The Jewelry Watch

Against all odds1 I truly enjoy the idea of owning a jewelry watch, and trust me the odds are great. I align myself with designers, more specifically the designers who follow the teachings of the Bauhaus2 but every now and then, when the sun shines right, I fall in love with a fashion watch. So far that has only been thrice but still, I find this style of watches interesting.

When I was first getting into watches I was warned about the ‘Fashion Watch’ and too these watch reviewers credit, these cheap drop shipped watches are horrible quality3, and most likely also horrible ethically, however there is a lot more nuance. In the grand scheme of watchmaking the ‘Fashion Watch’ can actually be really interesting, brands like Cartier for example do almost entirely focus on making ‘Fashion Watches’ and tend to be absolutely beautiful. Cartier is full luxury, but what about SpaceOne, or Xeric4 which make more avant-garde standout watches but are just a bit cheaper. My favorite three fashion watches mentioned are the Bvlgari Serpenti, the brand new Reflection De Cartier, and the SpaceOne Jumping Hour.

The Bvlgari Serpenti was the first Jewelry Watch that I fell in love with5, and my personal favorite is the Tubogas Steel 101828. This particular reference has everything just right for me. The tail is long enough to be different, but it’s not too long, I personally don’t like gold on a watch unless it is in the context of a tiny vintage watch like a Universal Geneve watch, and the actual watch component is 35mm6, in one dimension kind of hard to figure out where they measured if I am honest. Also, just snakes, snakes are so cool I would love to wear a snake on my wrist. The only disappointment of this watch is that it only uses a quartz movement, and we know Bvlgari has some great watchmaking talent because of their ultra-thin Octo series. That is a problem I will get to later.

Bvlgari Serpenti Tubogas

The second Jewelry Watch I fell in love with in this personal timeline was the SpaceOne Jumping Hour7. This watch would fit incredibly well on my wrist, and something about the linework on this watch really satisfies me. I particularly love the brushed and polished version, it just looks cool. This one fits more on the Avant-Garde scale of things than the jewelry side of things but still, I enjoy it. Unfortunately I think I missed my chance with this model but I would love to wear this around for a bit and see how it really fits me.

SpaceOne Jumping Hour Brushed Stainless Steel

Finally in this timeline, the newest being the Reflection De Cartier Cuff. Introduced this year at Watches and Wonders, I first saw this through. Hodinkee Article and I immediately fell in love with the Rose Gold version pictured8. I would hate to try to read the time on this watch but I would love to wear this cuff, and this is one of my few exceptions where I actually love the gold. Specifically this image from Cartier, that I then took from the aforementioned Hodinkee post, really sells the watch for me9. That reflection of the dial on the blank side and seeing the intricate cut-outs in the gold it just makes me happy.

Cartier Reflection De Cartier Cuff

Okay so now that you all know which Jewelry Watches I do enjoy, there are a couple very large elephants in the room, one being the gem set watches10. These watches just look lazy to me, take an already good looking watch and add hundreds of little diamonds on it and see it for three times the price. That is just my opinion and I do think these gem set watches do deserve to exist but I will never like them, the other problem I have with these Jewelry Watches is the prices. These watches are made to be status symbols and therefore usually use a cheaper movement, or just use really expensive materials and then before you know it a really beautiful watch is marketed only towards morally bankrupt billionaires11. The ultimate struggle is enjoying art for arts sake in a world where only the rich and privileged can enjoy that art. I do consider myself to be privileged in that way, I am by no means rich but I am white and American and have benefitted on white supremacy my entire life, just right now I am on this incredible trip that so many people don’t have the opportunity to take. After all these words I have a simple(er) thesis for you all. Jewelry Watches showcase incredible artistry, but this artistry comes at a cost, and that cost is directly linked to the oppression that needs to be torn down. Yeah, that’s right, I’m still a downer.

  1. See the very last sentence ↩︎
  2. How I would (maybe) love to go back in time and study at the Bauhaus ↩︎
  3. Gucci, Armini-Strom, etc. ↩︎
  4. Not talked about here, but still interesting ↩︎
  5. It was genuinely eye-opening ↩︎
  6. Stainlesssteeli-locks ↩︎
  7. My last remaining bit of techbro ↩︎
  8. Still surprising to me ↩︎
  9. So whimsical ↩︎
  10. This has been consistent through all of my passions ↩︎
  11. Oh boy, here she goes again ↩︎