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5 Fierce Diamond Watches from SIHH 2019

Every jewelry lover can appreciate these timepieces.

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ONE CANNOT BE a member of the jewelry industry without having a true appreciation for its most popular gem: the diamond. But at the 2019 edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva (SIHH), it was the watchmakers – even the unexpected ones – that beautified the “bling” in sometimes extreme but often exciting ways.

Here’s a look at five new watches for 2019 that every jewelry lover can wholeheartedly appreciate.

The Diamond Possession watch by Piaget

The Possession watch has been part of Piaget’s women’s line for a while now, and in recent years has included colorful gemstone dials such as turquoise, carnelian, lapis lazuli and malachite. But at this year’s SIHH, the brand went straight-up sparkle with several new versions including one entirely decorated in diamonds, leaving those of us who also write about jewelry for a living squealing with delight.

The 29mm case diameter is an ideal size for any wrist, and the rotating outer bezel makes for quite the “fidget spinner” for those of us who struggle to sit still during press presentations. The watch’s dial, bezels, case and bracelet are set with a total of 621 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing approximately 11.17 carats, all in. Show stopper? Um, you betcha.

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The Rendez-Vous Night & Day Jewellery watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre

While Jaeger-LeCoultre put forth some marvelous novelties at the 2019 edition of SIHH, new releases from their Rendez-Vous collection almost always garner the attention of those of us who appreciate jewels. This year, thankfully, was no exception.

The Rendez-Vous Night & Day Jewellery Watch was offered in both 18K white and 18K pink gold, but this time around, the model went big on brilliance. With a newly featured prong-set outer bezel that contained slightly larger round brilliant cuts than had been used in the past, there’s a substance to this edition of the Rendez-Vous that hadn’t been seen in previous versions. The pink gold model in particular was a standout at the show and was accompanied by a glorious mother-of-pearl dial, inner row of round brilliant diamonds, and taupe-colored alligator strap.

The Diamond Set Balancier Contemporain by Greubel Forsey

Greubel Forsey may not be as “household” a name as some other Swiss watch brands, but make no mistake, those who own a GF know both of the company’s watchmaking history and of how highly it is respected within the horological community. This year, however, and for the first time in the company’s history, Greubel Forsey released a highly complicated timepiece embellished in baguette cut diamonds. And trust me when I say that heads were (figuratively) exploding all over Geneva in response to it.

With a 72-hour chronometric power reserve, hand-wound movement made up of 255 parts, multi-level gold and mother-of-pearl dial with visual opening for the balance wheel, and 30-meter water resistance, the watch is already a true timekeeping specimen, but when you add 232 D-E color, IF clarity diamonds to the case, bezel and crown, you may as well just call it a day, because this watch wins all the prizes. Everybody else can go home. Hang it up. We have a winner.

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The Cat’s Eye Plum Blossom Jewellery watch by Girard-Perregaux

Vibrant in color and elegant in style, the Cat’s Eye Plum Blossom Jewellery Watch by Girard-Perregaux brought sparkle and shine to Geneva this month with a case embellished entirely in round brilliant cut diamonds and a floral-inspired seconds hand.

Containing a total of 444 white diamonds set on the watch’s dial, case, bezel and strap buckle, this Girard-Perregaux women’s timepiece exemplifies what a watch brand could be capable of when it combines extraordinary gem-setting techniques with a solid automatic movement.

The Révélation d’une Panthère watch in diamond by Cartier

Exactly one year ago on this very website I called the Cartier Révélation d’une Panthère timepiece one of my “Best in Show” watches from the 2018 edition of SIHH because of its mind-blowingly magical appearance and ability to entertain the wearer for hours on end. To elaborate: In an hourglass-like fashion and when held at the correct angle, tiny round gold beads trickled down the watch’s dial, forming the figure of the iconic Cartier cat before gravity pulled the beads to a delightful pile of gold in the lower part of the case. This year, however, Cartier decided to challenge David Blaine (if you know, you know) once again, only this time, replacing the beads with, yep … you guessed it … 650 miniscule round brilliant diamonds.

Cartier’s Révélation d’une Panthère is a spectacular example of what an established and respected jewelry and watch maison is capable of when they refuse to follow what’s trendy and won’t allow themselves to be boring. The watch is crafted in 18K white gold and not only contains the inner “trickling” diamonds, but also is decorated fully in diamonds around its bezel and along its bracelet. It contains a manual-winding movement which has a 38-hour power reserve and is limited to 40 pieces.

Barbara Palumbo is a watch and jewelry industry writer, journalist and speaker. She manages the blogging websites Adornmentality.com and Whatsonherwrist.com.

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Failed Fashion Jewelry Chain Is Coming Back

It will operate primarily as an online brand.

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Jewelry and accessories retailer Charming Charlie may have gone bankrupt and closed its 261 stores, but you can expect to see the brand resurface in coming months.

Charlie Chanaratsopon, founder of the company, is acquiring its trademarks, internet properties and other intellectual property for about $1.23 million, the Houston Chronicle reports. He was approved to buy the assets following a bankruptcy auction.

He plans to revive Charming Charlie as primarily an online brand. It will have only a few permanent brick-and-mortar stores, which will open early next year.

The company’s main advantage is its 10-million-strong customer base, said Chanaratsopon, former CEO of Charming Charlie.

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“In this age of retail, we still see an opportunity for the brand to thrive in the online ecosystem,” he said, according to the Chronicle.

The company said in July that it was closing all of its stores in connection with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed July 11.

Read more at the the Houston Chronicle

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Online Jewelry Brand Raises $6.2M in Funding

Ross-Simons has taken a majority stake.

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CRANSTON, RI — Luca + Danni Inc., a online jewelry brand based in Rhode Island, has closed on $6.2 million in funding, with Ross-Simons Inc. becaming the majority investor in the deal.

PJC, a Boston-based VC Fund and early investor in Luca + Danni, will retain a stake in the company.

The investments “create a powerful partnership between an iconic jewelry company and three-year-old digital brand,” according to a Luca + Danni press release.

Fred Magnanimi, founder of Luca + Danni, will remain as CEO and board member.

“I started this brand to honor my family’s 50+ year heritage in US made handcrafted jewelry and help others embrace the journey of life as I learned to do after losing my brother to leukemia,” said Magnanimi. “With the amazing resources and strategic support of Ross-Simons and PJC, I am confident we will help millions embrace their own journey and continue to build our community.”

Ross-Simons, also based in Rhode Island, has a long history in retail and direct-to-consumer jewelry sales.

“Luca + Danni is a digitally native brand rapidly taking market share in the jewelry space,” said Jim Speltz, president of Ross-Simons. “Our resources, product expertise, and go-to-market experience matched with Luca + Danni’s powerful brand will foster meaningful growth in the evolving e-commerce world.”

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She Woke Up Without Her Engagement Ring. Guess Where Doctors Found It …

It all started with a dream. (Story with video.)

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A San Diego woman woke up without her engagement ring, and she immediately remembered a dream she’d had the night before.

One where she’d swallowed her engagement ring.

Jenna Evans immediately told her fiance, Bob Howell, and they headed to urgent care. She told the story in a Facebook post that has gone viral, garnering 62,000 shares as of Sept. 16.

She ended up seeing a gastroenterologist, who performed an upper endoscopy.

“Everything went great, they found my ring just beyond my stomach in my intestines, retrieved it and gave it to Bobby, not me,” she wrote.

She also divulged a bit about the dream that got her into the predicament.

“I was having a dream that Bobby and I were in a very sketchy situation involving a high speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams) and he told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it; so I popped that sucker off, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water riiiight about the time I realized what I was doing,” she explained. “I assumed this too was a dream, because WHO ACTUALLY SWALLOWS THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING, so I went back to sleep.”

The ring was made by Simone Jewelry Designs in Houston. CBS8 reports that it includes a 2.4 carat diamond.

Watch a news video about the incident:

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