BVLGARI BVLGARI Chrono Automatic Men’s Watch BB42WGLDCH Review

Written by: Cathy Tenzo.

Are you looking for a watch that makes a statement, all while looking sophisticated and sporty? Look no further than the BVLGARI BVLGARI  Chrono Automatic Men’s Watch BB42WGLDCH. This luxury timepiece features the iconic double logo engraved on the bezel, a fashion instituted by BVLGARI, and much imitated by other luxury watchmakers.

 

 

Features include:

  • 18 kt yellow gold case
  • White dial accented with the “clou de Paris” treatment
  • 3 dials displaying hours, minutes, and seconds
  • Date window
  • Alligator watchband with gold buckle
  • Sapphire, scratch-resistant crystal
  • Waterproof to 30 meters (100 feet)
  • 42-hour power reserve
  • Chronograph automatic movement
  • Made in Switzerland with the highest Swiss watchmaking standards
  • Retails for $19,100

The BVLGARI BVLGARI Chrono Automatic Men’s Watch is a solid timepiece, made of high-quality materials, to the highest standards. The bezel has an attractive two-toned ring, with part of the lettering highlighted by a black background. The dial is decorated with an elegant and very masculine background pattern known as the “clou de Paris” treatment. For those of you who don’t speak jewelry design language, that means a repeat of many small pyramids, which helps to keep the watch face from appearing too fussy or feminine. The band is made of alligator leather, and three small dials are arranged across the bottom half of the timepiece to display the hours, minutes and seconds for those of you who are particularly detail-oriented. It’s even waterproof to 100 feet.

This watch would be a great option for the man who wants to sport a recognized luxury brand on his wrist with a little extra functionality. Since BVLGARI has its origins as a jeweler, the watch makes a bold statement both as a piece of jewelry and as a timepiece. The company works with Swiss watchmakers to make sure that the watch isn’t just a pretty object but also functions as a precision instrument. That said, the watch is a little flashy. Some reviewers of BVLGARI watches have claimed that the designs are a little vulgar, but this is a matter of personal style.

The three dials are fun and useful, but some users may find that they clutter the display.  BVLGARI’s got you covered–if you like this design but wish the dials weren’t there, you can get the BVLGARI BVLGARI Chrono BB42WGLDAUTO. If you’d prefer something with a little more contrast but love the dials, you can get the BVLGARI BVLGARI Chrono Automatic Men’s Watch BBP42BPGLDCH, which has a black dial and a pink gold case. A man makes a very personal fashion statement with his wristwatch, and only he can decide what he wants that statement to be. That said, this is a very expensive statement to make. The watch retails for $19,100, so a man who likes this kind of watch but cannot afford it can get a similar watch in the Fossil Ansel Men’s Leather Watch Brown FS4639 which retails for $135. It has a faux crocodile leather band, and a gunmetal finish, but the design is very similar to the BVLGARI watch at a significant savings.

Pros:

  • Heavy, like a Rolex, so it’s substantial
  • Well-made, with Swiss precision
  • Recognized status symbol
  • Iconic design
  • Waterproof to 100 feet

Cons:

  • Heavy, like a Rolex, so it may take some getting used to
  • Expensive
  • Often counterfeited, so people may assume that yours is not the real thing (note that genuine watches have unique serial numbers registered with BVLGARI)
  • Watch face can be hard to read with so many dials and displays

The BVLGARI BVLGARI Chrono Automatic Men’s Watch BB42WGLDCH is an investment, but so is any fine piece of jewelry. When you buy it, you can feel comfortable that you will get a high-quality timepiece that will accent your look and serve you for years to come.

BVLGARI BVLGARI Automatic Men’s Watch BB38WSSDAUTO/N Review

Written by: Cathy Tenzo

BVLGARI is an Italian jewelry company that has made a name for itself making eye-catching watches that perform with Swiss precision. The BVLGARI BVLGARI Automatic Men’s Watch BB38WSSDAUTO/N is a particularly fine example of the line. Its shiny metallic elegance gives it modern flair while avoiding gaudiness.

Features:

  • Automatic movement
  • White dial with “clou de Paris” treatment
  • Date display
  • Sapphire, scratch-resistant crystal
  • Stainless steel case, with a highly-polished bracelet finish
  • Adjustable bracelet, with a hidden folding clasp
  • 30 meter (99 feet) water resistance
  • List Price: $5,200

The BVLGARI BVLGARI Automatic Men’s Watch BB38WSSDAUTO/N is a solid luxury watch with an automatic movement, a sturdy metal strap, and an adjustable band. BVLGARI watches get excellent ratings for their Swiss mechanics, and the aesthetics are pretty pleasing here, too. The watch is elegant in its simplicity. The face has a small date display window, but the dial is otherwise uncluttered by extraneous readouts. The bezel has the iconic double name engraved around it, with a black highlight that stretches halfway around the dial. Except for the small black accent, the watch is otherwise shiny stainless steel, which gives it a very unified look. The white watch face adds to the cool splendor of the display, and the tiny pyramids of the “clou de Paris” pattern give the face a subtle visual texture that adds an extra layer of masculine sophistication. While the display is long on design, it’s short on visual readouts. The timepiece gives you the date and the time, and it looks fabulous while doing it. Sometimes that’s all you need.

This watch would be great for the man who wants a stunning accent piece that will go with everything, and the metal band should make it resistant to everyday wear and tear. The watch is water resistant to 100 feet, so you shouldn’t need to worry if you get caught out in the rain. That said, some men will prefer a watch that shows more data. If you’re one of them, you might prefer the BVLGARI BVLGARI Chrono Automatic Men’s Watch BB42WSSDCH which is very similar, but which adds three dials to the display for hours, minutes, and seconds. If you like the look but not the price, one alternative might be the Fossil Ansel Stainless Steel Men’s Watch FS4683. It’s not nearly as elegant, but you’d get a similar stainless steel look and you’d save over $5,000.

The BVLGARI BVLGARI Automatic Men’s Watch BB38WSSDAUTO/N is a great investment in style and quality, but one watch can not be all things to all men, and this model is no exception. Some men will prefer to have more dials, and although the watch should be fairly sturdy, it’s pretty heavy, like all quality metal watches. You might want to wear a cheap model while you play racquetball and put this on for cocktails afterwards. This watch will be an investment in style that will enhance your look and image wherever you go, and keep you on time, too. What more can a man ask?

Chanel 2012

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." - Coco Chanel

It’s obvious that 2012 is going to be the year of Chanel.
Isn’t every year the year of Chanel?
Well, yes.
But 2012 has gotten off to an exceptionally auspicious start for the pioneer of the little black dress. Awards, runways, a new book and huge new location in one of the hottest shopping districts in London… and that’s just the first three months. While the rest of the retail industry is still feeling the trickle-down effects of austerity measures in many countries, the luxury industry is booming and, after 103 years, Chanel is still a clear leader of the luxury pack.

Earlier this year, at the 10th Annual GEM Awards Gala, Chanel Fine Jewelry received the award for corporate communications in recognition of the company’s “creativity, coherence and excellence in public relations and communications.” The awards ceremony, which is organized by the Jewelry Information Center (the consumer education arm of Jewelers of America), only bestows five awards a year and is considered to be one of the jewelry industry’s most prestigious US events. The gala was held January 6 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City and was hosted by Padma Lakshmi, from Bravo’s “Top Chef,” wearing an impressive gold necklace by Chanel.

Padma Lakshmi at GEM Awards - wearing Chanel neckpiece
Lakshmi at GEM Awards

While Chanel didn’t show collections at the recent Fashion Weeks in London and New York, the brand was still the first name on many lips, the first bag on many arms – and the first look channeled by many new designers. The couture colossus will be showing at the first of three Fashion Weeks in Paris on March 6, however, and is also turning attentions further east later in the month with a series of events planned in Tokyo. (Asia and South America both represent growing markets for luxury goods and are a large part of the reason for the catapulting profitability of luxury retailers in 2011.) An exhibition on March 21 to celebrate Chanel’s iconic black jacket will coincide with the worldwide launch of “The Little Black Jacket,” Karl Lagerfeld’s photographic tribute to the ubiquitous wardrobe staple. Chanel will also reproduce its 2012 Spring-Summer Haute Couture show in downtown Tokyo on March 22, to be followed by the dedication of a temporary Chanel boutique the following day.

Chanel: The Little Black Jacket

As if all this wasn’t excitement enough for the chic centenarian, Chanel won approval this month to build a new 20,000 square foot store on Bond Street in London. One of the most expensive and fashionable strips of real estate in the world, Bond Street the home of the famed Sotheby’s auction house and London’s Fine Art Society as well as shops bearing names like Armani, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari, Dior and Prada. The new Chanel edifice will likely include office space to house Chanel’s UK headquarters as well as provide plenty of retail room for fashion, accessories and jewelry. No address has yet been released; Chanel already has a Chanel Boutique, a Chanel Fine Jewelry and a Chanel Designer Handbags and Shoes on Bond Street.

Chanel Bond Street Locations on Map
A – Boutique, B – Fine Jewelry, C – Designer Handbags and Shoes

Founded in 1932 by Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel, Chanel Joaillerie also happens to be celebrating its eightieth anniversary this year. The first collection, “Bijoux de diamants,” was a tribute to Coco’s favorite stone – the diamond.

"Bijoux de diamants" Selections from Chanel Joaillerie 1932 Collection
“Bijoux de diamants”

The Michele Appeal Pt. Two: Reasons Why Michele is Experiencing Growth

Michele watches embody luxury and are well-made with awesome materials that lend themselves to fabulous design. Listed below are more reasons why the Michele brand is taking advantage of this economy and experiencing growth and success.

Materials

Said to be a girl’s best friend, diamonds have mass appeal and are a main characteristic of most Michele watches, with many selections flaunting over 100 diamonds. Michele watches add a touch of classic elegance with mother-of-pearl dials topped off by scratch-resistant sapphire crystals. The Tahitian styles feature stainless steel and smooth ceramic with a couple of selections highlighting ceramic with stainless steel reinforcement to add durability to the scratch resistance of the bracelet. The playful Tahitian Jelly Bean collection by Michele offers an array of colorful case-integrated rubber straps securing sun dial stainless steel chronographs, mineral crystals and enamel dials. Straps come in rubber, silicone, leather, patent leather, stingray and alligator, with many strap styles featuring nautical-inspired gold grommets and buckles. Bracelets are made of stainless steel, with many styles coated with 18 karat gold and rose gold. Michele is one of very few watchmakers that push the edge of the envelope when selecting materials to fashion their watches while competitors stick within comfortable boundaries and never deviate beyond ceramic.

Price

And with all the unique materials, Swiss-made movements, diamonds-galore and fashionable designs, Michele watches are luxury within reason. While competitors lack any risk with materials and stick within trends with designs that look so much like everyone else, yet still demand over $5000 per watch, Michele respects paying customers a bit more and gives them something worth their modest price tags. It seems that more so-called luxury brands are products of a great marketing schematic aimed at the audience that associates value with high cost. That kind of audience thinks that if it’s expensive, it must be good, and they fall for it without questioning the material, the craftsmanship, the watchmaker. Michele is one luxury brand that doesn’t underestimate its audience and offers a quality, high-end product that’s aptly priced.

 

Michele Sport Sail
With 96 diamonds, the Michele Sport Sail watch is aptly-priced at $1995.

 

The Michele Sport Sail pictured above features a rose-gold plated stainless steel bracelet and case, 96 diamonds which total almost half a carat, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and Swiss movement, complete with a sun dial chronograph against a white enamel backdrop. Considering the real gold and the insane amount of diamonds, the watch is aptly priced at $1995, a steal compared to other brands that make you wonder what you pay for when you shell out over five grand for something that’s not even half as brilliant. Michele offers many entry-level, well-designed styles that cost under five hundred, but when the diamonds kick in, expect to pay between $1200 and $3500 for a complete timepiece. Two grand leaves you with more than enough change to pick up a few interchangeable straps and bracelets, which range from $100 to $600, depending on material and texture.

 

Interactivity and Customization

Speaking of interchangeable straps, Michele offers a wide array of customization, bringing an easy to use watch bar to their website. While other brands sink most of their marketing budget into their super-snazzy website, they alienate customers by making their websites difficult to load and their customization area difficult to use and they’re shady when it comes to pricing. Most luxury brands don’t even mention price until you’ve finished customizing and indicating where you’d like to pick up your watch. When they finally do reveal the price, it’s in print so small that you have to hunt for the bottom line. To me, that displays a lack of confidence behind a product and again, is remnant of a company that’s betting on the naiveté of their target audience and hoping that you’ll just buy the damn thing without asking questions. Michele is a transparent brand that seeks only to serve their customers with unique materials, fine craftsmanship and an easy-to-use interactive customization area that allows you to pair different straps with varied watch heads so you won’t be shopping in the dark. Michele.com is a fresh powder-white website, which allows their collections to pop like paint against canvas while many competitors drape their websites in minimalist black and lack the descriptive text that puts online buyers at ease. Eventually, everything comes to light and Michele is already there, waiting on you to make the best buying decision to date.

The Michele Appeal: Five Reasons Why Michele is Experiencing Growth

Michele watches are increasingly popular. They’re luxurious, well-made with lavish materials and, compared to competitors in the same class, they’re very well-priced.

Listed below are some reasons why the Michele brand is experiencing more growth than its competitors, even in this stagnant economy.

 

Workmanship

Michele isn’t one of those watch companies that sprouted up from nowhere, slapped together some materials and deemed themselves worthy of five grand a pop. Michele’s authenticity stems from a much more humble source. In 2004, watchmaker Fossil, Inc needed a Swiss-made female answer to their newly acquired Zodiac license and looked to the Barouh family’s growing brand of brilliant watches that paired sophistication with robust energy. What began in Latin America as a popular line of children’s watches quickly developed into an avant-garde hit in the United States as Michele debuted the CSX-Diamond Chronograph that catapulted the company’s success and garnered Fossil’s attention. Fossil, no doubt interested in the Barouh family’s long story, placed the brand in the midst of a wide audience, hungry for a product that paired high luxury with the keen workmanship that had become synonymous with the Fossil name. Fossil gave it Swiss movement and refined Michele’s processes and materials, which thrusted the brand into the high-end market where it has seen unbounded success.

Inbound Marketing

Perpetuating Michele’s success is an inbound approach to marketing. Rather than spend millions on advertising over television and radio, Michele seems to do just fine by providing engaging content that has people buzzing about the watches’ designs. Michele  has both a Facebook and a Twitter page, each with thousands of followers and fans. With multiple daily posts, the watchmaker has created a community of people interested in the newest fashions and designs Michele has to offer. On its Facebook page, the company posts updates of contests, new product launches and trade shows. By creating and posting content that is relatable and relevant to its key demographics, Michele saves millions of advertising dollars and still grows a wide audience. It would do well, however, to include information that does’t push its products so much that they alienate visitors who have been trained to avoid such heavy bombardment of product pushing, advertisement and other outbound marketing. By posting information that reveals little known aspects about Michele’s history, the watch industry and the inside of the company, the current 12,422 fans on Facebook can only grow as the company becomes more revered as a vessel of knowledge and seem less like just another channel to pump products through.

Next, we’ll finish up with the three remaining reasons attributing to Michele’s success in this economy. Prices play a huge role in the market for high-end luxury and you definitely get quality when you pay for it. We’ll even discover another marketing tool the company uses to ensure it’s success in part two of the series.