Bespoke Reverso From JLC

I’m a sucker for any type of customisation so when I heard that Jaeger-LeCoultre were introducing a new bespoke service for their iconic Reverso watch to celebrate 85 years since it’s introduction I was very excited.

A touch screen device has been installed in their Old Bond Street boutique, where customers can choose between three case sizes, 48 different dials (from mother-of-pearl to lacquered) and 80 custom watch straps (from ostrich to alligator). The ordering process takes about eight weeks to delivery and prices start from £3050. Get your order in.

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It’s No Sweat: Best Watch Bands For Summer

When it’s 90 degrees outside the last thing you need on your wrist is a padded exotic leather watch band. It’s a bit like wearing a parka in a sauna.

During the Summer months I tend to abandon my fine watch collection and strap a simple Swatch on to my wrist.This Summer I may have to change my mind.

I was recently sent one of the new alligator watch bands from Bianca Mosca that has a lining made from high performance antiperspirant rubber. Moisture is evaporated and the skin regulates the temperature under the strap to offer greater comfort allied to the elegance of the fine square scaled alligator leather.

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The other great thing about the Bianca Mosca watch straps is that you can customize their bands from a selection of eighteen colors, select different contrast stitching and get the exact fit and padding height you require for your watch. The straps are handmade in their workshop in France and can be ordered online from biancamosca.com They’re $275 with machine stitching. Hand stitching is a $50 option.

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The Right Time

When the illustrious name of Breguet is mentioned I am always reminded of the following passage from Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin, “A dandy on the boulevards (…), strolling at leisure until his Breguet, ever vigilant, reminds him it is midday.”

Whilst Breguet are rightly famous for their divine horological masterpieces they also offer a fine range of luxury accessories including an impressive array of writing instruments.

One of these is a solid silver and sapphire fountain pen with a clip in the shape of a watch hand to remind us of the manufactory’s watch making heritage. This is a truly impressive piece and a must-have item for collectors of all things Breguet. It is also a true reminder of the connection between the watchmaker and the craft of writing bon mots. £1500/$2250.

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The Noel Coward Look

The 1920’s heralded a sea change in fashion, music and lifestyle culminating in the smooth refined aesthetic of the 1930’s much in the same way that the epoch of France’s Louis XV produced a richer and more sumptuous version of luxury living than that of his grandfather the Sun King, Louis IV.

Nobody epitomises the mood of the 1930’s more than the actor, singer and playwright Noel Coward known by the soubriquet-The Master-who was by then at the height of his powers and described by Time magazine as possessing “a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise”.

When one conjures an image of Coward it is inevitably of him lounging in a silk dressing gown engaging in rapid fire repartee surrounded by a coterie of bright, young acolytes and fellow wits.

Silk is enjoying a moment with the recent arrival of decorative patterns on lavish silks, modern satins and even fine linen shirting heralding a sea change in men’s style.

Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès and Gucci have launched new designs in silk including light weight jackets and flamboyant geometric patterned shirts inspired by Corbusier in the case of Berluti.

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These louche peacock patterns chime with the vibe of 1930’s Berlin androgyny and call for accessories that fit the piece.

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For me Boucheron’s deco shaped Reflet watch with its striking alligator watch band and gorgeous white and sapphire dial is the epitome of androgynous statement. Paired with a bee-incrusted pyjama two-piece set it might seem a bit outré for some of us chaps, but – mark my words – it may well prove to be the ultimate evening wear at this Summer’s most elegant parties.

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How To Choose A Luxury Watchband

Whilst choosing a replacement watchstrap will change the look of your wristwatch selecting the right one can be a challenge.

Here are some of the factors you should consider when shopping for a new band.

Carefully examine the band you’re replacing: You may well be looking for the same or a similar strap to the one you wore previously but you could also enhance the appearance of your watch by getting a new watchband in a different color or material. It’s important to make sure that you measure the length and width of your old band so you can be certain that your new band will fit correctly. Another important measurement is the height of the padding in the band. A chunky watch such as a Rolex will look better with 5mm padding whereas an ultra thin Piaget is better paired with a flat strap with no padding at all.

Check how your current strap attaches: You’ll need to search for a new watchband that attaches in the same way as your existing strap and that fits flush with the lugs. You may well need a special tool to change the strap, or you may prefer to take it to a jeweler to get the job done for you.

Set your price point: Dependent upon how much you may wish to spend, watch band replacements can be inexpensive or highly priced. If you are seeking a truly luxurious option there is no substitute for Louisiana alligator leather as used by such prestigious watch brands such as Patek Phillippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. If alligator is your material of choice there are no better straps than those made by the master craftsmen of France. The best French watchbands such as those made by luxury goods brand Bianca Mosca are made from the finest square scale alligator skin and are entirely handmade and hand sewn. You can choose from a multitude of colors, matte or shiny finishes and even select the color of the stitching.

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Examine your lifestyle: If you are planning on taking your watch near to water, consider getting a durable backing for your strap made from rubber. For something to complement a dress watch alligator bands are usually your best option. Buying watchbands made from quality materials will make any watch look more luxurious and draw admiring glances.

de Grisogono’s “New Retro” Wristwatches

I’ll always have a soft spot for Fawaz Gruosi, founder of the Geneva based high class jeweller de Grisogono. Having created a modern legend known for it’s extravagant creations he has hit the proverbial nail on the head with his latest man’s wristwatch which he’s dubbed the “New Retro”.

The description “handsome” doesn’t do justice to this masterpiece seven years in development.

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The New Retro re-defines the category of non-round watches with a truly unique design that is at the same time both simple yet truly elegant and sophisticated. With inspiration from the 1950’s schools of watch design the new watch provides a panoply of views from which to observe the passage of time.

The black lacquered crown is cleverly positioned above 12 o’clock, a neat and thought provoking change from the standard location. The dial is easily readable with Arabic style numerals. Cut outs at 3 and 9 o’clock give the impression that both the dial and movement are somehow suspended.

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The movement is a black PVD coated mechanical type. The New Retro comes in five versions including Pink and White gold as well as Stainless Steel. All versions are sold with a square scaled alligator watch strap.

Prices start at $15,000 for the steel version.