john varvatos leather bracelet

Beyond the Wrist: Five Cool Jewels Watch Lovers Could Appreciate

With both COUTURE and COUTUREtime happening in Las Vegas this week, we thought we’d do a crossover post for those who just might want a little something more than what’s currently on their wrist.

By Barbara Palumbo

The COUTUREtime show in Las Vegas is just a few days away and will house exhibiting Swiss, German, and Japanese watch brands the likes of Montblanc, Omega, Zenith, Grand Seiko, and several others. But what those attending the show don’t realize is that while the aforementioned brands have found their place at a venue that might actually give Baselworld a run for its money in the U.S. market pretty soon, COUTUREtime is *technically* only three years old. Let me explain...

Prior to 2016, there were a handful of watch brands (i.e. TAG Heuer) showing at the long-running COUTURE jewelry show at the Wynn in Las Vegas, but there came a point when there were enough watch brands exhibiting for the show to create a separate entity altogether – hence, COUTUREtime, which currently takes place in both the connecting Encore hotel as well as in the associated Villas.

But adding a separate watch section doesn’t mean the jewelry brands who showcase their work at the traditional COUTURE show shouldn’t get just as much attention. On the contrary, there are jewelry designers out there creating masterpieces worthy of the accolades many of the world’s most beloved watch brands receive, which is why we’ve decided to create this list of jewels by COUTURE designers that the watch-wearers of the world might both understand as well as appreciate.

The Watchonista team hopes to see you in Las Vegas!

If you’re an enamel enthusiast

With COUTUREtime watch brands like Montblanc (Villeret collection, anyone?) and Corum doing extraordinary things with enamel, it’s only fitting that we highlight one of the many jewelry houses also using the material in their designs.

Beirut-born designer Sélim Mouzannar uses beautiful Muzo emeralds and white round brilliant cut diamonds in the stack rings pictured here, but he surrounds the precious gems with layers of creamy-white enamel, allowing the stones to pop while also giving life to the high-polished rose gold ring settings housing the gems and the enamel inlay. Sélim Mouzannar’s fun and wearable works are not to be missed and can be found at the COUTURE show in Salon 1104.

If “Made in Germany” is your thing

There will be no shortage of German watch brands at this year’s COUTUREtime event. For those of you who say, “Ja!” to all things Deutsche, you’ll be able to try on watches by Mühle-Glashütte, MeisterSinger, and Junghans, just to name a few. But beyond watches manufactured in Germany, COUTURE will also be showcasing some of the finest German jewelry designers in the world, with none more praiseworthy than Peter Schmid of Atelier Zobel.

Using materials such as gray diamonds, uniquely-faceted rare gems, and a variety of metals including but not limited to pure 24K gold and 925 silver, Peter Schmid’s wearable art is coveted the world over. His highly-acclaimed works needs to be seen to be believed, and you can find them – and him – in Salon 517 at COUTURE.

If you’re into... you know... leather stuff

Rarely do you find a watch collector who doesn’t love a well-made leather strap, and some of the finest leather on the market just happens to be at COUTUREtime (because it also happens to have a timepiece attached to it [cough] [Hermès] [cough]). But for those who like the look of leather aside from the straps accompanying their favorite watches, there’s a new men’s jewelry line showing at COUTURE.

Renowned clothing, shoe, and sportswear design house John Varvatos recently commissioned award-winning jewelry artisan Gurhan Orhan to work with the brand on a line of jewelry, which – to our excitement – incorporates leather along with materials like brass, silver, 18k gold, and onyx. If you’re headed to Vegas, visit them in the Alsace 1 suite and be one of the first to view this collection in the flesh.

If you like it when your watches are “stoned”

One of COUTUREtime’s “crossover” watch brands (meaning, a brand that most jewelry and watch lovers want to claim as their own) is none other than Dior. Known for using gemstones (such as opal) for their dials as well as being a brand that isn’t afraid to get creative with inlay and other gemstone setting processes, Dior watches deserve every bit of attention from the jewelry community that they receive. And if you’re a fan of the work that Dior does on their dials, then Jacquie Aiche just might be the jewelry brand for you.

Known best for her super sexy Instagram page and her A-list celebrity following, those who are devoted fans of Jacquie Aiche know there is a lot of skill that goes into what she does, which is evident in this carved and inlayed opal and gold eye necklace. Visit Salon 907 at COUTURE to see more from this incredibly talented designer.

If you just want something that’s all-around amazing

There are a handful of watch brands out there that take finishing, gem setting, hand engraving, and design to the next level, and one of those brands will be exhibiting at COUTUREtime: Ateliers deMonaco. But if I had to pick a jewelry brand that offered the same in terms of craftsmanship, quality, creativity, and overall badassery, there is only one that comes to mind.

Buddha Mama is one of my personal favorite jewelry collections for which my reasons are plentiful. The brand offers it all: exquisite enameling, the finest finishing and polish work, ethically sourced materials, one-of-a-kind designs, superbly-cut fine-quality gems, intricate engraving, and high-carat gold. There is nothing not to love about this brand up to and including its mother/daughter design team. Do yourself a favor and pay them a visit at Salon 419 at COUTURE.

Be sure to follow @Watchonista on Instagram/Instagram stories for complete coverage of the COUTUREtime show in real time from Las Vegas!

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