Today Is Tourbillon Day and Other Seasonal Calls to Action

Here at JCK, we’re on the brink of sending our July-August issue to the printer, marking the official start of our summer. In fact, we’re due to finish the issue this Wednesday, the same day I leave for a much-anticipated family vacation to my hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia. My trip coincides with the jewelry trade’s traditional summertime hiatus. In the spirit of the season, I’ve rounded up a few ideas, articles, and general points to ponder as you prepare for the dog days of summer 2017!

Today marks the 216th anniversary of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s invention of the tourbillon.

The master watchmaker patented the gravity-defying tourbillon (French for “whirlwind”) on June 26, 1801. The device revolutionized watchmaking by compensating for the effects of gravity on mechanical timepieces, which, at the time, tended to sit upright in gentlemen’s pockets. Although automatic wristwatches have made the tourbillon moot, modern watchmakers continue to be besotted with the pricey mechanism, often made visible through a cutout on the dial. If you stock high-end watches equipped with a tourbillon, use today’s anniversary as an opportunity to share the esoteric history of its creation. The Breguet site has all the information you’ll need.

Marine Equation Marchante 5887 in 43.9 mm platinum case with tourbillon, equation of time, and perpetual calendar, $230,400;

Is minimalism back in bridal?

Earlier this month, ran a story about Pinterest’s most popular engagement ring of 2017 (so far). Unlike last year’s choice, an intricate white gold ring by Verragio, this year’s winner—a round brilliant solitaire on a thin rose gold band—couldn’t be simpler or less ornate. Taken together with Refinery29’s “20 Minimalist Engagement Rings for the Non-Flashy Bride,” you’d be right to rethink the direction in which the bridal winds are blowing. Halos may, indeed, be here to stay, but for women less bound by convention, pared-down styles appear to be trending.

Pinterest’s most popular engagement ring of 2017 (so far)

Ippolita unveils new low-price strategy—and a campaign featuring a Gen Z–friendly superstar.

In an effort to target younger customers, Ippolita Rostagno tells WWD that she’s tapped Kendall Jenner to appear in campaign images wearing Ippolita jewelry of her own choosing (to underscore the brand’s new emphasis on “individual style”). In addition to the new positioning, the brand will also focus on pieces that retail for less than $500. Here’s the money quote, according to chief executive officer Jill Beraud: “How do we get out of this retail slump? I think one of the main strategies is around customizing and personalizing, giving our consumers a much more personalized service, and individually styling their wardrobes. We’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and money to train staff at our retailers and do a big relaunch of our e-commerce site, where we expect sales will double over the next six to 10 months.”

Make like former Secretary of State George Shultz and carve out time to do absolutely nothing (except think).

In April, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote an opinion piece—titled “You’re Too Busy. You Need a ‘Shultz Hour’”—in which he extolled former Secretary of State George Shultz’s habit of making time for quiet reflection. The piece resonated with me because, like most people, I’m uneasy when I’m idle. Tethered to my smartphone, I’m constantly refreshing my email, reading up on the latest news, and checking my Facebook page, and I can’t decide if it’s because I’m actually busy, or because I’d rather not be alone with my thoughts. An hour to do nothing but think? I’m sure it would make me uncomfortable, even though I know it’s exactly what I need. Just consider psychologist Amos Tversky’s wise words: “You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”

Mark your calendars for the Luxury Privé show in New York City.

The show opens on Sunday, July 23, and concludes on Tuesday, July 25. Instead of returning to the Waldorf Astoria, it will take place at the nearby InterContinental New York Barclay, with its famed Gin Parlour that sounds like the perfect place to plot your jewelry week social strategy. Use the show to catch up with familiar brands—Oscar Heyman, for example—and to discover up-and-comers such as Julie Lamb and Lost Bird Designs. See you there!

Julie Lamb ring stack, including her signature “Be Ewe” mini pavé ring;

JCK Magazine Editor