The Rolex GMT Master II “Coke” has long captivated watch enthusiasts with its distinctive aesthetics, rich history, and enduring popularity. As a revered timepiece, the Coke has left its mark on popular culture and established itself as a staple in the world of horology.
The Rolex GMT Master II “Coke” was introduced in 1983 as the successor to the original GMT Master, which made its debut in 1954. Developed in collaboration with Pan American Airways, the GMT Master was designed for pilots who required a watch capable of tracking multiple time zones simultaneously. The GMT Master II “Coke” (Reference 16760) built upon this functionality, boasting an independent 24-hour hand and a bi-directional bezel that allowed wearers to track three separate time zones.
The nickname “Coke” stems from the watch’s distinctive red and black bezel, reminiscent of the Coca-Cola company’s iconic colors. The vibrant two-tone bezel not only contributes to the timepiece’s unmistakable appearance but also serves a practical purpose. The red and black segments differentiate between day and night hours, enabling wearers to track time zones more intuitively.
Over the years, the Rolex GMT Master II “Coke” has become a popular choice among celebrities and high-profile figures, further cementing its status as a cultural icon. Actors, musicians, and sports stars, such as Clint Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, and Michael Jordan, have all been spotted wearing the timepiece, testifying to its universal appeal.
This timepiece embodies the watch’s celebrated features, from the striking red and black bezel to the robust stainless steel construction. As a testament to the brand’s commitment to precision and durability, this GMT Master II “Coke” promises to impress even the most discerning collectors.
In conclusion, the Rolex GMT Master II “Coke” is a legendary timepiece that perfectly blends practicality, style, and cultural significance. Its fascinating history, unique features, and undeniable allure make it a must-have addition to any watch collection.
Where to buy Rolex watches?
You can find Rolex watches for sale at nearly every one of FORTUNA’s biweekly auctions. We are honored to sell watches from Rolex—one of the greatest brands in the history of the world—and would be thrilled to help you on your journey to build your collection, whether you are a veteran collector or just getting started.
When it comes to watch collecting, condition can elevate a timepiece from ordinary to truly extraordinary. FORTUNA is thrilled to present an immaculate Rolex 1680 “Red Submariner” in our upcoming auction, a perfect example of how pristine condition can transform a watch into a collector’s dream.
The Submariner is an iconic and highly collectible Rolex model, worn by James Bond and adored by fans worldwide. In the late 1960s, Rolex introduced the 1680 reference with a date complication, catering to its evolving status as a cultural symbol. Rolex produced the watch with the “SUBMARINER” text written in a bright red hue for just a short period of time. In the years since, many of these watches had their dials replaced during servicing. It’s this short production run combined with a penchant for dial replacements during servicing that makes the “Red Sub” one of the most sought-after Submariners in the world.
While the Rolex “Red Sub” is undoubtedly rare and desirable, the condition of the example significantly impacts its value. The inclusion of original paperwork and accessories further impacts value. The present watch offers two key factors important to collectors: exceptional condition and complete original accessories. Its unpolished case, original dial with aged lume, bezel insert, and folded-link bracelet place it in a distinguished category as the collector market matures.
Moreover, the presence of the original box, papers, and accompanying accessories make this timepiece a truly investment-grade example. It is a rarity to find a watch with all its original elements intact, setting this “Red Sub” apart from the rest.
Time can be unkind to many watches; cases become polished, original dials are replaced, and boxes and papers are often lost or discarded. This “Red Sub” was fortunate to have an owner who cherished the timepiece and diligently ensured its preservation, along with the safeguarding of its ancillary components. This watch truly exemplifies the benefits of diligent care and attention to detail—attributes any discerning collector can appreciate—and serves as a benchmark for evaluating the quality of other Red Submariners in the market.
Don’t miss this historic opportunity to own one of the finest Red Submariners in existence. The FORTUNA Fine Jewels & Watches auction is open for bidding now and goes live on April 20th at 11 AM EDT.
Where to Buy Rolex Watches
You can find Rolex watches for sale at nearly every one of FORTUNA’s biweekly auctions. We are honored to sell watches from Rolex—one of the greatest brands in the history of the world—and would be thrilled to help you on your journey to build your collection, whether you are a veteran collector or just getting started.
The world of watch collecting is a fascinating realm, steeped in history and tradition. At the forefront of this world stands Rolex, a name synonymous with luxury, precision, and classic style. One of the most coveted models in the Rolex collection is the Daytona, and today, we are honored to present a particularly exceptional example: the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph reference 6262.
The Rolex Daytona ref. 6262, introduced in 1970, was produced for just one year, making it a highly sought-after and rare transitional model. This piece boasts pump chronograph pushers, a silver dial with black subdials, and a subtle Daytona signature in black. It is powered by the renowned Valjoux 727 movement, considered one of the great watch movements of all time. This watch is in pristine condition, with crisp edges, clear markings, and a pristine dial. The case, bracelet, and movement are all original and the watch has undergone professional servicing to ensure top performance.
The Daytona was a favorite among racing drivers, who relied on its precise timing capabilities to measure their lap times on the track. However, the ability to time events is not limited to the racetrack. This particular watch was used for medical purposes by its original owner, a prominent anesthesiologist, who relied on the watch’s chronograph functionality to keep precise time during medical procedures. He cherished the watch and took meticulous care of it, ensuring its longevity as a valuable tool. The provenance of this doctor and his beloved Rolex Daytona only adds to its significance and appeal to watch collectors.
Where to Buy Rolex Watches
You can find Rolex watches for sale at nearly every one of FORTUNA’s auctions—which we have about every two (2) weeks. We are honored to sell watches from Rolex, one of the greatest brands in the history of the world, and would be thrilled to help you on your journey to build your collection—whether you are a veteran collector or just getting started.
With boutiques in the poshest locations in the world and a history of making astounding pieces for royalty, Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the world’s most recognized, exclusive jewelry and watch brands. Serious collectors appreciate the high quality and beautiful stones used in Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
What Is Van Cleef & Arpels?
When Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef married in 1895 in Paris, they formed more than just a love match. The joining of their families, both with deep roots in the precious stone trade, also marked a new chapter in Parisian jewelry. The Van Cleef & Arpels company continues to thrive today, more than 100 years after its founding, as an exclusive jewelry and watch maker.
Estelle Arpels’ father dealt in precious stones, while Alfred Van Cleef’s father was a diamond broker. Alfred joined his father-in-law and brothers-in-law to create a boutique called the Maison, which has maintained the same address in Paris since 1906. The company designed many unique pieces in the early days, including Touch Wood jewelry that combined wood with precious stones and metals. It soon expanded to watches as well.
Van Cleef & Arpels also became known for its exquisite crowns made for royalty around the world. Some of its most famous pieces include the crown of Queen Nazli of Egypt and one for Empress Farah Pahlavi in Iran. The latter crown uses stones from the Imperial treasury, and the stunning piece includes diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pearls.
How Can You Identify Van Cleef & Arpels Pieces?
Each piece of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry displays a unique serial number as well as a signature stamp, which appears in the same place depending on the piece. On earrings, for instance, it sits on the ear clip. The stamp says Van Cleef & Arpels or VCA.
Van Cleef & Arpels only employs 18-karat gold. Each handmade piece looks polished and professional, living up to the company’s high standards. The signature Mystery Set™ style allows the prongs of the setting to remain invisible, and it is so labor-intensive to make that the company only produces a few of these pieces each year.
What Is Van Cleef & Arpels Known For?
Some of the most famed pieces in Van Cleef & Arpels history include:
A bracelet with rubies and diamonds made to look like red and white roses that took the grand prize at the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts.
An Art Deco style necklace owned by Queen Nazli of Egypt with 220 carats of diamonds.
A pearl and diamond jewelry ensemble given to Grace Kelly as a wedding gift from her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Most Iconic Designs and Collections
Fans of Van Cleef jewelry recognize the brand by its Alhambra collection, which features the signature look of Van Cleef & Arpels with a design that resembles a simplified four-leaf clover. But you can find many other pieces that are just as noteworthy. Here are six of the top designs and collections beyond Alhambra:
King Farouk’s broach: Made in 1938, this statement piece features hundreds of dazzling rubies.
Frivole collection: Reminiscent in some ways of the Alhambra collection, this collection features a simple 3D flower made from hearts.
Passe-Partout necklace: This revolutionary necklace allows the wearer to swap out the jewels and change the piece into a bracelet, brooch or choker.
Ballerina brooch: This brooch, inspired by Louis Arpels’ friendship with George Balanchine, eventually led to an iconic series.
Lucky Animals collection: While these fun creations are aimed at a younger audience, they’ve been favored by many famous women, including Grace Kelly.
Ruban secret watches: This collection is an updated version of the 1800s trend of “secret watches” that looked like bracelets.
Where to Buy Van Cleef & Arpels Pieces
You can find Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry pieces for sale from Fortuna Auction. We are honored to sell jewelry from this legendary brand, and whether you are building your collection or just starting one, you can find many appealing pieces. Register to bid at an upcoming Fortuna auction today.
Rolex is a brand loved by collectors across the globe. It’s known for groundbreaking wristwatch movements, including watches that reached submarine depths of more than 3,000 meters and traveled long distances across the sky. Each watch is made of the best, high-quality materials, built to last a collector a lifetime.
Here, learn more about the origins of Rolex watches, as well as how you can buy or sell your own Rolex.
1902: Brother-in-laws Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis founded the Rolex brand in London, England. The duo specialized in making wristwatches from Hermann Aegler’s movements and high-quality watch cases from reputable companies, like those from Dennison.
1908: Rolex officially became a registered trademark. Now the sole proprietor, Wilsdorf chose the name Rolex because he wanted something people of all origins could pronounce. Plus, he thought the name resembled the sound of a watch being wound.
1910: Rolex becomes the first wristwatch brand to earn an independently ratified certificate of a chronometric performance — essentially a very high degree of excellence in timekeeping.
1914: The Kew Observatory awarded the Rolex watch with a “Class A” precision certificate. This was a monumental award as it is usually given to marine chronometers, and it was the first time a London wristwatch won the award.
1919: Wilsdorf moved his Rolex brand from London to Geneva because of newly imposed taxes that made metals too expensive. He chose Geneva so he could be closer to his Bienne-based suppliers.
1926: The Rolex Oyster was released. This was an exciting release, as the watch was marketed as the world’s first waterproof watch.
1927: A year after the Oyster release date, Wilsdorf gave famous swimmer Mercedes Gleitze the watch. Gleitze wore the watch around her neck as she swam across the English channel — and it performed perfectly afterward.
1931: The Rolex Oyster Perpetual model was released. Recognized as the first self-winding watch, the Oyster Perpetual combined the water-resistant power of the Oyster with a revolutionary automatic movement.
1953: The Rolex Submariner was released. Designed for divers, the watch was guaranteed waterproof to 100 meters and featured a rotating bezel to help divers track their dive time.
1955: In collaboration with Pan American Airways, the Rolex GMT-Master was released, introducing the now iconic blue and red “Pepsi” bezel. During this time in history, pilots began traveling longer and farther, now entering different time zones. The GMT-Master helped aviators tell times in different time zones. Now, it’s used by the Aviation Industry to calculate Coordinated Universal Time.
1962: Rolex becomes the official timekeeper of the Daytona car races and launches the popular Daytona Dial a year later.
1967: The Rolex Sea-Dweller was released. Rolex experienced huge success with the power of the Submariner — but Rolex wanted to triple the watch’s deep-sea abilities. The Sea-Dweller features a helium escape valve that made this goal possible.
1971: The Rolex Explorer II was released. This watch model was specially crafted for spelunkers, people who explore caves. The watch features an AM and PM feature, as people underground can’t distinguish between day and night. People can also read the features in the dark.
After Wilsdorf’s death in 1960, Rolex continued producing sought-after models like the Yacht-Master, Pearlmaster, Datejust II and the Sky-Dweller. You can still shop modern Rolex watches today and find sought-after vintage designs.
What Are the Most Famous Rolex Pieces?
Currently, Rolex offers many wristwatch styles. Some of their most famous and foundational pieces, however, are:
Made in 1926, the Oyster revolutionized watchmaking. It’s recognized as the first waterproof case, strategically designed with 10 parts and sealed zones, protected against water and dust. The design enabled watch-wearers to wear their watches during various activities, including swimming.
Like other styles, the Oyster is currently available in many colors and sizes. It has two original dial colors, however — black with white gold and silver with gold accents. The watches are signed with “superlative chronometer official certified,” a tribute to Rolex’s 1910 recognition.
Rolex introduced the Daytona in 1962. It’s named after the famous Florida city, home of the Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona allows racers to measure elapsed time and calculate their average speed using three subdials — small seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters.
The original Daytona has “Cosmograph” engraved in red under the Rolex logo. In the early 1960s, “Daytona” replaced Cosmograph, and the model continued to advance from there. Original Daytonas don’t have a date window nor engraving on the case backs. But, they do have two engravings on the sides, stating the model and serial numbers.
In the mid-1950s, pilots began traveling longer distances across different time zones. Pan Am requested Rolex to make an aviator watch that could keep track of these different time zones.
Rolex created the GMT-Master that displayed a fourth time — Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), hence the name GMT-Master. Now, the watch displays the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), following the 1972 transition established by the Aviation Industry.
In 1956, the luxurious Day-Date Rolex made its debut. This style is the first waterproof watch with a self-winding chronometer. The Day-Date displays the full calendar day along with the date.
The Day-Date is synonymous with luxury and prestige. The watch has been through many different styles and configurations over time—changing dial colors, size and design. This Rolex timepiece has been popularized by celebrities, politicians, CEOs and other high-profile individuals. Most famously, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, an avid watch enthusiast, often wore his Rolex Day-Date during his presidency and gifted them throughout his life, and now the watch is more widely referred to as the “Rolex Presidential.”
Introduced in 1953, the Submariner is a watch built for divers and others venturing deep below the surface. This Rolex style is famous for its resistance to water and iconic unidirectional rotating bezel.
Both vintage and modern releases of the Submariner are highly sought after.
How Can You Sell or Buy Rolex Watches?
Are you interested in adding a Rolex to your collection or making space in your collection for another collectible? Learn how to do both by considering the following steps:
How to Sell Your Rolex Watch
All Rolex watches are sought-after, especially older collectible models. The best way to sell your Rolex watch is by getting it in front of the right audience. Fine jewelry and watch auctions, like FORTUNA®, have a wide audience reach of people searching for Rolex pieces.
Sell your Rolex watch at FORTUNA in three simple steps:
Get a free valuation: Send pictures and fine details — such as serial and model numbers or original documentation — to FORTUNA with our web form or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign a consignment agreement: Once our professionals have looked over your piece, they’ll send you a consignment agreement that lists the high and low estimated selling price, as well as other important information regarding the auction process. If you agree to the terms listed, you will sign the agreement, and we will prepare your Rolex watch for auction.
Collect your payment: Your Rolex watch will then go to auction. After it’s sold, FORTUNA will contact you regarding which of your pieces sold, at what price and how we will pay you.
You can participate in FORTUNA’s monthly auctions anywhere around the globe. Once registered, you’ll gain access to our auctions, hosted in-person, online, over the phone or via absentee.
We believe strongly in total transparency. FORTUNA holds a reliable reputation, and we want you to make a fully informed decision before adding a piece to your collection. We take great care when evaluating each piece and educating buyers on every detail, from its history to its craftsmanship.
Building Your Rolex Collection? Learn More About FORTUNA’s Luxury Auctions Today
Whether you’re ready to part with your Rolex watch or looking to add one to your collection, rely on FORTUNA. We’d love to walk you through our buying and selling processes in more detail. Learn more about FORTUNA by contacting us online or calling us directly at +1 (212)-389-9040.
Since its inception in 1912, Oscar Heyman & Brothers has remained unmatched in their stunning design, attention to detail, superb craftsmanship and quality of gemstones.
Now in its third generation, the haute joaillerie house remains devoted to developing exquisite designs that have been synonymous with impeccable taste for over 100 years. Heyman’s unmistakable flair can be spotted from time to time in FORTUNA®’s auction offerings, and they are always a delight.
In 1906, after gaining invaluable experience as apprentices in Faberge’ workshop in Latvia, brothers Oscar and Nathan Heyman, immigrated to New York City. Their skills working with platinum, the newest and most in demand metal in the jewelry industry, were in high demand. In 1912, the brothers were joined by their 4 other brothers and 3 sisters and opened a workshop of their own on Maiden Lane in Lower NYC . The firm quickly established itself as the “jeweler’s jeweler,” designing pieces for large jewelry houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. In 1939, the firm won a gold medal for Best in Show at the New York World’s Fair for its extraordinary collection of unique floral brooches. Indeed, as innovators of their time, the Heyman brothers also patented various jewelry manufacturing techniques.
Heyman’s craftsmen proudly devote their time to each component of the manufacturing process, including the creation of their own tools. Pieces signed by Oscar Heyman are kept under their keen eye from inception to completion—an attention to detail that makes them stand out amongst modern jewelry houses.
“Jewelry should never be a candidate for redesign but should transcend time like a fine painting, never losing its appeal.”
A prime example of the polished elegance created by the jeweler can be seen in Heyman’s classic “entourage” style. The “entourage” ring, pioneered by Heyman in the 1920’s, features an oval-cut center gemstone surrounded by oval-cut diamonds, and is truly a testament to the brand’s understated elegance.
It is this timeless design and unique stylishness that has lead their creations to be so coveted for over a century. The firm’s designs continue to reflect Oscar’s belief that “jewelry should never be a candidate for redesign but should transcend time like a fine painting, never losing its appeal.”
You’ve likely heard of Cartier before—especially their well-known pieces like the Cartier Love bracelet or Tank watch. Cartier is a French-based luxury goods company specializing in jewelry and watchmaking. Here, you’ll learn more about the history of Cartier, as well as how to sell and buy coveted Cartier collectibles.
The History Behind Cartier
Cartier’s origin began with Louis-François Cartier, the founder, born in Paris in 1819. He spent most of his early adulthood as an apprentice under a master watchmaker. In 1847, Cartier bought the store from his apprentice—the beginning of Cartier’s successful journey.
Soon, Cartier’s craft extended from watchmaking into jewelry. He bought what he could afford and made the best pieces he could, strengthening his craft with every piece made. Cartier would sell his pieces and invest the profits into buying bigger and better materials, his work building the Cartier business to new levels.
In the late 1800s, Louis-Francois Cartier’s son, Alfred Cartier, took over the business. Around this time, France’s elites were fleeing from France in the heat of a Socialist revolution. They were looking for any way out, including by selling their finest jewelry and watches at a desperately low price. Alfred bought these pieces, and from there, the Cartier business skyrocketed.
With a century of growth throughout the 1900s, Cartier grew to be a well-known jewelry and watchmaking brand. Although Cartier is no longer family-owned, it’s still widely successful, operating more than 200 stores in 125 countries, including London, New York and Paris.
Some of Cartier’s Most Sought-After Pieces
All of Cartier’s pieces are highly sought after. Collectors enjoy the exclusivity of the brand, seeking both antique and new pieces to add to their collection. Some of the most sought-after Cartier pieces are:
1. Cartier Love Bracelet
Perhaps one of the most well-known Cartier jewelry is the Cartier Love bracelet. Aldo Cipullo, who is the only man allowed to have his signature on a Cartier piece, originally designed the unique bracelet.
The bracelet’s design is relatively simple, but its symbolism makes it so popular. The Cartier Love bracelet doesn’t slip onto the wrist like most bracelets. Rather, it’s fixed onto a wearer’s wrist by two screw heads, requiring a special screwdriver to apply and remove the bracelet. The idea is to give the tool to your lover so only they can access your bracelet.
The Cartier Love bracelet is available online in various styles and sizes, and it’s widely popular with collectors and jewelry enthusiasts alike.
2. Cartier Tank Watch
The Cartier Tank watch’s design, crafted in the early 1900s, is inspired by the tracks of the French war tank Renault FT-17. The defining characteristics of the Tank watch are its rectangular face and bold hour markers. The original Tank Watch used silver metal and black leather. But, since its creation, you can find over 50 different models online currently.
3. Trinity De Cartier Ring
The Trinity collection contains many models of earrings, necklaces and bracelets, but the most sought-after Trinity style is the original ring. The ring has three intertwining pieces representing the three stages of romance—friendship, fidelity and love. To further symbolize those stages, each piece is its own metal, including pink, yellow and white gold.
4. Panthère De Cartier Ring
One of Cartier’s most recognized symbols is the panther. It began its association with the brand in 1914 when Louis-Francois Cartier commissioned an artist to paint a bejeweled lady posing with the wild cat. The piece was called “Dame a la Panthère” and was featured in one of Cartier’s most famous advertising campaigns. Admirers received the panther so well, it solidified the piece into the Cartier brand.
Over the century, you can find the Cartier panther integrated into many of the brand’s works, including the Panthère de Cartier ring. There are currently over 40 models of the panther ring, which you can find in different metals and with various adorned gemstones and unique interpretations.
5. Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet
The name of the Juste un Clou bracelet directly translates to “just a nail”—and that’s exactly what it is. The original design is a simple, long golden nail, wrapped to form the shape of a bracelet. The style is minimalist, proving Cartier can make anything beautiful. Now, you can find varying styles, including different metals and gemstone adornments.
How to Buy or Sell Cartier Jewelry and Watches
Are you ready to part from your Cartier jewelry to make room for new pieces in your collection? Or are you a collector looking for antique and new Cartier styles to purchase? Consider selling or buying Cartier jewelry at FORTUNA® — a leading auction house serving sellers and buyers across the globe.
How to Buy Cartier Jewelry
Participate in FORTUNA’s monthly sales by registering with us first. Before the bid date, confirm your identity by providing a photo of your ID, as well as your credit card information for billing purposes. Once registered, you’ll be added to FORTUNA’s book of trusted bidders.
You can bid on Cartier jewelry online by downloading the FORTUNA app or using one of our affiliated third-party sites, Live Auctioneers or Invaluable. Or, you can join FORTUNA in-person in New York City. When bidding in-person, our auctioneers will distribute numbers and paddles, which you will use to place bids on items you want, like Cartier jewelry or watches.
How to Sell Cartier Jewelry
Before your piece goes to auction, contact FORTUNA for a free valuation. We can evaluate your Cartier piece online or in-person via appointment. Our experts will give you a reliable estimate based on a set of criteria, including the item’s:
Once you receive your estimate, we request an in-person valuation. To complete this evaluation, FORTUNA will give you an insured shipping label. Using this label, send us your Cartier piece, which we will keep safe and secure in one of our state-of-the-art vaults. Once at our New York City location, we will give you a low and high auction estimate.
If you agree to sign the consignment agreement — stating everything you need to know about our consignment process — we will prepare your item for auction. After the auction, you’ll receive a settlers agreement outlining how much your piece sold for and what you’ll receive for its selling.
Buy or Sell Cartier Jewelry and Watches With FORTUNA
Do you have any questions about how to sell or buy Cartier pieces? Our experts at FORTUNA would love to answer them for you. Learn more about how our process works by contacting us online or giving us a call at 212-389-9040.
Jewelry designs are often rich in symbolism, especially pieces featuring creatures great and small, mythical or real. Human relationships with animals have existed since the birth of mankind. This enduring relationship we have with the animal kingdom is responsible for the rich and complex tapestry of animal symbolism, inspiring some of the most iconic jewelry pieces that are forever linked with a jewelry house.
In this article, we have highlighted some of the most iconic animal designs from the celebrated jewelry houses and how they came to be.
“Women are tired of jewelry-looking jewelry, and they want one-of-a-kind pieces… Animals are here to stay.”
David Webb is one of America’s most important and distinguished jewelers. He is best known for his distinctively carved, enameled animal bracelets, his use of rich, burnished, textured gold and exquisite rock crystal pieces. The use of animals has been a David Webb signature, admired by collectors who recognize his creative genius. His statement pieces bring animals like the zebra, chimera, leopard, tiger and other fantastic creatures to life. His bold designs have been made even more iconic by powerful women like Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Beyoncé—who represent a small group of Webb’s influential clientele. This David Webb Diamond and Enamel Tiger Bracelet from our April Jewels & Watches auction is a prime example of Webb’s fierce creativity.
Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger
Throughout the history of Tiffany & Co., the brand has worked with visionary jewelry designers, including Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso, Frank Gehry and, of course, Jean Schlumberger, who is renowned for his layered enamel technique. Jean Schlumberger was deeply inspired by nature and movement, which is apparent in this Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Vintage Multi-Gemstone Fish Brooch from our upcoming sale. The vibrant fish is caught mid-swim and its gem-covered scales glimmer quickly to bring life to the piece. The jeweler traveled far and wide seeking inspiration from places like Bali, India, and Thailand. The “Bird on a Rock” is one of the famed French designer’s most iconic pieces, originally designed in 1956 with the Tiffany Yellow Diamond in mind, one of the largest yellow diamonds to have ever been discovered. Since then, the design has been reissued by Tiffany & Co.—still with only large stones as the bird’s perch. many of which have been sold by FORTUNA® throughout the years. When Tiffany hired Schlumberger, it was made clear he was to maintain his unique style in his creations for the jeweler. That much is evident in this Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Diamond Multi-Gemstone and Enamel Cow Brooch, perhaps inspired by his travels to India where the animal is held to be sacred. The bold brooch is currently available for a starting bid of $4,500 in our April Jewels & Watches sale.
When discussing animal designs, the world-renowned brand, Cartier has become synonymous with the Panthère. When Jeanne Toussaint, a Parisian style icon, became acquainted with French jeweler Louis Cartier, new inspiration for Cartier’s famous jewelry line was born. As a result of Toussaint’s elegance and remarkable determination—as well as her finely decorated apartment adorned with leopard skin—she earned the nickname “La Panthère” from her then-lover, Louis Cartier. Toussaint soon became the creative inspiration for many of Cartier’s most popular Panthère motifs.
Yet, Cartier’s artful appreciation of the animal kingdom is by no means limited to the Panthère. This Cartier Nautilus Shell Coral and Emerald Brooch/Pendant from our upcoming April Jewels & Watches sale encapsulates many of the same traditions of excellence as seen in the famous Panthère. The bold accessory is carved in 18K gold and is set with a beautifully carved nautilus shell shaped coral. Cartier has exhibited spectacular ingenuity in their use of red coral, from this striking nautilus conch piece to charming lady bug designs.
Many of today’s luxury watch brands were founded hundreds of years ago by master watchmakers. Patek Philippe is one such brand, prized by serious collectors worldwide for the precision and artistry of its pieces.
Who Is Patek Philippe?
The Patek Philippe brand of watches was founded by two master watchmakers—Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe. Their combined last names form the brand name familiar to collectors today. The company launched in 1851 when the first Patek Philippe watches were displayed at the Great Exhibition in London.
The Great Exhibition was dedicated to the most modern and exciting inventions of that era. Patek Philippe watches were innovative, with gadgetry and gears new to the world of watches. Today, Patek Philippe is still known for modernity as well as elegant styling and quality.
FORTUNA® has always enjoyed the fortune of offering extraordinary jewelry pieces from the historic makers. For our August Jewels & Watches auction, we are excited to present multiple iconic pieces by Bulgari, the renowned luxury Italian jeweler. To commemorate the long history and successes of the brand, we decided to dive deep into its past and highlight some of their more celebrated designs.
Bulgari was founded in Rome in 1884 by the talented Greek silversmith Sotirios Georgis Boulgaris; his name was later Italianised to Sotirio Bulgari. In its early years, Bulgari was known for silver pieces that borrowed elements from Byzantine and Islamic art, combining them with floral motifs. Having latched onto jewelry style trends emanating from Paris, Bulgari continued to follow the lead of what was then the world’s jewelry capital throughout the first half of the century.
When Sotirio passed away in 1932, his two sons, Giorgio and Costantino—who each had a keen interest in precious stones and jewels—took over the business. The brothers undertook an extravagant remodeling of both the interior and the exterior of the Via Condotti store and formally changed the company logo to “BVLGARI,” an application of the traditional Roman alphabet.
As the 1940s came to a close, Bulgari introduced the Serpenti bracelet-watches, which were constructed using a technique called Tubogas. Tubogas literally translates to “gas pipe,” and is the descriptive name given to a type of chain formed from a pair of interlocking long gold strips wrapped tightly together. The core is then removed, making the now hollow piece remarkably flexible and lightweight. The edges interlock, requiring no soldering. While Bulgari’s first example was made in 1948, it took another 15 years before its goldsmiths fully mastered the technique, and made it one of the brand’s iconic designs. Even without the recognizable Tubogas look, the Italian jeweler has often incorporated flexible bands in many of their works, such as these vintage Bulgari accessories.
Enamored by ancient legends of the snake, a symbol of rebirth and vitality, Bulgari has reimagined its famous serpent in countless designs. Pictured below, LVCEA’s gleaming band also takes inspiration from Serpenti, with each interlocking element mimicking a reptilian scale. The LVCEA diamond encrusted ladies watch in 18K white gold achieved $11,250 in our August Jewels & Watches auction.
Bulgari, always ahead of the curve, also began creating matching sets of jewelry and selling them as separate pieces. The Italian jeweler recognized the modern woman’s desire to decide whether she wanted to mix and match, giving her countless combinations to create different looks. These vintage Bulgari pieces from FORTUNA®’s August Jewels & Watches sale are sold separately but would be tremendously chic when worn together. By selling the accessories separately, Bulgari gave women the opportunity to accumulate the matching designs over time and added to the excitement of the jewelry shopping experience.
Bulgari is probably most well-known for coining the concept of modular design, using bold and recognizable designs with clean shapes. These designs are devoid of excessive ornamentation and are instead composed of interlocking elements that can adapt easily to different sizes by simply removing or adding components. The most famous example of modular designs can be found in the Parentesi collection.
The Bulgari Parentesi was introduced in the 1980s, and were an instant hit amongst modern women who sought jewels that were appropriate for both daytime and evening occasions. The modular Parentesi designs were widely inspired by the ancient city of Rome, where Bulgari is headquartered. The details found in Roman pavements and the travertine junctions used to link the stone blocks all incorporate the parenthesis-like shape from which the collection gets its name.
Bulgari has derived inspiration from the Eternal City in more than one fashion. The cupolas of the Roman landscape were able to grace their way onto women’s fingers in the form of bold colored gemstones with a smooth, domed cut—known as “cabochon.” Perhaps the most famous use of the cabochon by Bulgari is the Trombino ring—famously worn by Elizabeth Taylor.
Like any innovative jeweler, the brand is constantly updating its designs and seeking out new inspirations. Bulgari has since come out with more rings that resemble the imposing design of the Trombino. The Bulgari Pink Tourmaline and Diamond Ring, pictured above, is set with a large cabochon pink tourmaline, standing proudly above round brilliant cut diamonds. The use of stones for their impact, rather than the intrinsic value of the gem, was a huge departure from the classical Parisian design that dominated the time and distinguished Bulgari as an inimitable creator in the jewelry industry.
Bulgari has never been afraid to make bold statements with their designs and they have faithfully brought back past designs in fresh ways. The brand has not only maintained relevance but continues to lead the jewelry industry, no less than 130 years since its inception.