Montblanc – Elegance in writing through a digital age

If anyone has watched the recent interpretation of The Talented Mr Ripley on Netflix, the originally titled ‘Ripley’, you will have seen such a plethora of stylish items, from Salvatore Ferragamo shoes to Alfa Romeos, and one of the most focused items appears to be Dickie Greenleaf’s pen. The Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 almost playing a starring role in the series.

Whilst there are many brands that create stunning pens, there really is only one choice when it comes to the real top level writing instruments that people long for. In the same way that Omega might actually make a better diving watch than Rolex, 99% of people still dream of owning a Submariner.

The brand started life in Germany in 1906, producing luxury writing instruments under various different names until 1909 when the name Montblanc became the famous brand that we know today. Inspired by one of the most famous mountains in the world, the emblem that is still used today is their representation of a snow-capped mountain, and features heavily in their products and publicity. Later on, the nibs of all Meisterstuck (German for Masterpiece) pens would be engraved with the number 4810, to represent the height in metres of the mountain the brand is named after.

During World War II, the factory that produced their range was destroyed and they had to rely on a facility in Denmark to produce their instruments, however post war they managed to shine with many new ranges being released and slowly becoming the brand that most people know them as.

During the 1960s and 1970s, and after being taken over by Alfred Dunhill, they became even more exclusive, abandoning the less expensive models and producing even more exquisite and elaborate examples of fantastic writing instruments with celebrities all queuing up to buy them. By the 1980s, if you were a rock star signing a contract, or a world leader signing a negotiation, you would be doing it with a Montblanc.

In the last 40 years, Montblanc has become synonymous with the art collaboration pens that they have embraced with items retailing for around the £8,000 mark, but with their jewelled collaborations have broken records The Montblanc Boheme Royal selling for a staggering £1.1 million. The Collaboration with Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Mystery masterpiece’ selling for just short of £550,000 and numerous other watches within their collections selling for astonishing figures.

The good news is, if you just want to write and enjoy a quality pen, Montblanc still have you covered in 2024 with a lovely ballpoint pen, the Pix available for £240… so if writing is your passion, and even if you aren’t signing multi million pound deals, one can still enjoy the elegance that a good pen brings.

Jewellery Pick of the Week Cannes Film Festival

It should come as no surprise to those who have read my previous articles that I would have chosen Cannes Film Festival for this week’s pick. A red carpet is always a good opportunity to see some of the most beautiful haute couture and jewellery which are inaccessible to most of us. Today I am looking at jewellery pieces by Tiffany & Co. worn by Camille Cottin – for whom I happen to have written a feature length jewellery heist screenplay.

As Mistress of Ceremony of the 77th Cannes Festival, and ambassador for Tiffany & Co., the spectacular French actress wore Tiffany Edge diamond drop earrings. These are set with 3.27cts of diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18ct yellow gold and retail for £32,800.

That same evening for the gala’s opening dinner, while still adhering to a very chic and elegant style, she sported another Tiffany & Co. suite from the HardWear collection.

Her neck was adorned with the Tiffany HardWear Graduated Link Necklace in yellow gold and pavé diamonds. It retails for £72,500 and is set with 9.07cts of diamonds.

The earrings en suite are set with 1.18cts of diamonds and retail for £15,800.

This particular jewellery line comes in white, yellow and rose gold, and can, as demonstrated the last few days, be worn to any circumstances, it really is a girl’s best friend.

The choice in design from Tiffany & Co. jewellery seems to resonate the theme of this year’s opening ceremony: women at the forefront of film and creativity. Camille Cottin’s speech mentioned #MeToo movement, the extraordinary Meryl Streep was awarded the Palme d’Or after a moving speech by Juliette Binoche, and Greta Gerwig (director of Barbie) was appointed President of the jury, six years after the last female jury president Cate Blanchett, in 2018. The HardWear collection says it all in its name and in its polished smooth and geometric lines. How could a jewellery collection be more perfect to echo both femininity and power.

Jewellery Remodelling and Rediscovering Lost Treasures

In an age where sustainability reigns as a paramount concern, the world of luxury is undergoing a profound transformation. Amidst this shift, an ancient practice finds renewed relevance: jewellery remodelling. Beyond mere aesthetics, this artful process breathes new life into forgotten treasures, championing environmental stewardship while indulging in the opulence of the past.

For those unsure of where to begin their jewellery remodelling odyssey, fear not – expert guidance from professionals like Lottie Leigh awaits. With a refined process honed over time, clients are gently ushered through the labyrinth of design possibilities. Even the most uncertain find clarity through collaborative visioning, discovering desires they didn’t know they had. It’s a journey of self-discovery as much as it is about transforming jewels, guided by passion and precision.

A Tradition of Elegance: From Aristocracy to Modernity

The art of jewellery remodelling is steeped in history, tracing its roots back through centuries of opulent adornment. From the courts of European monarchs to the palaces of Asia, this practice has long been a hallmark of aristocratic taste. Notably, the royal family has been a bastion of jewellery remodelling, with illustrious examples found in the treasure troves of the Princess of Wales. Pieces once cherished and now languishing in drawers find new life through thoughtful redesign – a testament to the enduring allure of sustainable luxury.

The Digital Canvas: Bringing Dreams to Life with CAD/3D Design

Innovation meets tradition in Lottie Leigh’s digital atelier, where dreams take shape with unparalleled precision, all driven by you. Here’s how Lottie facilitates this process: Through the marvels of CAD/3D design, you, as the client, assume full control, meticulously crafting every detail of your envisioned piece. Imagine this: a 360-degree image displayed on a screen, granting you the ability to explore and refine your creation to perfection.

But it doesn’t end there. Once your design is finalised, Lottie employs 3D printing technology to materialise it. This means you can not only see but also physically try on your design, ensuring it aligns seamlessly with your style and preferences. After all, being able to see and try on the design before anything is made is paramount. How can you truly know you love something without experiencing it firsthand?

This transformative tool not only streamlines the design process but also transcends geographical barriers, enabling seamless remote collaboration from inception to completion. It’s a modern twist on an ancient art, where imagination knows no bounds.

From Old to New: Trading Unworn Treasures for Fresh Beginnings

For those seeking to breathe new life into dormant jewels, an option exists to trade and upgrade unworn gemstones. Whether it’s diamonds, sapphires, or emeralds or other precious gems, these forgotten treasures find new purpose in bespoke creations. This exchange not only revitalises collections but minimizes environmental impact, aligning with the ethos of sustainable luxury. It’s a journey of transformation – a testament to the timeless allure of reinvention.

In the tapestry of luxury, jewellery remodelling stands as a beacon of sustainability and elegance – a testament to the enduring allure of heirloom treasures and the boundless creativity of human ingenuity. From the hallowed halls of royalty to the ateliers of modern artisans, this artful practice bridges past and present, leaving an indelible mark on both history and the future. As we embark on this odyssey of remembrance and renewal, may each jewel shine brightly, a testament to the timeless union of luxury and sustainability.

Doerr Dallas are delighted to have Lottie share her knowledge and expertise with us and our client base. Many of us have pieces gifted to us by our family members that are sitting in drawers that sadly we do not wear as fashion changes, so having an option to redesign is wonderful.

It is always important to remember that once you have ‘redesigned’ a piece of jewellery the need for re-valuing becomes more important. At the moment, with jewellery prices on the high street increasing; the price of gold going up daily, we are recommending to our clients to update their jewellery valuations if their current valuation was over two years ago.

This Week’s Jewellery Pick

I recently finished the multiple award-winning show The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you know what you’ll be doing straight after reading this article!

The main character, Midge Maisel, played to perfection by Rachel Brosnahan is based on Joan Rivers.

Other characters are real, such as Lenny Bruce, others fictional. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, it portrays women’s experiences in the mid-20th century, focusing specifically on a young Jewish woman trying it to make it on the comedy scene.

The series is mostly set in the late 50s and 60s and the costume and jewellery are divine. Costume designer Donna Zakowska created a dream wardrobe for all the characters, earning her awards for her creativity.

Not only are the dresses and jewels visually stunning, they add and carry the story, they are a story of their own. Today I will look at the pearls used in the series and especially one set of doublestrand cultured pearls which Mrs Maisel wears for her first official stand-up at the Gaslight Café (a sticky downtown New York club where the great Joan Rivers also performed).

In this moment she experiences great success, slightly undermined by some misogynistic remarks, then put to right by her estranged husband, and the outfit is perfect and effective. A black dress complemented by a pearl necklace.

The double-strand is strung and knotted with 6mm peach cultured pearls. The pearls appear to be uniform in shape, colour and lustre.

And when looking to purchase pearls, these are the most determining factors in assessing pearl necklaces. In this scene, the choice of colour sends the message of softness, being peach and not gold, and also lets us extrapolate that she could become very successful in the future, the pearls being almost golden. Mrs Maisel and her success shine thanks to the peachy colour and also due to the pearls’ lustre. Lustre measures the rate of light reflecting off the surface of the pearl and the sharpness of reflection visible on its surface. We often describe these as poor, fair, good and excellent. The better the lustre, the more radiance and glow they emit.

The pearls are also well matched and round. Their shape in this scene is key. She is trying to make a name for herself in a male dominated industry, all the while maintaining and celebrating her femininity and exposing her marital instability and struggles as a mother. The roundness works brilliantly.

Though the above baroque pearl necklace comes with a generous price tag of £7,500 they would have sent a very different message than perfectly round pearls.

It was common practise to have faux pearls at the time and they were very effective. In today’s market they do not have any value. The costs of cultured pearls vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned above, amongst others. But essentially, their value depends on what they mean and signify to the wearer.

Protecting the Cash in the Attic

Frequently, for those whose homes are filled with antiques and art – particularly when they have been treasured family possessions for generations – potential replacement values for insurance can be overlooked.

Whilst jewellery and silver are often undervalued for insurance – recent costs having increased – there are certain types of objects which can be discounted completely.

With that in mind, Doerr Dallas Valuations would like to share a few examples where interesting history and excellent quality have led to growing value and this fact may lead to under insurance.

Georgian Costume Jewellery

The 18th and early 19th centuries were a time of great innovation and advances in technology. One of the fields in which this was obvious was jewellery design. With sumptuary laws being ignored, and with a growing middleclass keeping up with the latest trends, the desire to own the most fashionable jewellery became widespread. This demand was met by advances in artificial stone production – what would now be described as paste jewellery. Paste stones could be manufactured in a range of dazzling colours – mimicking – or even more vivid than their precious stone equivalents. It made jewellery more affordable to the fashionable of the day.

Costume jewellery, in terms of its financial value, has often been disregarded in comparison with fine jewellery equivalents. However, in recent years a strong market for costume jewellery as a whole is evident. Recently, the Georgian paste jewellery market has strengthened resulting in rocketing prices.

At auction, estimates have been smashed – in February 2023 a suite of blue paste jewellery (parure) comprised of a necklace (which would have been attached by a ribbon), a bracelet and a pair of earrings was offered in auction (Woolley & Wallis lot 148) with an estimate of £200 – £300. The eventual total selling price was over £25,000!

Domestic Metalware

Objects made from brass, copper and pewter may appear ordinary but again their values can be surprising. Lighting, fire grates, door furniture, mortars are all things to consider when arranging an insurance valuation.

Early pieces are highly prized by collectors and their replacement value can be in the thousands. In a recent auction, (The Chapman Pewter Collection – Bishop Miller; April 2023) a rare pewter candlestick manufactured during the reign of Elizabeth I/ James I achieved a selling price of over £30,000 (Lot 43). If you are uncertain as to the origin of your metalware, it is always best to consult a specialist valuer.

Furniture

In recent years the antique furniture market has been much maligned, with reports of the decrease in values being widespread. While the market may not be that of the 1980s, quality antique furniture continues to be esteemed and seeking replacements competitive.

Modest oak and antique country furniture should be closely looked at when considering insurance. Windsor chairs, mule chests, dressers and farmhouse tables are respected amongst collectors.

Treen

In a similar vein to country furniture and domestic metalware – treen – domestic objects made from wood may have been disregarded. In this fierce collecting field, prices can be surprising and some objects extremely rare.

 

 

Toys, Games and Juvenilia

When considering a valuation, looking at the playroom or nursery may not be the first area for attention but with the market for antique toys and games proving ever popular, replacing these treasured possessions can be costly.

Important and interesting 18th and 19th century dolls houses are collected not only by those interested in toys, but for those with a passion for architectural history. These microcosms of the family home often include complete furniture and decoration – showing how families lived and operated their homes. To replace good examples, the anticipated cost will be upwards of £10,000.

Rocking horses have a history which dates back thousands of years – the toy in the current form has existed since the 19th century. Rocking horses, both antique and modern, are a focal point for a playroom and as such should often be insured. When looking to acquire a good 19th or early 20th century example, one should budget over £2,000.

Playing cards, board games and games compendiums may be valuable depending upon age, manufacturer and scarcity. Toy specialists can offer guidance on teddies, dolls and antique toys and games.

Exploring the hidden treasures in your attic could be a delightful journey down memory lane. These items which hold dear memories close to your heart might even surprise you with their financial value.

Angelica Kauffman

Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), who was a founder member of the Royal Academy and one of the most soughtafter portrait painters of her generation, is the subject of a major retrospective Exhibition at the Royal Academy, the first of its type in Britain in my lifetime.

The press release from the R.A. describes her as “one of the most celebrated artists of the 18th Century” and indeed she was. She was born in Switzerland and trained under her father before moving to various cities in Italy, ending up in Rome in 1763 where she became friends with Nathaniel Dance, the English portrait and history painter.

He, like many of his male contemporaries, fell under the spell of Angelica and sent her portrait of the actor, David Garrick, painted in Rome, to the Free Society in London, where it caused a stir. Who was this Swiss girl in her very early 20s who could paint such a powerful portrait? Even the thought of this young girl staring into the face of a man 25 years her senior, as Garrick was, must have caused a frisson. When she arrived in London a year later, she was inundated with commissions to paint portraits. These she undertook and specialised in painting the most famous women of the day and “history” pictures, whose subjects were taken from classical history or literature and which depicted female protagonists, for the most part. This altered the direction of European Art.

History painting, despite the promotion of Sir Joshua Reynolds, President of The Royal Academy, who was rumoured to have had an affair with Angelica, whom he referred to as “Miss Angel”, was not very popular in England and Angelica left London for Italy in 1781. In that year she married Antonio Zucchi, a Venetian painter working in England and they lived first in Venice and latterly in Rome, where her salon/studio was to quote the R.A. flyer “a hub for the City’s cultural life”. Goethe and Canova were frequent visitors and Canova organised her funeral. She took Goethe on art appreciation trips every Sunday in Rome and contemporaries described her as “the most cultivated woman in Europe”.

But what of her paintings themselves? I confess that I have always found them rather unlovable. I was steeped in classical mythology and history as a child, so I don’t find her subject matter dry or forbidding. It is her palette and technique I don’t like. She is painting in the age of Neo-Classicism, so one expects a clarity of line, which is wholly missing in her work. It may be that the smudgy outlines are a result of her early training in Italy, where the Sfumato Technique was so popular. This avoids harsh outlines and encourages a smokey, blurred edge to figures and draperies. This blurriness has, to my mind, crept into her choice of colours too, which lack purity and brilliance. Angelica likes dirty golds, muddy oranges, and beige. Compare her self-portrait with that of her younger contemporary Elizabeth Vigee-Le-Brun (1753-1842) and tell me who you think is the greater painter. Finally, with so much of her work based on ideas of Classical beauty, I am not sure she is any good at catching a likeness. Compare her portrait of her friend and admirer, Sir Joshua Reynolds, with one of Reynolds’ own self-portraits. We know exactly what Reynolds looked like, because he painted himself so many times and they do not vary, except in age.

Angelica’s portrait does not look anything like him. It could be anybody.

I am sorry, Angelica, to make these harsh judgements about your work, but I have always felt you were overrated as a painter, not as a human being. I would have loved to have sat next to you at dinner.

Anyway, don’t take my word for how good or bad Angelica Kauffman is as a painter. It is just my opinion.

Over the past few decades, her reputation has soared and she has an international following. Her prices at auction have followed suit. Twenty-two of her paintings have made six figure sums and the top price is $1.1M. Most of these pictures have been group portraits, but not all. In 2001 Sotheby’s sold a self-portrait by Angelica, in a painted oval, for over £420,000. Anyone who has inherited a painting by Angelica Kauffman should be aware of current auction prices to make certain they are properly insured.

Safes & Why You Need Them

Jenny Cooper at Insafe shares her tips and recommendations on why you need a safe.

Whether you own a prized collection of watches, a family heirloom with high sentimental value, or a large selection of jewellery, if you keep valuables in your home your insurance company will encourage you to purchase a safe.

But why do you need a safe? And what should you consider when purchasing one?

Selecting the right safe is very important. A home safe is a great tool for keeping your valuables secure, but there are several factors to consider to ensure that you have the right level of protection and that your insurance is valid.

The Association of Insurance Surveyors are a respected body of risk control experts working in the UK insurance market. Only safes that have been fully tested and certified by independent testing houses will gain an AiS certificate.

Beyond security, safes help keep important documents in one place, so there is no more rummaging through drawers or cabinets searching for documents or keys; everything is conveniently stored in one secure location.

But even once you’ve selected a reputable safe company, there are still several factors to think about. Below is a rundown of what your considerations should be when selecting a safe.

Protection from Theft

Home burglaries are an unfortunate reality, with thieves often targeting cash, jewellery and other easily transportable valuables. A securely installed safe acts as a deterrent, thwarting opportunistic theft attempts and safeguarding your assets against unauthorised access. Its robust construction and intricate locking mechanisms serve as formidable barriers against intrusion, making it significantly harder for burglars to pilfer your possessions.

We would even recommend using more than one safe. That way, if the burglars discover one safe, they won’t be aware of the other.

Fire Protection

Fireproof safes are specifically designed to withstand extreme conditions, ensuring that your belongings remain intact. In the event of a fire, a safe can protect your most valuable documents:

  1. A copy of your Will
  2. Birth certificates / Marriage certificates
  3. Important documents
  4. Passports
  5. Savings books

During such an event, being able to prove your identity can be very important, especially when your world is already turned upside down.

Alarm System Connection

The option of safe locks with duress systems can be obtained in collaboration with the clients’ alarm providers for integration.

Lock Mechanisms: The Heart of Security

At the core of every safe lies its lock mechanism, the quintessential component responsible for fortifying its defences against unauthorised access. Lock technology has evolved significantly over the years, offering a diverse array of options tailored to individual preferences and security requirements.

Keys vs Keypads

Traditional key locks, with their time -tested simplicity, remain a popular choice for many homeowners. Operating on a basic principle of aligning tumblers within the lock cylinder, they provide reliable security without the complexities associated with electronic systems. However, their vulnerability to key theft/duplication, or the risk of misplaced keys, highlights the importance of diligent key management practices.

In the digital age, electronic keypad locks have emerged as a modern alternative, combining convenience with cutting-edge security features. PIN codes replace traditional keys, allowing quick, hassle-free access to your valuables with the benefit of reducing the risk of keys within the property being lost, stolen or copied.

Cash Rating

Safes are sold and listed according to their cash and valuables rating. This determines the level of cover guaranteed by the safe manufacturer and insurer. Jewellery/valuables cover is always ten times the cash rating.

The following is a guide as to the typical grades of safes available. For example, if you have a Grade 1 safe, this will allow you to keep £10k worth of cash/£100k jewellery inside the safe.

Safe Grade Cash Rating Jewellery Rating
Grade S2 £4,000 £40,000
Paramount £5,000 £50,000
Grade 0 £6,000 £60,000
Grade 1 £10,000 £100,000
Grade 2 £17,000 £175,000
Grade 3 £35,000 £350,000
Grade 4 £60,000 £600,000
Grade 6 £100,000 £1 million
Grade 6 £150,000 £1.5 million

Digital locking systems offer greater security, ease of use, and customisation options, making them a preferable choice for safeguarding valuables in modern safes. Halo locking system is the only certified safe lock in the market which can be retro fitted to Grade 2 and above safes to increase the rating.

Insurers will work with safe companies to provide the increases. We would therefore emphasise the importance of choosing a safe equipped with a Halo locking system and a digital keypad. This combination ensures complete peace of mind regarding your security.

Size

It might seem obvious but making sure that you buy the correct sized safe for your home is very important. In home safes with high cash and valuables ratings, the safe walls are often very thick, this gives the illusion that the safe is bigger than it is. Make sure to check the internal size and that it meets your requirements.

If you have specific requirements and measurements, safes can be tailor made to your exact requirements, dimensions, colour and locking. Bespoke styling options, finger-print locking, internal LED lighting, watch winders and other features can also be obtained.

Weight

The weight of your safe is particularly important if you plan to install your safe upstairs or if you live in a multi-storey building. Whilst new safes are much lighter, they are still difficult to manoeuvre if installed in the incorrect location.

Installation

It is recommended that safe installations are carried out by qualified safe engineers to ensure they meet the requirements of your insurance company.

In essence, a safe isn’t just a metal box with a lock; it’s a fortress for your valuables, providing protection and peace of mind at home. Within its sturdy walls, our cherished items find refuge, shielded from the uncertainties of the outside world.

Additionally, safes offer privacy, especially if you have prying eyes – it provides peace of mind knowing your privacy is protected.

For optimal security of your jewellery and watches, we strongly recommend revisiting and updating your valuation if it hasn’t been done in the last two years. The reason for sharing this article is that as values continue to rise, your safe’s cash rating may no longer be sufficient.

 

Jewellery Pick of the week

This week’s pick is a gold piece of jewellery with a lot of character and no gems. An alligator hinged bangle by Barry Kieselstein-Cord from the 1980s.

This bangle is made of 18ct yellow gold and realistically designed as an alligator with detailed teeth, eyes and skin. And it could be yours for £20,000.

It was offered at auction at Christie’s with an estimate of $4,000-6,000 and sold for $16,250, including premium.

So why the price tag? This item is a good example of how premium is added to craftsmanship. The bangle weighs a little over 100grms and has been worked and moulded with great care, attention and exceptional know-how.

Barry Kieselstein-Cord didn’t always work with gold. His first collection, dating 1972, was crafted in sterling silver. When we think of silver jewellery, one of the famous names that come to mind is George Jensen. Barry Kieselstein-Cord’s collection was bought and presented at Jensen’s flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City (now closed).

He shot to stardom and his jewellery was soon a key accessory to have. Movie stars like Diane Keaton were quick to get their hands on this new stylist’s designs. He also worked closely with Calvin Klein and Helmut Newton.

His brand has extended into handbags over the years and are considered works of art. So much so that The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston exhibits his Alligator Trophy Handbag made in 1992.

He also created belt buckles, which caught the attention of the Spanish bull fighter El Cordobès who purchased a horse-head buckle in the 70s.

Whilst he was working with sterling silver he made a skull necklace for Mick Jagger’s 30th birthday and continues to this day to make iconic pieces. Though access to these is very limited and exclusive.

So if you want a piece of history, keep your eye on auctions and specialised vintage jewellery shops as these pieces are very rare and the market is scarce for these recognisable pieces.

Swatch – When the 80s were good, they were very good

In the watch world, Swatch holds one of the most unique positions possible, not only do they manufacture some of the coolest affordable watches that you can buy, causing worldwide pandemonium for the latest model, but they still are a watch maker first and foremost still forging ahead with technology and creating new visions in horology – also, in doing so becoming one of the most successful brands not just of watches, but of luxury goods owning such iconic brands as Omega, Blancpain, Breguet and Harry Winston.

So where did Swatch start?

Whilst most horological big names will be able to quote 19th century dates and locations, Swatch became a watchmaker in 1983, and really as a reaction against the quartz crisis of the 1970s and 1980s that saw many of the big names in horology to the brink. You may gasp, but many of the big names that I talk about regularly almost sank into obscurity after mechanical watches fell out of favour during this period – Even Rolex had to resort to producing a battery powered watch, although even this now is very collectible.

One of the keys to their continued success is knowing their place in the market, never one to take on the brands that people long for, even their name actually meaning ‘second watch’ indicates that whilst not throw away items, they can be worn as fashion pieces and with such collaborations that would mean so.

Swatch in 2024 is the brand that everyone can wear, from somebody that just wants an inexpensive reliable watch, to somebody that wants a cutting edge design piece, with some serious style and street credentials.

The last couple of years have seen collaborations at the forefront of the brand’s successes, but actually they have been doing this from the very start, with watches in the 1980s inspired by Picasso, Keith Haring and many other artists all forming an important part of their history, and whilst you will have read about the recent work with Omega and Blancpain, some of the most interesting items have come recently from galleries and individual artists, with licensed watches sporting famous paintings by Botticelli from the Ufizzi gallery in Firenze, and Basquiat, Lichtenstein, Magritte and many others all appearing recently, with what I think is a very usable function – Swatch Pay, the ability to connect your credit cards with a watch that looks to all intents and purposes as far removed from an Apple Watch as is possible.

In the past few weeks, in addition to these great names we have seen a collaboration with the Tate Museum, giving us the opportunity to purchase some great watches with colours and designs that virtually explode from the wrist, now they are certainly not for the faint of heart, but in my opinion present a great opportunity to own a watch with designs by Leger, Chagall, Miro, Matisse, Turner and more…If none of the fine art subjects appeal, the ranges are endless with basic colourful watches featuring many different subject matters and if you really are stuck – Homer Simpson eating a donut…what other brand could possibly present so many options!