Diamonds are definitely a woman’s best friend, but a watch could also be her best investment. Kristen Shirley recognizes that the world of watches is one shrouded in mystery and stuffed with machismo that makes buying a watch daunting in the event you’re latest to the sport. Shirley, an ELLE alum and industry veteran, got down to lift the curtain on watches and their storied past with the Watch Encyclopedia on her latest digital platform, La Patiala.
For the uninitiated, La Patiala is a go-to resource and encyclopedia of all things luxury, from the way to shuck an oyster, which bottle of champagne to provide as a present, where to travel in Napa Valley, and, yes, the way to buy a watch. The Watch Encyclopedia is a set of fifty articles debunking every watch brand myth on the market, with instructions for where to spend your money, what mistakes to avoid when making your first big purchase, and the whole lot in between.
With over 20 years within the industry, Shirley is indeed a trusted source of data for the complicated world of watches, which should not only a utilitarian purchase—they’re investment pieces that stand the test of trends and time (no pun intended). Ahead of the vacation season, we spoke with Shirley concerning the Watch Encyclopedia, her dream timepiece, and the styles she thinks it’s best to gift (or ask for) this 12 months.
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Why do watches make one of the best gift?
Watches have been a conventional gift for special occasions and memorable moments for a long time—and for good reason. Watch design hasn’t modified significantly—a classic dress watch from the Nineteen Fifties has the same look to a up to date dress watch. So regardless that watches may be expensive, you understand you’re giving them a present that can last a protracted time and can remain stylish, regardless of what the style trends are. People also wear their watches lots and have a look at them ceaselessly throughout the day, in order that they can be reminded of you each time they check the time.
What’s your favorite watch that you simply own? You have to own plenty of them.
My favorite is my Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas watch. As a former fashion editor, I’m drawn to its distinctive design. It really does appear like a snake wrapping around your wrist, and it’s so fabulous. It stops people of their tracks once they see it, and also you don’t see plenty of people wearing one, so that you stand out from the group. I actually have the double wrap, which makes a very strong statement.
What’s the primary watch in your wish list?
Truthfully, there are too many to count! I’ve at all times loved Dior’s Grand Bal watches. Automatic watches normally have a rotor (a semi-circular weight) on the back of the watch movement that winds the watch as you wear it. Dior took the bizarre approach of putting the rotor on the front of the watch and decorating it using different métiers d’art, including feathers, diamonds, and engraved gold. I really like the way it twirls above the dial as you progress. My favorite is the Dior Grand Bal Plume with brilliantly covered feathers. It’s the right combination of fashion and high horology.
What prompted you to launch La Patiala and the Watch Encyclopedia?
I began my profession as a fashion assistant at ELLE, and by the point I left, I had an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion designers. In my next job, I began to cover more categories, and I used to be astounded by how difficult it was to earn about watches. They were so technical, and there wasn’t a resource that would teach me the whole lot I needed to know. A lot of the web sites focused on watch news and were geared towards enthusiasts and collectors who already knew lots about watches. I needed to learn the hard way—asking one million questions and doing copious amounts of research.
After near a decade covering watches, I desired to share the knowledge I had gathered and make watches accessible to those that appreciate craftsmanship and design. In spite of everything, watches may be extremely stylish. The Watch Encyclopedia includes the whole lot from a glossary of watch terms to movement basics and a breakdown of the important kinds of watches and complications.
I do know women who collect jewelry and purses, but are petrified of timepieces. I desired to strip away all of the fear and intimidation surrounding learning about watches and make it approachable to everyone. And even in the event you’re not concerned about watches but spend plenty of time with someone who’s, you’ll be able to quickly learn the fundamentals and know what they’re talking about.
Shop Kristen Shirley’s Favorite Luxury Watches
Cartier Panthère de Cartier
“The Panthère de Cartier is the right introduction to watches. The mini steel model has a 25mm diameter, so it feels more such as you’re wearing a bracelet than an enormous watch. (It stacks perfectly with bracelets, too.) Moreover, it boasts a quartz movement and retails for $3,200, which is one among the more reasonable options yow will discover from this luxury brand, imagine it or not.”
Hermès Cape Cod Watch, Small model, 31mm
“I really like the Cape Cod watch from Hermès. It has a sublime double wrap leather strap that makes it feel more special than a watch with a conventional strap. The strap can also be interchangeable and is available in a big selection of colours, so it could easily be swapped out to match any outfit.”
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duetto
“In the event that they’re ready for a mechanical watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Duetto is the right one. It’s actually the primary mechanical watch I purchased for myself. The Reverso Duetto has two dials—you’ll be able to flip it around to disclose a diamond-set dial that’s perfect for evening events. I really like that you simply get more use out of it with the second dial; it looks like you’re getting two watches for the worth of 1! The watch has an interchangeable strap, so it could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.”
“The Boy.friend watch is one among my favorite watches from a fashion house. Chanel incorporated its design codes, including a discreet octagonal case, into this beautiful dress watch, and it shows. The gathering has each quartz and manual movements, so you’ll be able to pick which one suits their lifestyle best. If they are going to wish to wind the watch every single day and appreciate the mechanics, get the manual movement. In the event that they wish to set the time and have it run for years, go for quartz. My favorite model is the beige gold with manual movement.”
Nomos Glashüette Orion 33 Duo
“Nomos makes modern minimalist watches that go together with nearly the whole lot. The Orion 33 Duo has an ultra-thin case and a clean white dial. It’s 33mm in diameter, so it’s on the smaller side, but still feels substantial on the wrist.”
Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori
“Bulgari recently updated its Serpenti watches with the brand new Serpenti Seduttori collection. It has a conventional bracelet design as an alternative of the only or double wrap, so it’s more of an on a regular basis watch that can get plenty of use. It still has the enduring case shaped like a snake’s head, and the bracelet has a scale motif.”
“The Limelight Gala is a contemporary icon. The design dates back to the Seventies, and was named after Salvador Dalí’s wife. It features chic asymmetrical lugs and an integrated Milanese bracelet crafted from interwoven golden threads. It also has 60 diamonds on the case. It’s an ideal gift for a marriage or milestone birthday.”