Ca'd'oro Blog

Ca'd'oro Blog
2017-05-25

Earlier this week, we reviewed the pros and cons of different types of watch straps, including fabric, rubber and leather. Today, we take a closer look at bracelet watches.

Easily one of the most durable materials on the market, metal can have its advantages over straps. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on lightweight titanium and stainless steel bracelets, as those are the most popular with summer sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

Generally, a bracelet is made of individual links that are held together with pins, screws or both. Because of their labor-intensive construction, and their material, bracelets are typically more expensive than straps. However, bracelets can last for years compared to straps and are relatively easy to take care of. Generally, one just needs to wipe them down with a soft wet cloth or with a little dish soap. Additionally, bracelets are preferred in hot, sticky climates because leather straps that can stick to the skin.

Thanks to processes, such as PVD (physical vapor deposit) and IP (ionic plating), steel and titanium can be coated in a range of colors. While their natural silver hue is typically preferred, black has become the new stealth look, and sometimes blue, as well. Two-tone bracelets (a mix of steel and gold or gold-plate) are also becoming popular again.

Perhaps the only real disadvantage of a steel bracelet is the fact that it is heavier than both titanium and leather. Some people, however, like the feel of the weight on the wrist. As with all choices regarding straps and bracelets, the best advice is to buy what you most like to wear.

2017-05-23

With summer around the corner and more short sleeves and bathing suits being worn, it is a good time to address the issue of leather vs. rubber vs. fabric watch straps. While the decision about what type of strap to wear is typically a matter of personal preference, there are some factors that may influence your decision. These include climate, temperature, exposure to water and activity.

Leather

Leather straps are comfortable to wear and can be found in a variety of colors and textures. Leather ranges from calfskin, ostrich and stingray to crocodile, alligator, snake and more. Generally, leather straps are relatively easy to take care of in the right temperatures — often with just a wipe of a damp cloth and dish detergent. In severe heat and humidity, though, these straps tend to get a bit sticky on the wrist.

Rubber

Rubber straps are the perfect choice if you are a water person. Rubber weathers the elements beautifully: water doesn't bother it and it dries quickly without sticking to the wrist. Typically rubber doesn't fade or lose its luster. Many of today's top rubber straps feature embossed details or have tire treads or other motifs on them. Additionally, most are blends of polycarbonate and other materials that keep them from becoming dry or brittle.

Fabric:

Fabric straps come in all types and fabrics. Easily the most preferred fabric for outdoor use is a woven material typical of a NATO strap. Sometimes referred to as military straps, NATO straps have roots dating back to the early 1970s when British soldiers used nylon straps that were highly durable, could be easily cleaned and were not expensive to buy. NATO straps are easy to change and usually slip through the top lugs, pass over the case back and though the bottom lugs. The system acts as double security, too, because one need not worry about spring bars breaking or popping as with typical straps. They are very durable and highly functional, as they dry quickly, don’t stick to the wrist and are designed for extreme wear.

2017-05-18

Jackie Kennedy © Getty Images courtesy of Christie's Auction House

Christie's Auction House has announced that at its upcoming June 21 New York Rare Watches and American Icons Sale it will put up for auction a watch owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Cartier Tank watch, which the former First Lady wore for years and can be seen in many photos of her, is estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $120,000.

Apparently the watch was a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963 and has an engraving on the caseback: "Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” The 2:05 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. engraving references the beginning and end times of the 50-mile hike that took place in Palm Beach in 1963. The hikes were part of Kennedy's concept for people to get healthy.

Making the lot even more exciting is the fact that it is being sold with an original painting by Jackie in 1963 as a gift for Radziwill also commemorating the hike and with the same date and times on it. Her painting also features a handwritten note to Radziwill: "Jackie to Stas with love and admiration."

The watch and painting are being put up for sale via Christie's from an anonymous donor who says a portion of the proceeds will go to the National Endowment for the Arts.

All photos courtesy of Christie's Auction House.

2017-05-16

After a long investigation into the world of Haute Horlogerie (fine watchmaking), the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) in Switzerland announces that it has created a guide book to define what really constitutes fine watchmaking.  The White Paper on Fine Watchmaking — a detailed guide of criteria and brands — is the result of three years of work by the Foundation's Cultural Council.

The FHH tapped its Cultural Council of 46 independent, international experts from across all areas of the watch industry, each of whom worked pro-bono to give their input into what defines fine watchmaking and to bring it together into one document that informs and sets forth the defining values inherent in fine watchmaking.

Within the guidelines, there are four main categories: Historic Maisons, Contemporary Brands, Luxury Brands and Artisan Creators. Additionally, the Council has developed a criteria that examines seven areas of expertise, including R&D and Production, Style and Design, History and DNA, Distribution and After-Sales Service, Collectors, Brand Image and Communication, and Training.

It specifies 28 objectives and measurable criteria across each of these areas. Each brand is evaluated against these criteria by the Cultural Council experts. For the release of The White Paper, 86 brands were evaluated and 64 met the criteria. This evaluation will be repeated every 2 to 3 years to stay current with developments in the industry.

2017-05-09

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. So what are your plans for your mom or your wife, the mother of your children? We have some ideas. Sure, going out to brunch or dinner is delightful (if you can stand the crowds), and candy is wonderful (though, when it's gone... it's gone). Flowers are beautiful (even though they will wilt and die). We suggest you give the gift of time.

In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, which recently conducted an annual survey with Prosper Insights & Analytics about the holiday, total spending for Mother's Day this year is expected to reach $23.6 billion. Even more important is the fact that $5 billion of that is expected to be in the jewelry and watch arena, setting a new Mother’s Day record for that category. That tally represents an increase of 19% compared with the $4.2 billion spent in 2016.

Jewelry/watches is, by far, the strongest of all gift categories, topping the list that includes the $4.2 billion earmarked for special outings, such as a dinner or brunch, $2.6 billion for flowers, $2.5 billion for gift cards, $2.1 billion for clothing, $2.1 billion for consumer electronics and $1.9 billion for personal services, such as a spa day.

By selecting a watch as a gift for Mother's Day you show her that you took the time to shop, to think about her likes and interests, and to give her something that will last a lifetime. Besides, every time she looks at that watch on her wrist, she's bound to think of you.

We have a great array of watch brands that can fit the bill for any budget and still be impressive. In fact, visit our blog later this week when we will give you a heads-up on the most recent watch trends for women so you can be armed with that info when you head out to do some shopping.

Please stop in soon to talk with our staff about finding the perfect Mother's Day watch.

2017-04-27

Earlier this year, we announced that Greenery was the high-point color for spring as announced by Pantone. Additionally, the experts on color pronounced that reds would be hot for fall. Now, the Pantone Color Institute reminds us that for spring and summer (and even into early fall), a new palette of important colors is coming our way. Interestingly enough, we are already seeing these colors surfacing at many watch brands in the form of dials, accents and straps.

Key colors that are great for the wrist include the following: Primrose Yellow, a warmer rather than brighter yellow; Pale Dogwood, a super soft and muted blush pink; Island Paradise, a tropical turquoise; Kale, the vegetable color green; and six others shown below.

Stop in any time to see the watches we have that sport these tones so that you can be right on trend.

2017-04-25

We hear about all sorts of items being made via three-dimensional printing… but watches? Absolutely. In fact, over the past few years, more and more watch brands have been using 3D printing in creating prototypes of watches that are in the research and development stages. It considerably helps to speed up the process.

By three-dimensionally printing cases and bracelets, designers and watchmakers can study the ergonomics of the pieces, the sizes, the curves and the fit. In the past, a watch brand would create a mold and then have samples made for them to see, touch and feel. This process would easily take a few weeks each time something would be altered in the prototype. However, three-dimensional printing takes almost no time in comparison.

In a recent survey, more than 60 percent of watch executives said they already use 3D printing for prototypes of cases, dials, bracelets, buckles and crowns. The benefits of moving more quickly also equal a labor and time reduction, which may help influence eventual prices. Additionally, because objects are designed on a computer for 3D printing, it is very precise, giving watch brands an excellent representation of how the piece will turn out when finally made for real.

Thus far, none of the top luxury watch brands are actually making 3D-printed watches, however, several of the finest haute horlogerie companies are secretly investigating new production methods in laboratories and universities. We can’t wait to find out more, and when we do, we will keep you posted.

2017-04-13

Well, auction season is in full swing, with the top watch auction houses putting some of their most recent finds up on the block. More now than ever before, the concept of buying vintage watches at auction has taken off. For young first-time collectors as well as seasoned veteran collectors, the vintage watch market, in general, and auctions, in particular, are a great way to find that one rare piece. The best auction houses include Christie's, Sotheby's, Antiquorum and Phillips by Bacs and Russo. There are also smaller auction houses to keep an eye on, as well.

We believe in investing in vintage timepieces, as typically many of these watches hold their value. Vintage watches also often make a great sentimental gift. However, before you dive in, here are three important things to know...

1 — Read up. Sometimes if you see something going up for auction that you really want it is difficult to resist. However, investigate the watch, its provenance and its rarity before you bid. Recently, the head of one top watch auction house said that most buyers of vintage pieces at auction make their biggest mistakes in the first year of auction buying. It’s important to know the authenticity of the watch, as well, to ensure the dial, hands or markers haven't been changed, as this significantly affects the value of the watch. You can read books and blogs, such as www.ATimelyPerspective.com and Hodinkee.com to learn more about hot watches.

2 — Ask for help. In addition to reading books, blogs and doing your homework, you shouldn't hesitate to ask the experts — ourselves included. Don’t be afraid to take some pictures of the watch you are considering buying at auction or in a store where pre-owned is a category. While most of the info you are seeking will be readily available if the watch is being sold by a top auction house, that may not be the case if you are buying vintage at retail stores. The one thing you will quickly learn about the watch community is that people are eager to talk about this passion and to give advice, so go to the watch forums, ask the experts and talk up the watch. Also, as an aside, if you are buying from a retailer, ask about your options for returns and refunds right up front.

3 — Have a budget and stick to it. It is easy to break the bank, but if you are not in a position to do so, don't. Other good deals will come along. If you've done your homework, you know what that value is based on sales of similar watches of that genre, make, model, dial color, etc. Happy hunting, and stop in any time to talk about pre-owned and vintage watches.

2017-04-11

If you love watches and art, you may be interested in making a trip to the National Watch & Clock Museum. Beginning on April 30 and running through the end of the year, the museum will host an exhibit featuring the work of watch photographer Atom Moore, whose creative take on time portrays watches in new and unusual ways.

Just about a year ago, Moore's photography was on display in New York and, subsequently, he published a book: Watch Portraits, with dozens of color photos of his work. The exhibit at the NAWCC in Columbia, Pa., is also called "Watch Portraits," and is open to the public.

Photo by Atom Moore.

From May 20-22, the NAWCC will be offering a three-day course on how to evaluate watches and recognizing genuine pieces vs. fakes. More information is available on the NAWCC website at this link...

2017-04-06

TAG Heuer officially unveiled its newest smart watch at Baselworld. It's called the Connected Modular 45 and it is Made in Switzerland (thanks to a clever move to assemble parts of the electronic module in that country). The new watch is offered in a modular format so customers can select various aspects of the watch to suit their needs — with thousands of different combinations of straps, dials, bezels and more.

The 45mm watch is powered by Intel and utilizes the Google Android Wear 2 operating system.The watch is offered with a digital head, but customers can also choose to buy a mechanical watch head so they can switch between having a smart watch or a mechanical watch, or to keep the timepiece intact as a watch once the OS becomes outdated.

The electronic watch head is powered by the Intel Atom processor Z34XX series (smaller and more energy efficient) and offers Android Pay, as well as a host of other features. The watch has in improved screen, which features a bright, colorful AMOLED display. Additionally, the watch uses a rotating command crown to scroll through menus and messages. It houses a new generation lithium battery for 24 hours of active power.

Page links: Next