Designs That Shine 2017

Good design springs eternal.

Attentive design and fine craftsmanship are always in style and turn trends into timeless classics. A carefully designed and constructed architectural Art Deco ring crafted nearly a century ago, for example, has beauty that endures, as does a quality timepiece whose hands have ticked for over a hundred years. The top Vancouver jewellers and watchmakers featured here have a knack for keeping their designs current—without ever sacrificing the timeless appeal of quality.

Chopard Comes to Vancouver’s Luxury Row

Canada’s first freestanding Chopard Boutique recently opened its doors on Vancouver’s Luxury Row. Since Louis-Ulysse Chopard first founded the brand in 1860, Chopard has become synonymous with creativity and quality. To this day, Chopard remains and independent jewellery brand whose most valuable heritage is the artisans who craft their striking pieces by hand, using the same as time-honoured techniques they always have.

Rihanna Loves Chopard

Official partners with the Cannes Film Festival since 1997, the world-renowned jewellery house created 70 one-of-a-kind pieces in celebration of the festival’s 70th anniversary this May. This year’s festival also provided the backdrop for Chopard’s unveiling of its collaboration with Rihanna, Rihanna Loves Chopard. The pop star and style icon worked closely with Chopard’s designers to create several Haute Joaillerie pieces for Chopard’s Red Carpet collection, as well as her own unique reboot of Chopard’s 1990s Ice Cube collection, Ice Cube Pure.

Vancouver Exclusive: Ice Cube Pure

Rihanna’s limited-edition Ice Cube Pure collection is crafted from ethically sourced gold and jungle green ceramic. This line of elegant, minimalist creations provides the ultimate in customizable wearability: pieces can be worn alone or layered according to the wearer’s personality or mood. The Rihanna Loves Chopard Ice Cube Pure line will be carried in Canada exclusively at Vancouver’s Chopard boutique.

Treasures for Everybody

The new Chopard boutique features a dedicated men’s section and two women’s sections, one of which is dedicated to Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie collection. The store carries an extensive selection of jewellery and watches, as well as the full Chopard accessories line, which includes handbags, wallets, and scarves for women, as well as wallets, cufflinks, and ties for men. Chopard’s exquisite collection of fine writing pens and pencils make gifts to be treasured, even by those hard-to-buy for people who seem to have everything already.


Costen Catbalue Goldsmiths + Design

Costen Catbalue Goldsmiths + Design’s Andrew Costen and Mary Ann Buis work closely with their clients to create hand-forged, one-of-a-kind custom pieces whose quality craftsmanship and deep personal value stand the test of time.

Variations on Costen Catbalue’s “Symphony of Colour” Flexifit bracelet (which won an award for best use of platinum and colour at the American Gem Trade Association’s Spectrum Awards in 2016) and multi-gemstone rings and pendants continue to be favourites with their clients. “We’re also starting to see a lot of interest in yellow diamonds and sapphires,” Costen notes.

Especially known for its vast array of different-coloured gemstones—Canadian diamonds, garnets of all colours, sapphires in virtually every hue, to harder-to-find spinels, unheated aquamarines, and more—Costen Catbalue’s selection of stones run the gamut from traditional to exotic.


MJ Jewellers

John Leung has been crafting quality, hand-forged custom jewellery since MJ Jewellers first opened its doors in 1986. Leung favours minimalist design with clean lines to let the beauty of MJ Jewellers’s extensive selection of coloured stones shine through.

According to Terry Leung, who helps run the family-owned boutique, “Simple stacking rings and diamonds in every colour have been particularly popular lately,” he says. He sees this as a trend with staying power, “especially when crafted as a unique gift using the birthstones of various family members.” Such custom-designed collaborations become meaningful heirlooms that are sure to be passed down for generations.


Palladio

Whatever the trend du jour, custom-designed, hand-forged pieces always retain a sentimental value for their owner, and whether it’s timeless jewellery or a fine timepiece, Palladio’s Jason Bosa insists, “Quality never goes out of style.”

“Many of Palladio’s clients have been going back to basics, like diamonds and 19-carat gold,” explains Bosa, “and the quintessential round, brilliant-cut diamond in a four-claw setting is as popular as ever.”

Bosa expects, though, that “This coming year will bring a resurgence of coloured stones as the global economy settles and people begin to buy pieces for reasons other than their investment value.”

While Palladio continues to carry the watches its clients know and love—and Rolex remains the most popular of these—the store now also offers “extremely collectible, limited, and rare lines,” says Bosa. One such manufacturer, F.P. Journe, limits its production to a mere 750 watches a year. Timepieces such as these are imbued with both the personal value they hold for their collector and the investment value of a collectable.


Panerai Officine Comes to Canada’s Pacific Coast

Vancouver’s Luxury Row has another addition worth celebrating in the new Panerai Boutique. Telling watch aficionados about the merits of a Panerai watch is preaching to the choir. Panerai’s timepieces are so well known in collector circles, that some find it hard to believe the brand’s watches have only been available commercially since 1997, when the company was acquired by the Richemont Group.

Panerai’s history, of course, goes back much further, to 1860, when Giovanni Panerai opened Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy, and it was under the leadership of the founder’s grandson, Guido Panerai, Officine Panerai became the official supplier of watches and precision instruments to the Regia Marina (the Royal Italian Navy) by 1900.

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge

Although Panerai no longer supplies the military with watches, its ties to the nautical sphere remain strong, and the brand has long promoted traditional sailing culture by sponsoring such events as the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the foremost international circuit for vintage yachts. In 2007, the company acquired and restored its own classic yacht, a 1936 Bermudan ketch dubbed “Eilean,” which now represents the brand at vintage and classic boat rallies and regattas.

Design

The design of Panerai’s watches Panerai’s maritime connections are emphasised in the design of its timepieces. Panerai timepieces are a balanced amalgam of Italian design, expert Swiss technology, and the brand’s maritime connections.

Today, the Panerai line of watches is divided into five collections: Radiomir, Radiomir 1940, Luminor 1950, Luminor, and, its latest addition, the Luminor Due series. Inspired by the Luminor 1950’s classic lines, the new Luminor Due’s collection represents the next phase in Panerai’s history, offering Panerai enthusiasts a contemporary revision of the classic—the thinner Dues fit comfortably under a sleek suit jacket—without compromising the iconic aesthetic of the original.

The Luminor Due collection is comprised of the Luminor Due 3 days and the Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic, both of which are available with stainless steel, titatinium, or red gold cases and with alligator straps in a choice of colours.

All Panerai watches are numbered limited editions and each of these editions is faithful the tradition of the brand as the flawless marriage or distinctive design and precision watchmaking.


 Stittgen Fine Jewelry

Having designed and crafted fine jewellery in Vancouver for over half a century, Stittgen Fine Jewelry has built a reputation for quality and attention to detail. Whether custom made or ready to wear, each of Stittgen’s pieces is crafted using time-honoured techniques—never cutting corners—because true quality takes time and is built to last.

Stittgen’s Selina Ladak firmly believes that quality design and craftsmanship never go out of fashion. “Well-crafted, attentively designed pieces,” she explains, “will never look out-dated.”

Stittgen’s West Vancouver flagship store showcases the brand’s extensive collection and accommodates clients seeking custom designs with in-house goldsmiths, while the jeweller’s boutique in the Four Seasons Hotel downtown offers extended hours and is conveniently situated for world travellers to view select designs. In both locations, Stittgen’s team of experts guides clients toward pieces that they will wear with love for years to come.

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