When I think of Skulls I envisage Pirates, my high school science lab and the classic song Dem Dry Bones. So often associated with death the imagery of the Skull has never been something I have been into but it seems with the growing interest in Tattoo inspired Art and Mexican traditions the Skull motif is gaining momentum. Over the last couple of years we have seen many major watch companies including Hublot (Sugar Skull), HYT (Skull) and even Richard Mille (Tourbillion Skull) create their version and now more designers are jumping on board and adding their own twist. If I am going to embrace the skull it has to be beautiful and artistic with a creative and feminine vibe. Here are my top three Skulls (in no particular order) that are too sweet to be ignored.
Mr Jones: The last Bloom
I am a massive fan of Mr Jones Watches and their new piece The Last Bloom ticks all the boxes for me to give the Skull a shot. The Edward Carvalho-Monaghan design references the work of William Morris but is recast through a psychedelic prism of brilliant, artificial colour. Edward describes The Last Bloom design: “With the Mexican Day of The Dead in mind, The Last Bloom reminds us that life and death are inextricable bedfellows and we need not labour in darkness, but instead savour the beauty of nature’s transiency”.
What I love about The Last Bloom is the way you read the time, on the Skulls Teeth. The upper teeth show the hours, while the lower teeth show the minutes, it's quirky cool. The watch is powered by a 20 Jewel Automatic Mechanical movement, has a 5ATM water resistancy and is 316L stainless steel, but it is the beautiful hand mixed pad printed colours that are such a stand out. Priced at £195 (approx US$250 / €225) it is available in a limited edition run of 100 pieces exclusively from https://mrjoneswatches.com/
Rose & COY: Art collection skull rose
The Skull Rose by new Australian brand Rose&Coy offers a sophisticated and edgy twist on our Skull. From the Art Series the Skull Rose represents new life (or love) after something has come to a conclusion. New beginnings after an end. Featuring original hand painted pictures commissioned especially for Rose&Coy by Queensland Artist Kane Kolaris (@kanekokaris) the Skull Rose is available in both a 40mm and 34mm case. What I love most about the Skull Rose is the attention to detail in the Roses, they just seem to launch off the dial. This combination of Dior rouge red Roses, a Louboutin inspired Italian leather red soled strap and ultra slim 4.1mm thick case is married together to create a very assured timepiece. With the debut release of Rose&Coy scheduled for July you can get on the waiting list for the Skull Rose by contacting http://www.westendcollection.com.au/ RRP from $239 AU.
Fiona kruger: celebration skull
It would be amiss for me to not include a piece by the Iconic avant-garde Horologist Fiona Kruger in this collection. Kruger is a trail blazer and inspiration to so many Women in the watch industry for her non-traditional take on what a Ladies watch should be. Her CELEBRATION SKULL is a joyful design inspired by the themes of time, mortality and the celebration of life. Taking its cues from the Mexican celebration of Dia de Los Muertos, each colour used in the design of the watch has a specific meaning pertaining to the celebration. Blue means trust, yellow means death, red means life, white is purity, pink is celebration, purple means grief, orange means sun, and black is mortality. The Superluminova details glow in the dark to reveal the iconic skull and the Skull shaped case has a very cool cranium inspired opening through which you can see the amazing Swiss Mechanical Automatic movement. Produced as a limited edition of 24 pieces and valued at 25,000CHF (@ $36,000 AU) this is truly an inspirational timepiece. You can learn more about the world of Fiona Kruger at http://www.fionakrugertimepieces.com/
"Buying Active Wear in my Active Wear" is a line from a Skit Box parody that rings pretty true. Athleisure, Active Wear, tight as hell Gym Pants or whatever you want to call them are killing skinny Jeans faster than it takes me to try and squeeze into them. With an estimated $83 Billion dollars speculated to be spent by 2020 on the latest lifestyle gear this is a trend the watch industry must embrace. For me in this category it's all about balance and the company handstanding on the balance beam is Alpina.
Alpina and Swiss brand MMT have teamed up to release the Comtesse Horological Smart Watch. The MMT AL-281 module featured inside the watch case allows the user to track different activities such as exercising and sleep, as well as receiving call and email notifications, all this linked through the MMT-365 app on the user’s phone. This is where the balance I appreciate so much comes into play. So often it's either fitness or communication but with the Comtesse you get both. The four new versions in the Comtesse Collection have a 36mm fiberglass casebody are lightweight and highly shock- resistant.
So what does it do? Here is the mega list of features!
Notifications: This feature sends you a notification whenever you receive an email or as calls from your contact numbers.
Activity Tracking: Keep track of daily steps, calories burned, and total distance.
Sleep Monitoring: Wear the watch at night or put it under the pillow to record the sleep pattern. (um hello so smart!) A sleep tracking function provides details on how much time you spent in deep sleep, light sleep, or awake.
Always On-Time & Date: You never have to set a time and date – traveling across time zones, the Horological Smartwatch picks up the time from your smartphone and displays new time automatically.
Sleep Cycle Alarm: Set a smart sleep alarm that will help you to wake up at the best appropriate time in your sleep cycle so that you wake up refreshed.
Get-Active Alerts: Set an alert to remind you to move if you’ve been idle for a set amount of time; you can customize your Get Active Alerts directly through the MMT-365 app.
Dynamic Coaching: Receive suggestions, tips, and information catered specifically to you based on your activity and sleep goals.
Cloud back-up and restore: Recover all of your data, even if you lose your watch or phone. The Horological Smartwatch independently stores your activity and sleep for 30 days without having to synchronize it to your smartphone. A great way to collect and keep your data on-the-go!
Worldtimer 24 time zones: Frequent traveler? Keep track of your hometown’s time by simply entering your city into the app. You’ll always be able to know instantly when is the ideal time to call your loved ones or business partners back home.
The Comtesse is due to hit Aussie shores soon and you can learn more about it by visiting alpinawatches.com/ or contacting Lion Brands on (03) 9572 9820. As I write this piece sitting in my Active Wear (truth) and learning about the innovation watch companies like Alpina are taking to stay relevant to the market, I am so happy that it is the Athleisure trend we are following and not Male Rompers. Just saying!
Christmas is here and if you are a Watch lover, have a Watch obsessed person to buy for or are just looking for some gift giving inspiration I am here to help. This year I was overwhelmed with an epic amount of submissions and amazing watches to feature in my gift guide. It has been exhaustingly hard to pick only a few Ladies and Men's pieces for each category that are unique and special but I have found something for everyone, even your dodgy Uncle! This eclectic mix of new and established brands and some of my favourites from this year really showcase the amazing diversity of the Watch Industry and I hope you enjoy all the fun, fantasy and fantastic pieces I have for you. Remember this guide is really only a teaser, their are so many incredible watches you can pick for Christmas 2016 so make sure you click on through and visit the linked websites. Let the Gift Giving Begin!!!
Fabulous Finds Under $1000: It's Been A Good Year Santa
A Little Bit Splurgy Under $5000: This Year Rocked Santa
I so need this Over $5000: Santa I completely killed it this year!
I want to thank all the wonderful Watch Companies, Distributers, PR Agents and watch loving peeps that I have worked with this year. It has been a real privilage for me to be a part of all the exceptional work that you are doing in the watch industry, I am truly excited to see what 2017 will bring. For all my readers and supporters a huge Merry Christmas to you and your families, may the time you spend together over this season bring you all great joy. Merry Christmas Melinda C