Apassionata SS15 Collection

Soon our days will be filled with golden brown tans, studded sandals and floral summer dresses (well a girl can dream, can’t she?) and summer will finally be back. Gone will be the days where scarves doubled as blankets and our hands clutched steaming cups of coffee just for sheer warmth. Instead of umm-ing and ahh-ing over which hat and glove set will keep us warm (and dry), we’ll be flicking through pastel blouses and colour matching our accessories to our favourite mini skirts.

Our buyers have been in the ‘Summer’ zone for months now researching emerging trends, looking at gaps in our current ranges and buying in some of the most beautiful lines they’ve seen to ensure that the Apassionata SS15 collection is the best we’ve ever had.

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The History of Chopard and Cannes Film Festival

Born in Sonvilier, Switzerland in 1860, Chopard has remained an independent company to this very day. Named after the founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, this luxury watch, jewellery and accessories brand has become reknowned for exquisite diamonds and gemstones. Merge this with the unprecedented glamour of the infamous Cannes Film Festival and you have a partnership made in jewellery heaven.

Chopard adorns stards for the Cannes Film Festival

[image: Chopard are reknowned for adorning stars on the red carpet with their exquisite jewels]

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The Icons – Breitling Navitimer

Breitling has become best known for its links with aviation, providing tough, capable watches suited for the rigors of flight, both for the military and for civilians. The one watch that really established Breitling as an aviation specialist was the Navitimer. With its distinctive slide rule bezel and chronograph functionality, there is no mistaking this watch. A truly cutting edge watch of its era, it has remained a cornerstone of collections around the world

Breitling Navitimer

[image – The Breitling Navitimer dates back to 1952]

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How To – Clean your jewellery using Connoisseurs

Everything from perfumes, perspiration, soaps and even pollution can cause your jewellery to lose its original sparkle. Connoisseurs is a global market leader in jewellery care, established in over 60 nations worldwide. Here we explain how to use the Connoisseur cleaning products that are currently available at Fraser Hart.

Connoisseurs Beauty Baths

Specifically manufactured for gold and silver jewellery, Connoisseurs Beauty Bath’s contain polymers that help reduce the appearance of tiny scratches built up from every day wear. They also extremely easy to use as our step-by-step guide shows –

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Bronzallure launches at Fraser Hart

Born in the iconic fashion district of Milan, Bronzallure is a brand deeply rooted in Italian culture. Crafted from over three decades of jewellery experience, this traditional brand derives its aesthetic inspiration from the effortless elegance of Italian style. Made from rose gold-plated bronze and encrusted with semi-precious gemstones and naturally coloured stones, this beautiful collection embodies the heart and soul of Italy.

Bronzeallure launches at Fraser Hart

[Bronzallure jewellery is now available in 8 Fraser Hart stores worldwide]

Our personal favourites include these delicate triple stacking ring set which contrast perfectly with our ever-evolving tan (current favourite coral nail varnish) and this chunky but simplistic knot bangle that we just can’t take off. Coming in close second are the gorgeous rose gold and semi-precious stone stacking rings with ribbed shanks and claw-set stones. As obsessed as we are with stacking, these little rings also sit perfectly on their own – adding a touch of colour this spring.

Buyers Picks - Bronzallure

Bronzeallure Flatlay

[image – Buyers picks from the new Bronzallure collection]

Each piece of Bronzallure jewellery exudes a delicate femininity that has to be seen so why not pop in one of our new stockists this weekendand see for yourself.

Fraser Hart stores now stocking Bronzallure include Stirling, Manchester (Trafford Centre), Cardiff (Dewi Sant), Milton Keynes, Lakeside, Bristol (Cabot Circus), Leeds and Plymouth. For more store details please visit – http://www.fraserhart.co.uk/ustorelocator/location/map/

 

The Icons – Omega Speedmaster Professional

July 20, 1969 – the Eagle module of the Apollo XI mission touches down on the surface of the Moon, the first time mankind has reached another celestial object. Neil Armstrong steps on to the surface, uttering the immortal words “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Following him is Buzz Aldrin, and on his wrist exposed to the harsh environment is an Omega Speedmaster. This trusty timepiece was there to witness one of the greatest achievements in human history – as icons go, this watch’s story is quite literally out of this world. Welcome to the incredible story of the Moonwatch.

Buzz Aldrin Omega

[image: Buzz Aldrin wearing his Omega Speedmaster]

The story of the Speedmaster starts 12 years before, with it originally being launched in 1957. The original looks a little different to the variant which became the Moonwatch, most notably with the “Broad Arrow” hands and the metal tachymetric bezel.

Omega 2951-1 via Hodinkee

[image – An original 2915-1 Omega Speedmaster. Image credit Hodinkee]

Powering it was the legendary Cal. 321, a hand wound chronograph movement with a reputation for being as tough as nails. The watch quickly evolved, and its second version was the first time an Omega was used in space, being taken on the Gemini 4 mission on the wrist of Astronaut Wally Schirra. At this point, this was by no means an official watch of NASA, and was actually Schirra’s personal timepiece. Omega honoured this variant with the “First Omega in Space” edition in 2012, this certainly proved to be popular with collectors

First Omega In Space - 2012

[image – The Speedmaster ‘First Omega In Space’ was created in honour of Wally Schirra and his historic wristwatch]

The following version evolved into the look of the definitive Speedmaster, with the hands changing into the long, elegant white batons that remain to this day. 1964 was a defining year for the Speedmaster, as it was then that NASA began its experimentation to find a watch suitable for all of its manned space missions. Along with watches from several other brands, NASA subjected the Speedmaster to the most brutal tests ever carried out on a timepiece. It had to withstand extreme shocks, temperature variations, explosive decompression and exposure to vacuum, amongst other simulations of the harsh extremities of outer space. The Speedmaster was the only one that was still functioning correctly after the barrage of tests, which led it to being cleared for all of NASA’s manned space missions. Indeed, according to Omega, it is the only piece of equipment that has been used in every single manned NASA space mission from the mid-1960s, and plays an important role to this day

Omega Nasa Tests

[image – The Omega Speedmaster is the only wristwatch approved by NASA for all manned space flights. The watch was put through a number of strenuous tests to determine wether it was suited to the extreme challenges of space]

It was during the doomed Apollo XIII mission that the Speedmaster had another important role to play. Whilst en route to the Moon, an explosion in an oxygen tank crippled the spacecraft, leaving it with limited battery power and an increasingly toxic atmosphere. To get back on a trajectory towards Earth, with enough time to survive, they had to fire the engines for a precise amount of time. What did Jim Lovell use to time this? You’ve guessed it, it was his Omega Speedmaster. As such, the watch played an important role in saving the lives of the three Apollo XIII astronauts – few watches can claim to have done that! NASA awarded Omega their “Snoopy” award, the highest decoration awarded by Astronauts for outstanding contributions.

Omega Snoopy Watch

 

[image: A tribute to the anniversary of the legendary Apollo 13 mission and the Silver Snoopy Award presented in 1970]

Omega Snoopy Prize in 1970

[image: The official certificate awarded to Omega in 1970 in recognition of the important role the Speedmaster watch played during the doomed Apollo XIII mission]

The Speedmaster has expanded out into a whole family of watches in the Omega range, but there is only one Moonwatch. You can still buy something almost identical to the very first one worn on the Moon. It features a hand-wound mechanical movement (designated cal. 1861, a variant of a movement used since the late 1960s) and a hesalite (acrylic) crystal. Some argue that having a plastic crystal makes a watch less suitable for every day wear – for me, it adds to the charm of the watch. With a little bit of know-how, and a bit of elbow grease, scratches can easily be dealt with. The Speedmaster Professional is a watch very close to my heart, and it’s one where I’ve put my money where my mouth is – it’s my absolute favourite piece in my collection. For me, it’s like wearing a piece of history on my wrist

Chris Haynes Omega Speedmaster

[image – The Omega Speedmaster is one one of my favourite pieces]

Available to buy through Fraser Hart Omega stockists and also online, the Speedmaster Professional in my preferred combination retails at £3,340

Omega ref. 31130423001005 | FH Ref. 0734554 | http://www.fraserhart.co.uk/omega-speedmaster-professional-moonwatch-with-stainless-steel-bracelet-and-nato-strap.html

New Longines Boutique in Manchester, Trafford

With over 180 years of heritage, Longines embodies the very essence of elegance and luxury. Defined by distinctive Swiss design, this leader in chronographs and sports events timing continues to strengthen its position as an iconic manufacturer of horological products.

Longines

An already staple brand for the store, Saturday 2nd May saw the opening of a new Longines boutique area in our Manchester, Trafford Centre store. The largest boutique in the Fraser Hart family, this specialised area boasts large, brightly lit cabinets showcasing some of the finer Longines models.

Longines Boutique in Manchester, Trafford

Take a seat with our in-store Longines ambassador, Jodie Moss, and you’ll be greeted with a short film highlighting key notable features of the Longines brand. Alternatively Longines Ambassador of Elegance since 2010, Kate Winslet, features on a large, lit advert on the back wall.

Longines Boutique Area in Manchester, Trafford

In line with this exciting new feature in our Trafford store, we’re giving you the chance to win this Longines Conquest Classic watch with an RRP of £2,750! Pop in-store to fill out an entry card until the 24th of May for your chance to be entered into the draw. Terms and conditions apply, please enquire in-store.

Longines Manchester Trafford Competition