sateen straps. Echoing a trend among many designers, the watches feature interchangeable straps and are streamlined to fit a woman’s wrist.

Another jewelry designer making the jump to watches is H. Stern, who crafted his Golden Stones watches to correlate to the jewelry collection by the same name.

It befits our tradition as a jeweler to have the watches come from the jewelry line,” says spokeswoman Andrea Hansen.

The watches use the same organic, asymmetrical shapes as the jewelry line, and come in a variety of materials including 18-karat gold, stainless steel and diamonds. Straps are made of leather or satin, and are long enough to wrap around the wrist three times.

But even traditional watchmakers have taken note of women with their collections this year. Watch company Ritmo Mvndo uses varying colors and textures to make all of its watches unisex, says spokesman Stefan Pollack. By adding colors like pink and baby blue, and dotting cases with diamonds, even their largest watches take on a decidedly feminine feel.

Philip Stein Teslar went in the other direction, creating a new women’s “mini” watch similar in size to a small bangle, with a slender case shape and a petite strap. Available in stainless steel or 18-karat gold, it comes with or without diamonds. Changeable straps come in satin, lizard and alligator, in hues like orange and kiwi.

The mini is our breakthrough in delivering what women want,” says spokeswoman Shaye Strager. “As much as women want the thick, chunky men’s watch, sometimes they also want a bracelet watch.”

Calling a stone cutter a stone cutter

I was excited recently to receive another catalog from a company that identified itself as being “among the largest manufacturers and importers of the highest quality” precious and semiprecious stones. To me, this indicated that the company creates and imports stones.

But when I called to determine which stones were manufactured or man-made, I learned that by “manufacturing” stones, the company really means cutting them.

I have been creating J since 1971, and I am tired of hearing stone cutters claim to be manufacturers! If that were true, then a handmade jewelry artist/creator would also be a manufacturer, and that is the last thing I would want to say about myself, as the creator of one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Let a stone cutter be a stone cutter, let lab-created stones be manufactured stones. Stone cutters, stop claiming to be something you are not.

In a world of limited natural resources, a new demand is growing for gemstones that are not dug up out of the ground. My customers are thrilled to learn about the lack of destruction connected with lab-created stones: that fewer mountains are torn up, fewer streams polluted, and fewer miners underpaid for long, backbreaking hours of work. There will always be a demand for mined stones, but the more we learn and the more environmentally conscious we become, the more attractive man-made, manufactured stones become.

Bob Moon

Once in a blue moon

Barrington, Ill.

MoonDesigns.org