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A Guide To Purchasing The Right Watch Strap

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A Guide To Purchasing The Right Watch Strap For Your Lifestyle
A Guide To Purchasing The Right Watch Strap For Your Lifestyle

A Guide To Purchasing The Right Watch Strap For Your Lifestyle

No matter if you are just starting your watch strap collection, or already have a range to choose from, it’s essential to pick a watch strap that is right for your lifestyle. The reason for this is you want to get the most out of your investment as some can be more expensive than others. Just like you would be looking for an appropriate trainer for exercise, or smart shoes for the office, your watch strap should be suited to your lifestyle as well as be stylish enough to go with the majority of your wardrobe. To help make this informed decision, we will go through some of the questions to ask yourself before buying your new watch strap.

Do you identify with the brand?

This isn’t essential to some, but there are many who remain loyal to brands. For this, it’s always nice to align yourself with a brand. Whether it’s the materials that they use, how it is made, where its made, who makes it, the inspiration behind the brand or their own values. For example, if you wanted to support a local business that handmakes their watch bands that uses premium materials, this is great helping your community. But this is all down to personal preference.

Does the watch strap match your lifestyle?

This is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself as this will depend on a range of factors. If you choose the wrong strap, you could result in having your watch strap ruined sooner than it should be. It could also be an annoying feature on your wrist if you choose poorly. Where you are going to be wearing your new watch strap is an essential factor in your decision. The reason for this is due to not all watch straps perform as well in certain environments, so it’s essential to get the most out of your investment.

The Right Watch Strap
A Guide To Purchasing The Right Watch Strap For Your Lifestyle

For example, if you enjoy travelling, a leather watch strap may not be suitable. Yes, leather is reliable, but it can also cause a sweaty wrist and doesn’t do so well with water. For a watch strap that will be in a range of elements and environments, having a waterproof watch strap made from rubber or fabric like a NATO watch strap is the best option.

This is completely down to what you get up to, or what you are going to be using your watch for, so think long and hard about what and where you are going to be using the watch.

Will it complement your style?

If you find it difficult to choose just one watch strap, there is no harm in purchasing a range of watch straps that go with different outfits, activities or even the mood that you are in. The other benefit to this is you allow your watch straps to stay nicer for longer. But, if you are looking for a luxury watch strap, chances are that you have to consider this purchase and you won’t be able to purchase more than one.

If this is the case, it’s best to look for a watch strap that compliments your style and that goes with most of your wardrobe. If you have a lot of smart clothes, a neutral classic style will be the best option. If you are more inclined to wear more colours, then having something that complements this s the better option.

Is the watch band practical?

Practicality definitely comes into play with a watch strap. Whether it’s how it reacts with certain elements, how it deals with your lifestyle or even whether it’s simple to put on or change. Most straps are very easy to put on, but if you have decided that you want to be able to change your straps regularly, then quick-release watch straps could be a better option for you. If a quick-release isn’t your style, then having a single-pass watch strap or NATO watch strap could be a better option as you will be able to change them frequently, without having any fuss.

Will the watch strap last?

When you buy a luxury product, you want it to last a lifetime. As the saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice. Purchasing quality should guarantee that it will last, so ensure that you decide what you would rather do. The key element to this is the material that you choose, it is also important to look for reviews from customers as this will determine whether the strap is quality or if it’s just the brand making it sound quality. Checking how to care for your watch strap is also essential, because if it requires a lot of care, this may not be the strap for you.

There are many factors that you should consider before purchasing a watch strap. If you go through these questions and answer them honestly, you will have a good idea of what you need out of a watch strap. If you have a range of watches, it is also best to have some accessories for watch lovers such as a carry case and maybe even a watch strap case.

Latest Christiaan van der Klaauw timepiece, the CVDK Ariadne.

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the CVDK Ariadne

Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches is proud to announce the first watches to leave the atelier under the leadership of Master Watchmaker, Technical Director and co-owner Pim Koeslag.

Celebrating this special occasion are three new steel versions of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne. ‘Steel combines a sporty look with our classic designs, it’s robust and timeless.’ Koeslag invited Jochen Benzinger to beautifully engrave the rotor in each of the new watches.

The new steel versions of the Ariadne feature the well-known full calendar chrono with 24-hour indication, and the accomplished, visually enchanting moon phase indication. The new steel models boast a frosted silver-coloured, navy-blue or anthracite dial, and circular brushed rings around the sub dials. They are topped off with a high-quality alligator leather strap, with a luxurious signature folding clasp with an engraved Christiaan van der Klaauw ‘Sun with 12 Claws’ logo.

But what makes these models especially unique is the hand-engraving of the ‘claw’ of the rose gold-plated rotor, which was done by famous engraver Jochen Benzinger. This sublime rotor, with its outer guilloche décor on rhodium plated steel can be admired through the sapphire case back.

Rotor engraving by Benzinger

German engraver Jochen Benzinger is a world-wide authority, and his hand-guilloche, engraved and skeletonized watches and movements are the hallmarks of his craftsmanship. Using historical, over 100-years-old machines and tools to create true works of art, he spends hours and hours to perfect his watches and individual parts with the typical character that only a unique piece created by hand can have. Christiaan van der Klaauw is proud to offer you this master’s work in our new Ariadne series.

The CVDK7758 caliber Ariadne
The chronograph movement contained in this beautiful watch is the CVDK7758 caliber with Ariadne complication. The chronograph indicates the elapsed seconds, minutes and hours. In addition, the watch has a full date indication (day, date, month), a moon phase indication at 6 hours and the indication of time on a 24-hour scale.

The position of the Moon can be read at the 6 o’clock position. When the Moon is left of centre, it is in its first quarter. When the Moon is in the centre, it is full Moon and right of centre, it is in its last quarter. If the Moon is not visible, you see a beautiful dark blue sky in the window, it is New Moon.

Christiaan van der Klaauw History
Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches is the only atelier in the world that is completely devoted to the design and the production of exclusive, hand-made astronomical watches. Astronomy – time in its purest form – is the most important source of inspiration for our atelier.

Christiaan van der Klaauw (1944) was born, raised and trained in Leiden, the city where the Netherlands’ greatest scientist of all times Christiaan Huygens started his studies in 1645.
Here, Van der Klaauw’s love of astronomy burgeoned and he wanted to combine the mathematically predictable movements of celestial bodies with a clock mechanism, just like Friesian Eise Eisinga (1744-1828) had done earlier by building a highly accurate Planetarium in a house in Franeker on his ceiling. After Christiaan van der Klaauw had completed his training at the School for Instrument Makers (LiS) and a clock maker’s course he moved from Leiden to Joure in 1967, where he started working for a producer of Friesian grandfather clocks.

In 1974 Van der Klaauw started his own business and presented his first clock with astronomical complications. It was the start of an exceptional story. He received an honourable membership of the Swiss Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) in 1989, and in 1992, he won the award for the most innovative movement design for his Pendule Variable in Basel, Switzerland. Two years later he started on his first wrist watch, the CVDK Satellite du Monde. In 1999 he presented the masterpiece CVDK Planetarium, equipped with the smallest mechanical planetarium in the world.

Daniël & Maria Reintjes
In 2009, a new era began. Christiaan van der Klaauw had reached his retirement age and sold the company to the designer couple Daniël and Maria Reintjes with whom he had established a business relationship for ten years. Daniël and Maria immediately started repositioning the brand. The new directors decided to focus exclusively on astronomical watches, and ‘Astronomical Watches’ was added to the name. A new collection and beautiful astronomical complications ensued – including the Real Moon Joure with the most accurate 3D moon phase in the world. In addition, two special Planetarium masterpieces were developed exclusively for the high jewelry Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, the Midnight Planétarium and the Lady Arpels Planétarium.

In 13 years, Daniël and Maria transformed their CVDK company into a niche atelier, becoming the only watch atelier in the world that is wholly devoted to the design and the production of exclusive, hand-made astronomical watches. In 2016, CVDK was recognized as an Haute Horlogerie atelier by the Fondation Haute Horlogerie (FHH). And in 2021 Daniël and Maria received the ultimate acknowledgement in watchmaking being awarded the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – Calendar and Astronomy Watch Award for the ‘CVDK Planetarium Eise Eisinga’ at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

Pim Koeslag
Master watchmaker Pim Koeslag acquired a majority stake in CVDK on the 1st of June 2022 and became co-owner. He joined the existing managing board as Technical Director, along with Daniël Reintjes (CEO/Creative Director) and Maria Reintjes (Marketing Director) who retained a share in the company.

Master watchmaker Pim Koeslag was the driving force behind the Swiss-Dutch brand Frederique Constant and sister brand Alpina Watches from 2003 until 2022, and co-founded Ateliers deMonaco in 2008. His predilection for everything that has to do with the universe and timekeeping brought him back to the Netherlands, in 2022. In that year he made the switch to his great love Christiaan van der Klaauw.

Technical details:

CVDK Ariadne CKAR3335 | Silver

CVDK Ariadne CKAR3335 | Silver
latest Christiaan van der Klaauw timepiece, the CVDK Ariadne.
MovementCVDK7758, automatic winding, 25 jewels, power-reserve; 48-hour max.
RotorGuilloche rhodium plated, with a rose gold-plated centre, which was hand-engraved by Jochen Benzinger.
FunctionsHours, minutes, small seconds, 24-hour indication, day, date, month, moon phase, chronograph; 12-hour counter, 30-minute counter, seconds counter.
CaseHigh quality steel, ø 40 mm, sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal case-back.
DialFrosted silver-colour with applied blue indexes and applied circular brushed counter rings.
StrapBrown leather.
BuckleLogo engraved steel folding clasp.
Price€ 8.450,- incl. VAT

CVDK Ariadne CKAR3366 | Navy Blue

CVDK Ariadne CKAR3366 | Navy Blue
latest Christiaan van der Klaauw timepiece, the CVDK Ariadne.
MovementCVDK7758, automatic winding, 25 jewels, power-reserve; 48-hour max.
RotorGuilloche rhodium plated, with a rose gold-plated centre, which was hand-engraved by Jochen Benzinger.
FunctionsHours, minutes, small seconds, 24-hour indication, day, date, month, moon phase, chronograph; 12-hour counter, 30-minute counter, seconds counter.
CaseHigh quality steel, ø 40 mm, sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal case-back.
DialFrosted navy blue with white applied rhodium plated indexes and applied circular brushed counter rings.
StrapBlue leather.
BuckleLogo engraved steel folding clasp.
Price€ 8.450,- incl. VAT

CVDK Ariadne CKAR3344 | Anthracite

CVDK Ariadne CKAR3344 | Anthracite
latest Christiaan van der Klaauw timepiece, the CVDK Ariadne.
MovementCVDK7758, automatic winding, 25 jewels, power-reserve; 48-hour max.
RotorGuilloche rhodium plated, with a rose gold-plated centre, which was hand-engraved by Jochen Benzinger.
FunctionsHours, minutes, small seconds, 24-hour indication, day, date, month, moon phase, chronograph; 12-hour counter, 30-minute counter, seconds counter.
CaseHigh quality steel, ø 40 mm, sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal case-back.
DialFrosted anthracite with applied rhodium plated indexes and applied circular brushed counter rings.
StrapBlack leather.
BuckleLogo engraved steel folding clasp.
Price€ 8.450,- incl. VAT

Source: CVDK Press

Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture

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A legacy in movement

Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture: A legacy in movement

Alpina is unveiling today two new limited series of its Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture model, driven by the brand’s 6th Manufacture movement that was introduced into the collection last year. These limited series are distinguished by new dials: the first one is grey champagne, the second one is navy blue, and both have a brushed finish. Limited to 188 pieces each, these two watches pay tribute to the historic Alpina caliber, the “bumper”, whose mechanical inspiration can be admired through a sapphire back.

Extremely rare and unique. The Startimer Pilot Heritage is one of Alpina’s most exclusive lines, as was the timepiece it is inspired from and that can now no longer be found. Originally, not just a design, but also and mostly a movement. Its fans call it the “bumper”: a very rare automatic caliber that relies on a short travel oscillating weight.

Instead of being wound by a conventional rotor turning 360° on itself, the “bumper” only travels a third of this distance, after which it is pushed back in the opposite direction by a return spring. An ingenious creation that, at the time of the first automatic movements, tested out an original way of optimizing their winding. And a witness to the creativity of the Alpina watchmakers of the time.

The Startimer Pilot Heritage

Shared inspirations

Today, Alpina is offering two new limited editions that celebrate this watchmaking innovation, which is highly sought-after and extremely difficult to find. They supplement the two existing Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture watches in the collection, with two very different looks.

Their DNA is shared, embodying the continuity of the Startimer Pilot Heritage spirit: a cushion case (the only one at Alpina), a vintage “railway” type minutes hand, a crown at 4 o’clock, a calfskin strap with beige top-stitching and beige vintage luminescent indexes which reproduce the natural patina of the Startimers of the time. All of these are deployed on a brushed-finish dial.

Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture

Two very exclusive series

The first version, in a gilded yellow gold-plated case, displays a grey champagne dial making the applied Arab numerals and hands very easy to read – a key quality for a watch initially made for pilots. The case is entirely polished, except for its upper surface which repeats the dial’s textured pattern.

The second version has an intense navy-blue dial, also brushed, in a steel box repeating the same alternation of polished and brushed surfaces. Since the dial is in a deep color, the hands are silver in order to preserve the required readability.

As required by the history of the Startimer Pilot, these two Heritage Manufacture creations are driven by an Alpina in-house automatic mechanical movement, the AL-709 caliber, offering 38 hours of power reserve. Entirely visible through a sapphire back, its oscillating weight repeats the iconic shape of the “bumper” model and follows in its footsteps, now turning 330°. Each watch, measuring 2×40.75 mm, is certified waterproof to a depth of 100 meters and is limited to 188 pieces.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture

RRP 2850€

Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture AL-709AN4SH6
AL-709AN4SH6
ReferenceAL-709AN4SH6
FunctionsHours, minutes, seconds
MovementAL-709 in-house caliber, automatic
38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, 28’800 alt/h
CaseBrushed and polished stainless steel 2-part case
Diameter of 42X40,75 mm
Height of 13,25 mm
Scratch-resistant convex sapphire crystal
Water-resistant up to 10ATM/100m/330ft
See-through case back
DialNavy blue color dial with vertical brushed finishing, white graduation, and markers with beige luminous treatment
Applied silver color indexes
A silver color hour and minute hands with a beige luminous treatment
Silver color second hand
StrapBrown calf leather strap with off-white stitching
Limited EditionLimited to 188 pieces

Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture

RRP 2950€

AL-709ACH4SH5
Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture AL-709ACH4SH5
ReferenceAL-709ACH4SH5
FunctionsHours, minutes, seconds
MovementAL-709 in-house caliber, automatic
38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, 28’800 alt/h
CaseBrushed and polished yellow gold-plated 2-part case
Diameter of 42X40,75 mm
Height of 13,25 mm
Scratch-resistant convex sapphire crystal
Water-resistant up to 10ATM/100m/330ft
See-through case back
DialChampagne warm grey color dial with vertical brushed finishing, black graduation, and markers with beige luminous treatment
Applied black indexes
Black hour and minute hands with beige luminous treatment
Black second hand
StrapBrown calf leather strap with off-white stitching
Limited EditionLimited to 188 pieces

ALPINA SWISS MANUFACTURER OF ALPINE SPORTS WATCHES SINCE 1883 

Source: Alpina Watches

The Best Jewellery Brands To Shop, Collect And Gift To Others.

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The Best Jewellery Brands

The Best Jewellery Brands To Shop, Collect And Gift To Others.

Jewellery designing has gained a lot of popularity among the young generation, and why not; the jewellery business is growing bigger with every passing day. Gold or diamond, every person may have different tastes in jewellery, but there is rarely a person who doesn’t like to have any of it (especially women).

For jewellery enthusiasts, heading out without jewellery seems similar to being naked. These accessories slowly become part of your personality and style. Some people prefer modern artistic chic designs, while some like to wear vintage and antique jewellery. Seeing this hype, most jewellery stores have gone online for easy purchases.

So, when choosing the best jewellery brand for your collection, you must be cautious. Jewellery purchasing is an expensive investment. However, some jewellery brands offer you the best quality at affordable prices too. So check out the best cheap jewellery brands for your collection and gifting purposes.

Mejuri:

The logo of the company loudly calls it a Holiday gift shop. This brand is committed to making a difference in the condition you express yourself. The jewellery items from this brand are a complete blend of traditional and artistic pieces. They offer you choices from everyday wear to options for special occasions. From rings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets you can choose almost every type of accessory at affordable prices. If you are looking for something for your male partners, their collection is worth your time and money.

J.Hannah:

Being focused on sustainability and environmental preservation, J. Hannah is the brand that needs more and more encouragement. This brand prioritizes motivating independent manufacturers, thus making their collection more attractive and versatile. The beauty of their designs lies in their uniqueness and timelessness. The brand is concentrated on ethics and value for resourcing genuine gemstones and metals for a 100% reliable product. They make sure to make the process of manufacturing and selling transparent for the goodwill of the brand. While considering this brand, do visit their limited edition portal. The designs are no less than perfect. Spoiler alert: signet rings are also available.

Hancocks Signet Rings:

Hancockssignetrings holding strong since 1849, Hancocks London is a renowned jewellery store based in the heart of London. The brand primarily belonged to tiara and diamond jewellery making. Later, it gained popularity for its outstanding collection of signet rings. This small jewellery store became popular after making classic signet rings. Later, the brand collaborated with many big french designers and sold their articles too. Their collection of antique and vintage jewellery makes it stand out among its peers. If you are fond of the ongoing signet ring trend, this store has endless options to offer.

The Best Jewelry Brands To Shop
The Best Jewellery Brands To Shop, Collect And Gift To Others.

Oma The Label:

Fashion and jewellery go hand in hand. For a complete transformation, you need to have different sorts of jewellery items. Oma The Label, is one of those brands that make outstanding gold-plated jewellery pieces. From rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, you can get numerous options under $100. The designs embrace Scandinavian and African influences. The founder believes to make a change by making pieces that define a strong, empowered, and confident personality. All the designs from this brand make you look mesmerizing at all special events and occasions. This brand needs to be on your checklist while looking for some legit brand for your gift shopping.

Missoma:

Based in London Notting Hill, Missoma has been trending on the top affordable brand list for almost a decade. The founders founded this brand to create unique and iconic jewellery designs. The idea is to make everyday jewellery that looks outstanding with every day to day outfits. The founders believe to make jewellery inspired by the traditions and cultures around the globe. The brand has also got renowned for demi-fine jewellery. Missoma bracelets, earrings, and rings are significantly the best ones to gift to your loved ones. You can always rely on the quality of these items. Missoma is breaking the ice by growing bigger every passing year. Thus, it needs to be on this list of affordable jewellery brands.

Catbird:

Known best for its wedding and engagement ring collection, Catbird is gaining favour for its outstanding classic and timeless collection of jewellery for gifting purposes. From diamonds, gold, and sterling silver, you get everything you need just under one roof. The founders are determined to make their jewellery made out of recycled gold and diamonds. They believe in making the world more sustainable and maintaining its resources. Explore the classic category on the official website to get some gorgeous pieces of jewels for your next collection.

Bon Bon Whims:

The brand offers upcycled and custom-made pieces. The chunky Y2 K-inspired resin rings and enamel POP earrings became an overnight success. The brand is supremely affordable and covers all the interests of the youth. The jewellery pieces are inspired by everyday life and can be seen sported by celebrities. Among all the brands stated above, Bon Bon whims have a completely different collection of jewellery. All the designs look like they come out of kids’ books and take you on a nostalgic ride into your childhood. The jewellery is cute and alluring which makes you stand out. This collection is entirely different from traditional jewellery. Check out the official website to explore a new world of jewellery.

Photo by Tony Art on Unsplash Photo by Tessa Wilson on Unsplash

Ways To Make Your Wedding More Sustainable

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How about making diamonds from the ashes of the dead
How about making diamonds from the ashes of the dead?

Ways To Make Your Wedding More Sustainable

Infographic created by Grown Brilliance, a lab diamond engagement rings provider

How To Accessorise Your Work Outfits!

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How To Accessorise Your Work Outfits
How To Accessorise Your Work Outfits

How To Accessorise Your Work Outfits!

If you work in a formal environment, you are likely to have to wear business attire that can be difficult to bring your own sense of character to. Formal work outfits can be quite boring and might not give you the confidence you want to really excel in your working environment, as well all know that what you wear can have a big impact on how you feel throughout the day. However, there are ways to do it and that’s what we’re here to introduce! You can still look formal whilst showing off your personality, so let’s find out how to accessorise your work outfits.

Subtle Earrings

First up on our list is to get yourself some subtle earrings. Big, dangly earrings are unlikely to be suitable in a formal working environment, however, there are many alternatives that are understated but will still help you to bring your personality through!

So, start with a simple pair of huggie hoops, which are small earrings but ones that look beautiful and elegant. These are great for any lobe piercings. Then, if you have any other piercings in your ears, like daith or tragus earrings, go for small delicate studs. A simple collection of different earrings can still look formal, but equally beautiful, so this is a great way to accessorise your work outfits.

Watches

Wearing watches in a work environment is completely acceptable, they’re obviously very practical and they can also bring something unique to an outfit, so this is a great way to accessorise your outfits.

The world is your oyster when it comes to watch designs, from leather straps to metal choices, square faces to round and connected watches, and so much more. If you’re unsure where to start, set yourself a budget, have a look online and then go into a jeweler and try on lots of different styles.

Watches are an investment and they can last you a lifetime, so you want to make sure you get it right. So, try on lots of different styles as you might be surprised by what you really like. Jewelers are highly experienced in helping you narrow down your options, so go to someone reputable and they will make the whole experience much easier.

Matching Belt and Shoes

Another thing you can do to bring your outfit to life is to get yourself a few pairs of shoes that match with a few new belts! This can help to really tie your whole outfit together, plus it’s an opportunity to stay formal whilst also adding some color or texture to your outfit. For example, you might be wearing navy high-waisted trousers and a white blouse. Then, you could add a red belt and red shoes, for a fun twist on a classic outfit that will help you to feel amazing.

Depending on how formal your workplace is, you could even go for bold prints like leopard print or something similar, to really bring your personality out in the outfit.

Handbags

Another really simple way to bring your outfit to life is with a fun handbag. Whilst you won’t be carrying this around the office in most cases, it is still a good accessory to help you feel good right from the start of the day. Aim for a medium-sized handbag, so it is comfortable for your commute whilst also allowing you to fit everything you need in your bag.

Don’t go too wild with big fluffy handbags or anything, but bolder colors and patterns are great to bring something fun and interesting to your outfit.

What To Avoid

For very formal working environments, there are a few things you should avoid when it comes to accessorising your work outfits. Face piercings are usually a no-go, keep hair and makeup quite simple, don’t go for oversized statement jewelry, and keep your perfume subtle. If you’re ever unsure, simply ask another colleague or your boss exactly what the dress code is, which is especially useful if you’re new to the company.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we have shown you that you can stay formal whilst also bringing some of your own characters through in your outfits! With just a few simple accessories, you can transform your work wardrobe.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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