Archive for March, 2010

h1

Ben Bridge Style: Nicole’s Favorite Piece

March 26, 2010

The ever-stylish Nicole Brent of our marketing department shares one of her favorite Ben Bridge pieces: a sapphire and diamond stackable ring set!

Stackable Sapphire and Diamond Ring

One of my favorite pieces that we carry is our sapphire stackable ring. I really like this ring because it’s sapphire and that’s my birthstone. Shout out to September birthdays!

I also find this ring very versatile since its actually three separate rings, you can wear them individually, or staggered in a stack, or a variety of other combinations. With three different colors of sapphire and three different colors of metals, the value and the wearability are maximized.

I think it’s a PLUS ONE for any wardrobe!

h1

The Last Day in Basel: Patek Philippe and Tissot

March 22, 2010

Our trip is almost over and WOW the things we have seen!

Tissot T-Race Nicky Hayden Limited Edition

Tissot had some wonderful new watches today including some new limited editions. They introduced a new Nicky Hayden watch that is very cool and also a new limited Moto GP watch. They also had some great new ladies models.

Patek 7021/1G-001

Patek 7021/1G-001

Patek Philippe had amazing timepieces as usual. I don’t think I could do them justice in trying to describe them though. They expanded the ladies Nautilus line with some stunning diamond bezel watches.

Patek 5960P

One of the coolest pieces they launched was a new 5960 complication annual calendar chronograph with day, date, and month apertures, power reserve and day night display. It has a blue dial and blue strap and a 40.5mm platinum case. It will retail for $78,800. Amazing!

Its been a wonderful trip- I wish I could tell you all that we’ve seen but it is truly overwhelming to even think about!

We fly out tomorrow early in the morning but since I am still here I will sign off one last time—

Three kisses from Basel!

-Katie

h1

Basel Day 3: Rolex

March 20, 2010

What an exciting day!  As promised, more about Rolex.

Rolex Datejust 31mm with 24 Diamond Bezel

First they finally came out with an Everose Pearlmaster with a 12 diamond bezel. It is stunning! They also released a number of 31mm pieces in steel and white gold, steel and yellow gold and steel and Everose gold with new diamond bezels that have 24 diamonds on a smooth bezel. It is a big year for the ladies!

New Rolex Submariner

The new Submariners look amazing. The black dial black bezel Sub has the ceramic bezel and the movement has been upgraded with a parachrome hairspring. Although the case is not larger, it looks like it is. The case lugs are twice as wide as the Classic Sub making the watch look larger.

New Rolex Green Submariner

The new Green Submariner looks amazing!  It will be slightly more expensive than the black Sub because the green dial is made with powdered green gold.  It is so cool!  Both Subs have 18k white gold hands, markers, and inner rings. No detail was overlooked—the new Subs will be a hit. Hopefully they will deliver late this summer. No pre-sales please!

We are running fast from appointment to appointment. Saturday at the show is always a challenge because the public is invited to the show. In addition to all the buyers, reporters and brand representatives we are dodging Swiss and German locals and often their pets! It was a mad house today. The show was packed with people but had a great buzz of energy and excitement. What a great job I have!  I am blessed!

More tomorrow. We will be seeing Patek Phillipe which is always an amazing appointment because their watches are works of art.

Three kisses!

Katie

h1

Basel Day 2: Tag Heuer and Gucci

March 19, 2010

Today was a crazy day. We saw a ton of great things but I only have time to tell you about a few of them—if I tried to tell you about all of them I would be back in the States before I was done!

Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum

We met with Tag Heuer today after attending a party last night celebrating 150 years of innovation. To celebrate they launched a new concept watch, the Pendulum. The Pendulum is an automatic watch that runs without a hairspring. Historically, the hairspring has been an integral part of the watch movement, regulating time keeping. The Pendulum movement replaces the traditional hairspring with a magnetic field. Pretty amazing technology! Although the Pendulum watch is still a concept we saw a working model.  Tag doesn’t know when or if they will put the watch into production.

The "Pendulum"

As usual they are the leaders in innovation and design in the watchmaking world, following on the heels of the Monaco V4 they developed a few years ago that featured a movement designed with ball bearings and drive-train belts rather than traditional gears and springs.

Tag has a bunch of fantastic new items coming out this summer.  My favorite is the new ceramic and stainless steel Formula 1. Ladies ceramic watches are everywhere here in Basel but the Tag Heuer collection is priced to sell and are stunning—especially with the diamond bezel.

Tag Heuer Carrera 1887

They are also launching their own patented in-house movement: the Tag Heuer 1887 chronograph. It features an oscillating pinion 2/1000th of a second column wheel and is touted as being 30% more efficient than other automatic chronograph movements.  It has a bi-directional winding system and a 50 hour power reserve.  It is a noteworthy accomplishment. The caliber 1887 will be in some of the watches being released this fall including a limited edition SLR Calibre 1887.
 Tag had an outstanding selection of new offerings at fantastic price points. There are many great things to look forward to this year!

Tag Heuer 1887 Movement

Gucci was a fun appointment, as well. The group is reaching into its history books to reintroduce some of its best successes and is also introducing some new classics.

Gucci U-Play

First the fun stuff. Remember the interchangeable bezels?  They are back!  But better than ever. The new Gucci “U-Play” collection.   Each watch comes with an interchangeable bracelet and bezel set. You can easily change the look of the watch by removing the bracelet and putting on a strap or simply changing the bezel color.   The new interchangable design allows the wearer to change the combination of colors and materials to fit any occasion or just express herself. U-Play will be tons of fun!

Gucci is also launching their new G-Timeless collection. There is a watch for everyone. The new collection is simple but elegant and the prices are terrific.  These are available for delivery now and will be in stores soon! 
I have to run- I am late for dinner!

Until tomorrow-
Three kisses!

Katie

P.S. I was told yesterday that my blog was so exciting people were waiting in anticipation, like pre-teens girls awaiting the next Twilight novel!  I am touched!  I have to give credit to my editor Marc Bridge for putting the final touches on for me.

h1

Basel Day 1: Corum, TW Steel, and a sneak peek at Rolex

March 18, 2010

Greetings from Basel!

Our first day was a great success even though we are moving a little slow due to jet lag. I can’t possibly tell you all the things we’ve seen so I will touch on a few highlights.

Corum Admiral's Cup Deep Hull 48

We started off at Corum. Corum is a brand that’s been around for 50 years and is best known for the coin watch. As it’s evolved it’s become much more, they have delved into sailing watches like the Admirals Cup and this year are introducing a new dive watch. The Deep Hull is a sophisticated dive watch that is a limited edition and really cool!  The US will only see about 100 units of the 500 being produced in the regular titanium version and will only see about 25 of the 255 produced in the PVD all black version. They had a number of other offerings including Admirals Cups with complications like a Foudroyante which times to one eighth of a second. Those too are limited editions.

TW Steel "Cool Black"

My favorite appointment of the day was with a new upstart brand we will soon be launching in some of our stores. TW Steel (The Watch) is a great value for an oversized manly watch. Most of the watches are 45mm in size- some larger. It is a men’s line with simple readable dials (except the “Cool Black” which has black numerals on a black dial) with oversized crowns all on straps. They are a ton of look for not a lot of money.  I am excited for my return to launch these in some of our stores.

Last and certainly not least, a sneak peek into an appointment we have Saturday-Rolex!  We always have to peruse the windows first thing at the show to see what they are launching. We all knew there would be a new Steel Submariner but they also launched a new Submariner with a green dial and green bezel. It looks great – I can’t wait to see it in person on Saturday. I don’t want to spoil Saturday’s blog by telling you any more about the windows but there are some really exciting ladies pieces coming too-stuff we’ve been waiting for!

Three kisses!
Katie

h1

Live from Basel: Coming Soon!

March 17, 2010

The BaselWorld Show Floor

We are on our way to Basel, Switzerland for the BaselWorld Watch and Jewelry Fair. BaselWorld is touted the largest and most important show in the industry.  Last year approximately 93,900 visitors, including 3000 from the media, 2000 exhibitors, and 5 from Ben Bridge, came to the small city of Basel to be a part of the excitement and energy that BaselWorld is.

The show is unique in our industry because it is open to the public.  Exhibitors that attend build giant booths, more like small offices, inside the convention center so appointments are held inside, while outside the booth the general public (often with their dogs or children) can walk through admiring the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.

The Swiss are the leaders in the watch making world and many of the top brands in the industry attend the fair.  I am looking forward to seeing what new product launches await for the year from some of the best brands in the world like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer, and more.

In the spirit of the Swiss, you should know they always say “Hello” and “Goodbye” with three kisses on the cheeks so-

Three Kisses!

Katie

h1

Lisa in Asia: Day 5

March 10, 2010

Well, it’s our last full day here in Hong Kong.  We have a number of appointments but also want to take a bit of time to walk through the show and look for potential new vendors.  The show is absolutely enormous filling level after level of the convention center.  It’s hard to even see one whole floor let alone the five that exist!

Our team at the end of the day

This trip, we have found some great new engagement rings and bridal sets.  One ring in particular grabbed Peter and I from inside a display.  It is just perfect, and got an ‘ooh’ from Laurie when we showed it to her.  It is an emerald cut diamond with small diamonds around it, and an intertwined band.  I particularly liked the motion of the band, it had dimension and visual interest.  It’s a size that will make it very affordable, but is also just beautiful, any woman would be happy to wear it.  I can’t wait for it to come in and have customers fall in love with it like we did!

It was exciting to see different jewelry than I’m used to seeing.  This show is so international, that we saw a different variety of styles and gemstones highlighted.  I fell in love with Jade. lavender Jade in particular.  Jade isn’t something often seen in traditional U.S. jewelry stores, but is extremely popular in Asia.  It can be extremely valuable, with the best pieces being worth more than diamonds.  I know very little about the stone, so I simply enjoyed looking at the windows of beaded, carved, and ornamental Jade.

When we were in Italy, Laura mentioned that there weren’t many people in my age group at the show.  We talked about the future of our industry and how important it is to have the next generation coming up through the ranks.  In Hong Kong, it was totally different, there were lots of members of that next generation.  At many of our appointments we talked with not only the owners of the company, but their forward thinking children as well.  I think that the mix of experience and enthusiasm is essential to the future growth of the industry.

It has been a great trip.  We have found some new, different merchandise, and I can’t wait for our stores to see it!

That’s all for this trip.

Good Night!

Lisa