Monday, July 20, 2015

Wristwatch Writings: Descriptive Elements for Friendly Conversations

A number of my friends have asked me for a listing of the descriptive elements that they can use when talking about their own wristwatches.  Here are some conversational starting points:
Overall Look

Formal, Smart Casual, Informal, etc.?
What is its personality? Classical, Modern?
How does it expand, complement, contradict your own personality?
Does it have any interesting, historical precedents?

Dials and Sub dials

Numbers or other indices on the dial?
Where are they placed?  Opposite each other?  At what hour indices?
Are they numbers, if so what font? Roman,  Arabic, etc.
If not, how are they designated?
Balanced or asymmetrical placement?
What are their functions (i.e. complications)?


What is its shape?
Does it have a decorative element?
What material(s) is it made from?


How many?  Hour, minute, sub dial hands—same or different than main ones?
What style are they?
What anchors them?  Gemstone(s)?

Casings (Cases)

Size in mm? 
Case material, e.g. stainless steel, IP rose gold, etc ?.
Are there variations among various dial and case materials — giving each a different look? (Example: black dial, silver numerals; white dial, black numerals?).
Shape? Rectangular, circular, oval, etc.?
What’s on the case back?


Mechanical? Quartz?


Strap:  What material is it?  Leather, Calfskin, Fabric, etc?
Bracelet Style?  Cuff,  Milanese, etc.?


Prong? Other?

I'll be adding to this initial, descriptive list.  It's just a starting point.

Help me out on this as we expand our conversations.   

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Remembering Everlasting Times: Isabel Marant's "A Hand in My Hand" Wristwatch

In an April 2014 blog post, "Timex: Time Spent on Durability," I recounted remembering my father's Timex watch and how much it meant to me to see him wear it.  It still reminds me of him when I wear it. It symbolizes our everlasting times together. The special occasion that I wore it was when Central Michigan University's College of Business Administration inducted him into its Hall of Fame in November 2014.

This month I discovered Isabel Marant through Net-a-Porter. One of her web collection showcasings  brought back similar memories of how a wristwatch can be a signifier for a daughter's time with her father.

Isabel Marant is a young French fashion designer with boutiques in Europe, the United States, the Middle and Far East.  In 2012 she created a wristwatch called, A Hand in Time." Her inspiration for it came from her paternal memories:

"A hand in my hand. My father's hand. A hand marked by time, magnificent like childhood memories. A thin wrist encircled by a gold watch, which stays in my memory like an extension of him."

What is particularly noteworthy and laudable about this timepiece is that it represents a global, ethically-based design/production collaboration between Isabel Marant and JEM Process (Jewelery Ethically Minded), also in Paris.  The JEM Process is based on a commitment to "transparency of the production chain and full traceability of the raw material" and an eco-responsible sourcing of precious metals, certified Fairmined.

Our parental memories can be so dear. I look forward to reporting more ethical design/production wristwatches coming from collaborations of such exemplary, principled caliber.    

Promoting Time for Pollinators: Chaumet’s Attrape-moi si tu m’aimes Watch Collection

This summer my Colorado perennial garden and wildflower photography have happily pre-empted writing my blog posts.  However, Chaumet’s Attrape-moi si tu m’aimes Collection captivated me.  The collection’s namesake theme translates, “Catch Me … If you love me.”   I couldn’t resist showcasing its masterful craft-skills and jewel-set pollinator scenarios alongside my own snapshots.

This isn’t the first time I’ve highlighted haute joaillerie watches in conjunction with pollinators or gardens in my posts. Last year I wrote “Botanical Companions: J.G. Ballard and Chaumet,” July 2014; and Ulee's Gold, Time Transfigured: Franck Muller's Double Mystery Collection,” November 2014.  But it’s the first time that I’ve combined the two.

First to the French House of Chaumet.  Its Attrape watch collection was introduced in 2013.  On each timepiece, the dial becomes an ecosystem capricio, a “naturalist theatre in which diamonds and the most dazzling coloured stones, dotted here and there, act out their roles side by side.” Fanciful imagination interprets the interplay of bees, spiders, butterflies and dragonflies— pollinators all—through the artistry of enameling, guillochage, miniature painting, and engraving.  No question, these are luxury watches paying homage to seasonal propagations.

For the now, here are two Chaumet dials to enjoy. 

Rhodium plated white gold, diamonds, cornelian, agate, quartz and mother-of-pearl, 35mm diameter (Large size).

Rhodium plated white gold, diamonds, agate and mother-of-pearl, 35mm diameter (Large size).

For a much more comprehensive review of the collection read Maria Doulton’s February 2013 post, “Chaumet's new Attrape-moi jewellery watches.

Now, to a second Now, my personal companion photos.  Two Colorado wildflowers, the Fendler Groundsel and the Columbine are among my favorite pollinator haunts.  The Fendler Groundsel  has small yellow flowers about an inch across …nice size for a watch dial… and very narrow petals. It belongs to the sunflower family which attracts a wide range of pollinators including butterflies, bees and flies.

Fendler Groundsel. Teller County, Colorado, July 7, 2015. Note butterfly and fly pollinators.© Maryhelen Raciti-Jones

The Colorado Columbine, Colorado’s state flower is found along roadsides, on hillsides and can be cultivated in gardens.  It has showy, spurred blue and white flower petals.  It too is a pollinator favorite providing nectar for hummingbirds, butterflies, native bees, and bumblebees.

Colorado Columbine. Teller County, CO. Perennial garden planting. July 7, 2015.  ©  Maryhelen Raciti-Jones

Finally, to my post's title -- promoting pollinators.

If you want to help sustain and expand the critical relationship between pollinators and garden plantings, consider becoming involved in the Pollinator Partnership.  

Although based in the US, it has North American and international ties.  One of its programs is S.H.A.R.E. (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment) where you can find out how to plant for pollinators and then register your planted area on the pollinator've done this for my Colorado perennial garden.

Take Chaumet’s Attrape-moi si tu m’aimes  as the impetus and craft your own tribute to pollinators and their worldwide plant propagation magic.