Friday, July 11, 2014
I was with my pretty office mate having a lunch out after a grueling meeting. I like her and I’d do anything to impress her, not the least projecting that I have a sophisticated fashion taste like her. I noticed she likes pearls so I read stuff about pearls. I came to know that Akoya pearls are the most popular types for their brilliance and luster. So that time when we’re out for lunch, I flattered her about her pearl necklace. I talked about its triple A grade and that it’s a cultured Akoya. In fact, I went further to mimic a credible analysis that it’s a Mikimoto. She was surprised. She didn’t know I just read all those stuff in Mikimoto’s site. Just when I thought I made a mark on her, she asked, “Are you… gay?”
Mikimoto is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
When a diamond ring is stuffed with bold styles and eccentric designs, you’d think it would end up on the wrong side of sophisticated fashion. Not A. Jaffe. Its rings twist or bend and feature big, bold stones with an army of brilliant cuts around or behind the main stones. It’s opulent and lavish that, at first glance, the loud extravagant operatic lifestyles of the nineteenth century come to mind. Yet the A. Jaffe rings are far from being boastful; they exude order and painstaking precision amidst a seemingly sumptuous flair of gemstones. The rose and white golds flow smoothly, while the brilliant-cut diamonds embrace the center stone with a calm resolve like the clarinet to an oboe. It’s lavish, yes, but it’s also classic in its timeless elegance.
A. Jaffe is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Bell & Ross watches can be eccentric, yet they appeal to a man of style. The BR 03 encased in vintage Bell & Ross signature, the square aviation instrument, is a genuine timepiece for aviation professionals. Its style is drawn from aviation history, the vintage casing and brown, stitched leather strap adding a touch of elegance to the watch. The big, bold Arabic numerals and almost barren display except for the regular dials reflect an age of flight when men and women would dare the physical limitations of flying. It is the age that celebrated the first flights—the first to cross the Atlantic, the first to cross the English Channel, the first to fly nonstop—such glory is encapsulated in this Bell & Ross model.
Bell & Ross is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
I was looking at the Patek Philippe watch my father left in his drawer. He passed away a few months back just a few days shy of his 70th birthday. We never really had the chance to bond, much less expressed our emotions to each other. He’s the typical father who expected discipline and order in his family, a career-driven man who ran his family like he ran his company department. I realized how stiff our relationship was when someone asked me what’s my happiest day with my dad. I couldn’t pinpoint one specific incident; then I realized I was looking at the wrong things. It’s not the big things that matter to my dad. It’s the simple days when he’d go home from work with a paper bag of donuts for me that made me smile.
Patek Philippe is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
Sometimes it’s not wearing the most popular luxury signatures that make you cool. On the contrary, wearing a brand that only a few may be also wearing gives you an exclusive air, a style reserved only for a select chic few. Take Panerai watches. Your colleagues may be wearing the usual timepiece signatures, which can make their fashion too common and boring. When you wear a Panerai you are likely to be the only guy sporting this Italian brand in your circle. Its Radiomir design, which mimics the forties brown, black leather appeal, exudes a vintage but classy look exclusive to you. It projects confidence and sophisticated style, someone who doesn’t follow trends but who can create his own fashion. You can be a trendsetter with Panerai.
Panerai is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
If you’re a guy and you’re going to a black tie event, you have a few options to create a style that stands out. After all, the idea of a black tie is for all guys to achieve the same formality and class (that dates back to the spirit of boy’s clubs), and let the ladies shine in their individual glamour. But it doesn’t mean you can’t create your distinct fashion personality. One limited option up your sleeve is to wear a distinct watch like a Piaget Gouverneur. Its sleek design encased in pink gold exudes simplicity and the self-assurance of a gentleman. It doesn’t boast of luxury, but is quiet with a poise of coolness and technical excellence. Wear it in black tie and you’re a picture of class of a different league.
Piaget is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Long before Rafael Nadal showed us his power swings and behind-the-baseline tactic and Roger Federer impressed us with his all-court, all-round playing prowess, there’s Andre Agassi. He was the original power striker that combines his tennis skills with a Hollywood-level charisma. Tennis observers consider him the best service returner, the tactic that got Pete Sampras, his nemesis, in myriad troubles. In fact, his legacy also includes single-handedly bringing tennis back in the glam light, long after Connors and company had since gone. Agassi was also the first to popularize fashion in tennis outfits, at a time when players would only wear a passive all-white getup. Today, Agassi is a Longines ambassador, representing the brand’s longevity, technical skills combined with style. He is also busy building up his foundation for education.
Longines is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Friday, July 04, 2014
The iguana lumbers lazily on the shore. An image of prehistoric relief, the cumbersome creature stands as one of the icons of Darwinian evolution theory, thanks to the scientist’s visit to the Galapagos Islands in the nineteenth century to study the island’s endemic species. The iguana is but one of numerous endemic species threatened to extinction in the islands. Preservation scientists and advocates have rallied around its survival, making it as a symbol of protecting the world’s other endangered species (along with the panda). In partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation, the watchmaker IWC commemorates his contributions to scientific advancements with The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands,” a robust diver’s watch fit for marine explorations. It features a complex vulcanization process for sea explorations, a fitting plaque to celebrate Darwin’s contributions to mankind. IWC pledges a part of its proceeds to the foundation.
IWC is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
Chanel showcases its high jewelry collection with the same aplomb that made the signature as one of the icons in the fashion industry. Delicate yet self-assured, opulent but subdued, and at times condescending but alluring, Chanel never fails to draw our salivating attention to its exquisite style. Its High Jewelry Collection consists of pieces that resonate like masterpieces by sculptors rather than jewelry setters. The Cométe is unabashedly glitzy made of cascading chains of baguette-cut diamonds and tied together by a large diamond star that you can pin on the shoulder or bust. Similarly, the Soleil, meaning sun, shines in its lavish rendition of fine necklaces, featuring multiple diamond-set chains accented by a large sun of white and yellow diamonds. Wear them with pride, if not a stuck-up attitude. It’s Chanel, after all.
Chanel is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
When you’re a doctor who has to travel at 14,000 feet above sea level on a motorbike to hop from one remote village to the next to provide healthcare daily, you’re made of sterner stuff that’s reserved only for the most adventurous explorers. Dr. Christopher Hillman is one of those, a nomadic doctor in the Himalayas providing house calls and medical emergency care to the locals. His route consists of glacier, his waiting room a bamboo bench for up to 60 patients a day. When he needs to transport patients during emergencies, timing and logistics are critical to contact the nearest large town. Under extreme weather and elevation, Dr. Hillman relies on his Ball Watch to keep tab of the time. The watch can work up to -60 degrees Celcius, thanks to its cold endurance feature.
Ball Watch is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
A few watch signatures, if any, can match the exquisite design and movement of a Jaeger Lecoultre, and none perhaps exhibit the watch’s technical perfection than its Master Collection. The collection features complications encased in white or pink gold, highlighted by its patented Jaeger Lecoultre Calibre 978. It’s an automatic tourbillion mounted on a titanium carriage and featuring a high-inertia balance for precision time-keeping. A tourbillion is an additional part in the movement to counter the pull of gravity; thus, the watch maintains a consistent perpetual movement. You can get a glimpse of the ingenious design through a pinhole of the watch at six o’ clock. Fancy the movement as it appears to assume a life on its own, while lending a sophisticated engineering style to your watch.
Jaeger Lecoultre is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
The Corum Admiral’s Cup Tourbillion 48 Red Gold may be taken as a little over the top. Not if you’re into ultimate luxury. The watch (or is it jewelry?) features a 48-mm 18k red gold casing paved with diamonds and that’s just for starters. It has white and black diamond paved open dial and a sapphire crystal back plus a bezel encrusted with baguette-cut diamonds. The timepiece houses a manual winding CO 372 movements mounted on a tourbillion cage. A tourbillion is that extra watch feature that ensures the escapement wheel, balance wheel, and pallet fork stay in tune against the pull of gravity for precision timing. No matter how this Corum watch is positioned, the movement maintains its cadence. Capping this lavish watch is the 18k red gold triple-folding buckle.
Corum is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
The problem with Parmigiani Fleurier watches is that it’s hard to decide which of its model to buy. With a slew of impressive styles and precision movement at your fingertips, which one to choose? The Bugatti Aerolithe and Transforma are but two of Parmigiani’s illustrious collections. The Bugatti does justice to its supercar cousin, featuring a sleek and chic but powerful look. With 68 jewels and 311 components ticking in unfailing unison, this Parmigiani watch ranks above other watches. Well, not really… the Transforma seems to challenge its sibling. Featuring anti-glare sapphire crystal and sapphire back and polished finishing, Transforma is that rare mix of vintage and modern look. Its 2–part round case is inspired by contemporary lines, while the dial set reflects a pre-war look. Clearly, it’s the best Parmigiani Fleurier watch in style, hmmm…or is it the Bugatti? You decide.
Parmigiani Fleurier is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Contrary to the stereotyping, men can also get sentimental when they receive a special gift from their partner. Not in a tearful manner, but in an introspective way, keeping their emotions in check. Still, men would crave, too, to be surprised with a luxurious gift like the Baume & Mercier gift package. Be it an anniversary or birthday, or a wedding or engagement, a Baume & Mercier gift reflects the woman’s profound appreciation and love for her man. The gift package comes with a unique travel pouch and the watch cushioned and protected by the genuine leather box. You can also engrave special messages on the watch’s back, short but meaningful sweet nothings or special dates. Moreover, the gift comes with a 2-year warranty and draped in neat stylish gift wrapper. It’s a surprise he’ll forever remember.
Baume & Mercier is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
Friday, June 27, 2014
The name echoes boldness and it couldn’t be farfetched. The Breitling Galactic Collection sports a bold, solid style mixed with elegant accents. It suits the person who demands an ultra-sporty watch, while not requiring chronograph functions, making the Galactic line lighter and less bulky than its chronograph cousins; thus, more elegant. One of its notable features is the double date window for an optimal view of the number. Furthermore, the Galactic exhibits a chronometer-certified self-winding movement protected by a water-resistant solid case. It is also available in steel or rose gold models, and you can even ask for a gem-set bezel. Of course, the Galactic is a true Breitling, proud of its renowned Breitling 49 Caliber technology and 42-hour power reserve. Take it with you at the conference room, formal dining table, or out in an adventure.
Breitling is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
One thing that impresses me about John Hardy necklaces is their versatility. You can go simple with single linear thread, or complex with multi-layered designs. You can have a solitary precious metal or dual precious metal running across your neckline. You can go traditional like the Classic Chain, which features a small cross pendant, a reflection of conservatism. Or, you can go pagan or tribal-inspired, like the Bamboo Necklace featuring black obsidian and black sapphire strung in bamboo-like beads. Likewise, there’s an evident quiet in the Bedeg Collection, a slim necklace that features a simple chain pattern. Contrast this to the Woven Braided Necklace, a lavish rendition of sterling silver that loops in different sizes and widths, creating a glitzy feel that suits an evening dinner.
John Hardy is available at Shreve & Co. on Post Street, San Francisco.
Alex Sepkus offers an impeccable array of gold, gem-encrusted bracelets that surely impress the most discriminating taste. They are indeed statement jewelry. To get the most out of these luxurious pieces, wear them properly by matching them with the right dress. Keep in mind that less is more. An Alex Sepkus bracelet, by itself, is already opulently styled; so make sure to minimize glitz on your dress. Likewise, keep your dress simple. Let the Alex Sepkus jewelry carry your outfit to sophistication. Along with a beautiful bracelet, make sure your earrings match its color and opulence. The same tip goes for the necklace and rings; all your jewelry should be of the same metal, style and hue, and all of them should match the color of the dress, which should be preferably neutral such as black, white or cream.
Alex Sepkus is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
You must keep a professional look when at work, but it doesn’t mean you can’t give it a little style. Go ahead wear a Christopher Designs in the conference room or during a dinner with a valued client. Just keep some dos in mind to avoid getting the wrong attention from co-workers or the boss. As a rule, the office jewelry should be about restraint and not embellishment; don’t let your jewelry get too much attention. That means stick to stud earrings or minimalist necklaces, or bracelets with less dangling charms. Avoid danglers or layered designs, or jewelries with multi-colored gems or metals. Quality supersedes quantity here; after all, you’re wearing a Christopher Designs. Likewise, try to put down conversation around it when people get curious. That way, they’ll likely ignore it on the next round (but admire it secretly).
Christopher Designs is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
You vow in your wedding to wear the Suna Bros. ring forever, or at least until you die. But should you really wear it all the time especially if you’re traveling in an adventure, say, a backpack tour of Eastern Europe? Why not? But a little extra care should be taken especially if you’re going to places you’re not familiar with or if you’re traveling alone. The fast rule is never take off your ring at any time. That includes shower and cooking. It’s easy to forget the ring when you do this. Unlike forgetting it on your kitchen table, leaving it some hotel or, worse, restaurant’s restroom is as sure as sunrise that you’re not getting it back. In the rare case that you need to tuck it somewhere, keep a small pocket attached to your clothes. This ensures the ring stays with you all the time.
Suna Bros. is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.
If you’re minimalist and love wearing jewelry with simple but striking features, you’ll love Marco Bicego’s Delicati Collection. Marco Bicego revamps his previous successful repertoire of styles like the Marrakech, Jaipur, and Milano, by creating jewels in bare style but with minute details. The collection celebrates Marco Bicego’s penchant for culture — from Arabic to Indian to Italian — and reduces them into colorful pendants strung in hand engraved 18k yellow gold chain. You have a tempting array of rose cut cushion amethyst, brilliant cut diamonds, irregular faceting blue topaz, and other gems delicately styled as only Marco Bicego can inspire to happen. Whether you wear the Delicati Collection on the most lavish night or the most ordinary casual gathering, it shines without being loud, a mark of sophisticated fashion.
Marco Bicego is available at Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California.