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Movements: Now You See Them, Now You Don't
Jewelry Scen


Who says a watch has to have a pretty face? While major watch companies, such as Swatch Group and Fossil, are adding branded jewelry to their collections, one entrepreneurial brand is taking the opposite approach—making watch movements into jewelry.

Tokens & Coins, known for its vintage typewriter key jewelry, recently added a collection featuring pendants and cuff links made with vintage mechanical watch movements from the early to mid-20th century. Each sterling silver piece comes with its own authenticity card.

These pieces of time are perfectly geared for both watch and jewelry retailers. The Berkeley, California-based company has been a resource primarily for gift stores. But in the last year, the interest in new and novel men's jewelry lines has given Tokens & Coins a broader audience with independent jewelers.

"Watch aficionados can add to their personal collections without taking the place of a favorite wrist watch. They come in various shapes and sizes. It's a great gift for a watch lover, or someone who just wants an interesting, conversational piece of jewelry," says Milan Micich of Tokens & Coins.

. . . AND NOW YOU DON'T

First there were skeleton watches, a Halloween-sounding label for one of the most collectible mechanical watches. The entire movement can be seen front and back through the sapphire crystal dial and case back. Now Swiss watchmaker Quinting has devised what might be more appropriately termed phantom or ghost watches: the new "Mysterious" watch collection features timepieces that are completely transparent.

Named after the see-through "mysterious" clocks manufactured in the early 19th century, Quinting's new collection replaces the mechanical watch's metal disks with transparent sapphire versions. The different styles use between nine and 13 sapphire disks, spaced with a fraction of a millimeter between each layer. Instead of seeing the movement, you see all the way through to the other side.

To accomplish the phantom look, Quinting manufactures its own movements. With the exception of seven parts, including the hands, all 230 chronograph components and 26 subassemblies are made specifically for Quinting. The movements must be assembled in a "white" or dust free environment to ensure perfect transparency. "No mechanism used to move the hands is visible," says Victoria Vassylivetska of Quinting. "Everything you expect to see in a traditional mechanical movement seems to have disappeared."

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gold watch with diamonds from Quinting
“Telescopium” 18k gold watch with diamonds from Quinting, (212) 879-0088.
“Watch Movement” collection by Tokens & Coins
The “Watch Movement” collection by Tokens & Coins has a suggested retail of $150 for cuff links and $90 for pendants, (877) 558-7404.