Lange, IWC add some heat to SIHH this winter


IWC made a big splash at the 2018 SIHH with a splash of lacquer, a dash of digital time & a rein-visioning of old favorites.

One of the best parts of working at an Authorized Dealer for so many renowned luxury watch brands is getting to see the best the watchmaking world has to offer every year. This year’s SIHH was no different. For 2018, owner Matt Burdeen & General Manager Josh Nigut personally flew out to Switzerland to check out the newest wares for our brands.

The first two brands that we got to interact with were IWC and A. Lange & Söhne. Both brands came out with a relatively aggressive stance for this year’s show, either revamping tried and true volume models or, in the case of Lange, coming out with a completely new technology.

IWC bathes itself in lacquer & digital numbers 

While digital dates have become somewhat ubiquitous in haute horology, digital time is still reserved only for best of the best brands. Now IWC has rolled out its own take with the Pallweber. With a decidedly simplistic dial, the Pallweber completely eschews hands for digital hour window on top; a digital minute window in the middle; and a second hand at 6 o’clock.

The Pallweber isn’t the only watch to make a splash. IWC also rolled out some small twists on the Portugieser. The standard Potugieser chronograph is powered by an off-the-shelf movement, but the new one for SIHH has an in-house Calibre 69355, lacquer dial and a display back. Cool watch and an excellent take on one of the most popular models in the IWC lineup. 


Lange SIHH Watches

Not to be outdone, Lange rolled out several new models including a triple split chronograph, 1815 Tribute to Walter Lange, Saxonia Moonphases, a gorgeous new Saxonia Copper blue & more.

Lange did IWC one better by introducing a whole new complication – a Triple Split Chronograph. We weren’t able to even get our hands on one to take a picture of it, but we were able to take some pics of amazing images of some incredible Langes. Our favorite may be the least expensive – the Saxonia Copper Blue. The above image barely does the little flakes of copper justice. Juxtaposed against the rich blue, it looks like a starry night and instantly catapults this Saxonia – no date, no second hand & all to Lange Grail status.

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2017 Emmy Awards: Traci’s Fashion Takeaways

Traci's Fashion Tips

This year’s Emmy Awards, as always, treated us to a fashion bonanza. This year was no different. With stunning dresses and jewelry on the runway, as always, the more I watched, the more I recognized the pieces from our own cases.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda Emeralds

As an Octagenarian, Jane Fonda is still a fashion icon. How many people get to say that? She stunned in an emerald and diamond waterfall necklace with matching earrings. At Burdeen’s, we actually have several emerald and diamond pieces from waterfall necklaces like Jane’s to chandellier earrings.

Ryan Michelle Bathe

Ryan Michelle Bathe

Sterling Brown and his wife Ryan Michelle Bathe made quite the power couple as she stunned in a classic yellow gown with diamonds. She sparkled from head to toe with a diamond ring, diamond earrings and necklace. We’ve put together a similar ensemble with some of our diamond pieces. As you can see, all it takes is a little imagination and some time in our store.

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel

Similar to Ryan Michelle Bathe, Jessica Biel reminded us that diamonds are forever when it comes to sumptuous fashion. Jessica didn’t need a necklace, instead focusing all attention on her gorgeous fleshtone dress, gorgeous earrings, tennis bracelet and rings.

Tracey Ross

Tracey Ross

Tracey Ross’s outfit could have stunned on the red carpet in 2017 or 1957. Her metallic silver gown along with her Diamond and Pearl Chandelier Earrings were spectacular. These earrings are absolutely timeless. While bright colors are undoubtedly in this year, this ensemble will work as Emmy Awards Fashion for years or even decades to come. Bravo, Tracey, Bravo!

Yvonne Strahovski

Yvonne Strahovski

Yvonne proved yet again that a girl can never go wrong with a red dress. All we saw here at Burdeen’s Jewelry was that this Hollywood Goddess could kill with her gold choker and big, glorious diamond stud earrings.

Here on the North Shore, these items are readily available. We’ve got diamond studs in all sizes and a gold choker to boot – all you have to do is supply the red dress and you’re ready for the red carpet just like Yvonne Strahovski.


Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Orange truly is the new black for Viola Davis as her gown as the talk of Hollywood at the Emmy’s. Viola didn’t go with a necklace as she dazzled with just bracelets and diamond earrings. Her Diamond Bracelets and Long Diamond Earrings shined brighter than the Hollywood Walk of Fame and we’re all better off for seeing them.

What a Night and What an Emmy Awards! We’ll see you next year with even more fashion takeaways.

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Breaking New Ground – Burdeen’s Kicks off Construction on Store Addition

Day One Video

Change is in the air at Burdeen’s Jewelry. As you may have read in our blog, we’ve not only revamped our website, we’ve launched an eCommerce site for preowned luxury watches, and we’ve added A. Lange & Söhne to our roster of timepieces as well. Well, that’s not all.

If you live in the Chicago suburbs or drive by our store on Lake-Cook road, you may have noticed a big ol’ hole in the ground followed by a bunch of cement blocks. Well, we’re expanding. Our store is expanding our footprint by a whopping 50%. Our beautiful 6,000 square foot flagship store will now be over 9,000 square feet.

The expansion is set to be completed in November, barring any construction delays. We broke ground last month and construction has been fast and furious. Already, the foundation has been poured, three walls of bricks have already been laid, so, you can already see much of the shape of the addition being built.

If you visit the store, you may already see some changes as well. Inside, rather than our decorative wrought iron door in the Preowned Watch Room, there is now a rather, well, utilitarian door in its place. Soon, that entire wall will come down as well. As we said in the opening of this blog, big changes are afoot.

Stay tuned, though. Once it’s all over, we will have an excellent time lapse video chronicling the entire construction process from the first bricks being laid to the paint going on the walls. It will be truly amazing.

In the meantime, here’s a taste of Day One of Store Construction. Check out this video:


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The Case for Quartz

The Case for Quartz

In select situations, quartz shines through as the choice for watch wearers. Find out when you need to put the automatic away and break the trusty quartz out.

High end quartz watches can make a fine substitute for your automatic watch in select situations – so we’re going to lay out when to leave your automatic watch at home

Unless fine watch collecting is in your blood and passed down to you from a relative, many times, we have to learn the ropes on our own – often moving up the ranks from lesser known or less prestigious brands to the heavy hitters that Authorized Dealers like Burdeen’s Jewelry carries.

Along that journey, for many of us, typically, the transition from quartz to automatic and mechanical watches is an early metamorphosis for fledgling watch collections. However, there are some cases when a quartz, believe it or not, is actually called for.

Golf, Sport Shooting and other high-impact sports

To the layman and new collector, higher class sporting activities such as golf and clay shooting go together with high end automatic watches like peas and carrots. Or, well, mimosas and frittatas. However, these activities can wreak havoc on your watch’s movement. How? Well, your automatic watch is powered by the movement of your arm. Shooting a gun or swinging a golf club involves both the sudden acceleration and sudden deceleration of your arms.

Regardless of how robust your watch’s movement is, it’s not mean to work under the conditions of having its counterweight spun at high speeds. While it’s highly unlikely to break an automatic watch’s movement after one round of clay shooting, target practice, 18 holes, or trip to the driving range. They are likely to wear your watch out faster than simply wearing it during a normal day at the office. Think of these activities as the straws on top of the camel’s back.

Accuracy is the best policy

Whether we automatic diehards like to admit it, nothing is truly more accurate than a quartz timepiece. Yes, it’s more lifeless and not as much ‘love’ and ‘care’ went into its construction, but you won’t find even the least expensive quartz watch deviating two to five seconds each and every day. It’s an open secret that watchmakers and enthusiasts alike have learned to accept because there’s so much romance around the high end watch industry.

It’s very much like sports cars – sure, you have to squeeze yourself into them; yes, they may be slightly dangerous; they may be loud and bad at the gas pump – but when you’re behind the wheel the sensations you feel make it all worthwhile.

Breitling Emergency II

What can you do to make your automatic watches last longer?

Here’s where high end quartz watches come in. Breitling with their Colt Skyracer, Professional and Emergency lines have offered spectacular quartz watches for years as have the likes of Omega, Tag Heuer and other Swiss brands. Breitling features some of the most sophisticated quartz watches on the market as the Breitling Emergency has a Personal Locator Beacon contained within it.

This titanium watch is built to save you in an emergency situation (hence its name) via its emergency beacon, but it’s also built to take a beating. With a titanium case, Breitling’s COSC Chronometer certified multifunction quartz movement, this watch is accurate to plus or minus 10 seconds per year. Plus, it’s water resistant to 50 meters – certainly tough enough for the driving or gun range and it has a battery life of 70 days – much better than your average Apple Watch. Much like the Apple Watch, it is also capable of alerting you to phone calls, texts and more.

Omega Z33 App

If you’re looking for more smart features and funky styling, the Omega Speedmaster Z-33 is here for you. The Z-33 has an iPad integration, two time zones, a perpetual calendar, chronograph function, countdown timer and more – essentially everything you need in space. Plus, much like the Breitling Emergency, it’s good for a day on the links.

As you can see, don’t golf with your automatic watch on. If you must wear a watch, get yourself a nice Breitling or Omega and feel normal while you tee off this summer.

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Burdeen’s GM profiled in The Watch Index blog

Stylin & Profilin

With 30-plus years under since Dennis and Sandy Burdeen first opened our doors, it’s always nice to get recognition now and then. Over the years, Burdeen’s Jewelry has received profiles from well-known watch blogs such as ABlogtoWatch, as well as countless Chicagoland newspapers. Recently, our own General Manager Josh Nigut was interviewed for a profile from a site named The Watch Index.

The site originally reached out to us when they got wind of our impending store expansion as well as the addition of A. Lange & Söhne. So, blogger B.A. Morley came out to Burdeen’s and picked Josh’s brain on what sets our store apart from other Chicagoland jewelry stores, what got Josh into the industry, and more.

If you’re reading our blog, you are undoubtedly aware of the Burdeen’s Jewelry brand, our seven first-run brands and our massive preowned selection, but you may not know our giant General Manager. This profile is a fascinating look into what makes him tick and why he’s worked in the industry for more than a decade.

Check out the profile here.

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A. Lange & Söhne debuts at Burdeen’s Jewelry

Burdeen's Jewelry adds A. Lange & Söhne to our lineup of fine watches. With Lange, we are now Authorized Dealers for seven brands.

Burdeen’s Jewelry adds A. Lange & Söhne to our lineup of fine watches. With Lange, we are now Authorized Dealers for seven brands.

As you can see, we’ve been going through a lot of changes in a short period of time here at Burdeen’s. From a store expansion about to break ground to a brand new site, Matt Burdeen has invested a lot in the health of his family business. Well, he wasn’t done there. Recently, we rolled out the newest member of our high end watch family – German luxury brand A. Lange & Söhne.

While we do have some experience with German brands from our time as a Glashütte Original Authorized Dealer, A. Lange & Söhne takes German luxury to a whole new level. Why? The exclusivity of the brand is much higher. Glashütte has a worldwide annual production of about 8,000 units per year – very exclusive indeed; meanwhile, A. Lange & Söhne creates just 4,000 worldwide with just 750 units making their way to the United States – spread across just 25 Authorized Dealers.

Privileged Group of Enthusiasts

That means each Authorized Dealer is allotted an about 30 watches per year – including Burdeen’s Jewelry. Why are these numbers important? Well, if you buy any Lange watch, whether it’s a Lange 1, a Saxonia Thin or a something more substantial like a Saxionia Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, you will find yourself in an extremely exclusive club of owners.

After all, if you are reading this blog, undoubtedly you’re already a watch enthusiast and most likely a collector. Sure, you may have a Rolex; maybe a Jaeger or a Breitling; but do you have a Lange?

Every collector that buys a piece already has the next piece in their head – or is at least shopping for their next one; the hunt is never finished. Adding a Lange to your collection is a rite of passage and one that elevates you past normal watch enthusiasts to a Watch Idiot Savant.

Who Are You Calling “Idiot?”

All over the watch collector forums, you will find the letters “WIS.” Those letters are affectionately used for the best, most highly-respected watch collectors out there and it’s a rank that few of us truly reach – even if many of us use the term to describe ourselves. However, if you want to reach WIS status, if there is one watch to add to your collection, it’s A. Lange & Söhne.


Well, there are many reasons why starting with torture testing. Each and every Lange watch is mercilously put through 100 years of simulated wear and tear – including jostling, drops, hits and more – before it is shipped to Authorized Dealers like Burdeen’s Jewelry. After all of this torture, the watch movement is torn down, broken parts are replaced, repolished and rebuilt for shipment.

This torture shows the incredible amount of quality that goes into Lange pieces that just isn’t present in other luxury brands. They are meant to be passed down for generations – and that is why they are put through hell – before they ever make it to your wrist.

Harmony in Every Timepiece

You’ll also notice that every watch in our store and every other Lange dealer shows the 25th as the date. There’s a very specific reason behind that.

The first four A. Lange & Söhne watches were presented on October 24, 1994, hoping that they would make it into the papers for the 25th, showing the actual date of the paper. Sure enough, they were. In order to pay homage to that gamble, we set all of our watches to that date.

There is another number that’s always the same in every Authorized Dealer like Burdeen’s. On the Zeitwerk Striking Time, the time is always set to 7:52 instead of the traditional 10:10 that most watches are set to. Why? Well, the ‘digital’ numerals are inspired by a famous five-minute clock from Johann Friedrich Gutkaes and Ferdinand A. Lange in the Semper Opera House.

Exactly eight minutes before every opera starts (at 7:52) a ringing of these bells, reminds the guests to take their seats. Come in to Burdeen’s Jewelry and see if our word rings true.

A. Lange & Söhne creates truly incredible pieces including the Lange 1, Saxonia Thin, 1815 Up/Down, Datograph Up Down and more. If you love watches, you’re going to love Lange. Come in and you’ll see why.


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Burdeen’s Jewelry rolls out brand new website

Burdeens New Site rolls  out

After months of hard work, Burdeen’s Jewelry rolls out a new site

Change is in the air at Burdeen’s Jewelry. One thing that we’ve never been afraid of here is moving forward. What we are afraid of is standing still. Matt Burdeen has always wanted to constantly be at the razor’s edge of technology with Burdeen’s advertising, the best watch brands; never fearing replacing some of our lower performing brands to keep up with the best, not only in Chicagoland; not only in Illinois, but in the rest of the United States as well.

Now that we have seven Swiss and German luxury watch brands gracing our cases, we felt that we needed to showcase them online in a way that was worthy of their presence – with a brand new website. That’s why we’ve launched the fifth iteration of Burdeen’s Jewelry website.

This new site gives our Chicago area customers better mobile usability, faster load times, greater stability, as well as a more attractive interface. Late last year, we successfully launched an ecommerce site at for our preowned watch collection. Now, to follow up that effort, we have revamped our site with a completely new site that has every piece of jewelry and every watch for all of our seven brands.

Unlike other stores, we made a concerted effort to include true photos from our store so people who don’t live in the Chicago area could at least get a taste of the Burdeen’s luxury experience.

Whether you’re looking for a new Breitling or Omega; A. Lange & Söhne, IWC or Jaeger-LeCoultre, you can find it right here at Plus, we are consistently revamping the selection of jewelry on the site with photos from our advertising, photos from the store and more.

Burdeen's Jewelry Addition Plans

Burdeen’s Addition should be completed by Q4 2017.

We’re not closed to finished in 2017

At Burdeen’s Jewelry, we’re not done with just a couple of websites. With all of the digital properties up and running like champions in 2017, we wanted the store to follow suit. If you’ve dropped by the store in the last three years, you may know that we’re in our own 6,000 square foot standalone building. Well, guess what, we’re about to outgrow this location as well.

In less than a month, we’re about to break ground on a 3,000-square foot addition that will house even more preowned watches, estate jewelry and more for our loyal Chicagoland clientele to ensure that Burdeen’s Jewelry can keep serving Chicago, and the rest of the state that we love – Illinois.

Come on in and see us anytime and see how our expansion is doing. In the meantime, check out our new website and tell us how you like it, what you don’t and how we can improve. After all, serving you is our main concern.

For more information, call us at 800-656-0414 or visit our showroom located at 1151 West Lake Cook Road in Buffalo Grove.

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Chicago Cubs set to have 108 diamonds in World Series Ring

NOT the real ring

NOT the real ring

With hell freezing over last year and the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, there is one thing that has caught our attention: the championship ring. As proud members of the Chicagoland community, and of course, Jewelers, we are very interested in seeing the Cubs’ 2016 Championship ring that’s set to be unveiled tonight during the pregame ceremony.

There is one major aspect that’s set in stone: there will be 108 diamonds in each ring – one for each year in the Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series drought. Who spilled the beans on that design aspect? Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward. While the true ring design has yet to be unveiled, that hasn’t stopped many sports memorabilia companies from taking a crack at it.

While we wouldn’t trounce on such a historic event, we are proud of our North Siders who ended over a century of futility less than six months ago. Let’s make it two and we can’t wait to see the ring!

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Why go with an Authorized Dealer vs. Gray Market?

AD vs. Gray

Why should you pay more for a watch from an Authorized Dealer like Burdeen’s Jewelry? It turns out – more reasons than you think!

As an Authorized Dealer for six of the biggest watch brands in the world, one of the biggest questions that we get asked is why should you pay more to buy a watch from an Authorized Dealer as opposed to a Gray Market site? If you’re into watches, you probably know their names and their unbeatable prices, but as with anything that’s a bit too good to be true, you’ve undoubtedly wondered how they can get to those prices.

Well, as an Authorized Dealer, we have to adhere to certain standards in order to sell these beautiful items. We train our staff to give our clients like you the best possible experience in our store that we possibly can. While that may not affect our online clients, we work hard to train everyone in our store to adhere to the exacting standards of Breitling, IWC, Omega, Ulysse Nardin and the rest of our brands.

We have a rapport with all of our clients that has kept many of them coming back for years or even decades.

True, Blue Warranty

Now, you may think, “I don’t care about the in-store experience – it’s all about the dollars and cents.” Well, with an Authorized Dealer, you get the peace of mind of a Full Factory Warranty. While Gray Market Sites may have a warranty – read the fine print. They have their own warranty – not the factory’s.

If they do carry a warranty, typically, a Gray Market warranty means a shorter duration than a Factory Warranty and if there’s a problem, when you send your watch in for repairs, it’s going to go to an in-house watchmaker, not to the brand’s actual watchmakers. Plus, you may have to jump through hoops like an activation window that renders the warranty null and void that’s just not existent with a factory warranty.

Brand Swag

One of the fun perks of getting a watch from an Authorized Dealer is the swag that comes with it. These items include hats, luxury pens, branded luggage, clothing, watch winders, travel cases, and more.  Then, as time goes on, and more Breitlings pile on, the gifts get bigger and bigger. While pens and hats may not seem like a lot compared to the thousands of dollars for a brand new Swiss watch, it’s a fun little perk that you just don’t get with Gray Market watches.

In-House vs. Factory Watchmakers

In-house watchmakers are plenty capable of maintenance and standard repairs, but you’ll never know if legitimate parts were used on your watch. We go to great lengths to ensure that we have the correct parts go to each and every watch and no short cuts are taken. After all, Authorized Dealers’ watchmakers have better access to parts. As an AD for Ulysse Nardin, UN will ship us parts for installation in a customer’s timepiece. Meanwhile, a gray market dealer will have to “back channel” any new parts or they may block the order altogether forcing the watchmaker to go with non-factory parts.

So, while you may save money upfront on the watch, if there’s an issue on the watch, you may lose it all. Plus, if you collect – and believe us – once you start down the path, you can’t stop – you may end up ahead on one watch only to lose that advantage on a repair on the next one – especially if it has a complicated movement.

Check before buying

As with the warranty, always read the fine print with a gray market dealer. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We recently encountered a gray market Ulysse Nardin that was touting itself as a brand new watch, but when we checked the serial number, was actually a preowned watch. A client would have had no way of knowing that, but as a UN Authorized Dealer, it was a computer search away.

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Next generation alloys ‘steel’ the show at Swiss watch brands


There’s much more to the watch game than dials and movements. Before a watch even gets designed, metallic and ceramic alloys must be created. Many of these alloys are created just for the watch brands that enthusiasts like you and I love.

So let’s take a look at the alloys that some of the most iconic brands in the world use. From steels to ceramics to even golds and diamonds, we swear you’ll be surprised at the work that goes into the materials in Swiss watches.


Breitling lives up to its aviation history – right down to its alloys

Breitling makes its steel watches out of 316L antimagnetic stainless steel. So, just what do all of these numbers mean?

Grade 316 is known as Marine Grade stainless steel. The “L” part is known to exhibit better corrosion resistance and stronger to higher temps. This is what makes 316L steel perfect for Breitling. The brand’s known for its roots in aviation, so temperature resistance is an excellent attribute. Plus, high corrosion resistance is an excellent alloy attribute for any watchmaker, regardless of the price point.

This alloy’s corrosion resistance is so high that it’s resistant to even several types of acid including the ones you dealt with in high school including: hydrocholoric, sulfuric and acetic acid. This type of resistance is exactly the type of strength that made this metal so attractive to Breitling.

“If you play your cards right, you can engineer any attribute into your alloy – strength, corrosion resistance, high temperature strength – anything,” Kevin Christie CEO of a components company who engineers custom alloys for clients said. “Seeing corrosion resistance brought to the forefront of a high-end watch does not surprise me one bit.”

Stainless steel isn’t the only game in town for Breitling. Its titanium watches are made from Grade 2 Titanium. What separates Grade 2 from the other types of Grades? Unalloyed titanium is rated into Four Different Grades.

While Grade 4 is considered the highest strength, Grade 2, is used for, you guessed it, Aircrafts. In other words, it’s perfect for Breitling’s uses. Just like Grade 316L Stainless, it’s also corrosion resistant, making this titanium perfect for watches.

Rolex steels the alloy game

While Burdeen’s isn’t an Authorized Dealer for Rolex, we’d be remised if we didn’t mention the largest Swiss watch manufacturer in the world. Rolex created its own alloy called 904L Stainless Steel. It’s an aerospace grade steel that’s non-magnetic and resistant to corrosion just like Breitling’s Grade 316L. Rolex has made a big deal out of using this metal due to its purity. It actually has just .02% Carbon while 316L Steel that Breitling uses has .03%. It may not sound like much, but if you were to read some Rolex marketing material, it would probably turn that .02% to .03% change to “50% more” and it would be technically correct.

In addition to steel, Rolex uses 950 platinum alloy. This is considered a high grade platinum alloy because it has an impressive 95% purity. Kudos to Rolex. Finally, one of its crowning achievements is the creation of Cerachom ceramic bezels. Unveiled in 2005 and slowly rolled out in the GMT Master II lineup, it has made Rolex was able to combine ceramic and stainless steel – making its bezels virtually scratchproof, corrosion resistant, and resistant to fading. Now, all of its watches have ceramic bezels with Cerachom ceramic bezels.


Omega Ceragold Alloy marries gold & ceramics

Similar to Cerachom, but with a more ‘brilliant’ base than stainless steel, Omega created a ceramic and gold alloy called ‘Ceragold.’ Rather than bonding stainless steel and ceramic like Cerachom, the process of creating Ceragold bonds 18K gold and ceramic. But, the end result is much the same: it allows gold and ceramic bezels that are scratch resistant and smoother to the touch.

You may be thinking, “My gold jewelry is plenty smooth!” Yes, but Omega wanted a perfectly smooth transition from the ceramic of its standard bezel to the gold numbers and back. Omega’s metallurgists were worried that there would be an abrupt change in feel from the numbers and the rest of the bezel, making for an unsatisfying wearing experience. After much work, Omega got where they wanted and the unique Ceragold alloy was born.

Ulysse Nardin Dimonsil takes the pressure

If Rolex was able to combine ceramic and steel and Omega has combined gold and ceramic, Ulysse Nardin may have topped them all with its proprietary Dimonsil alloy. Many brands have been moving to silicon watch parts for the last decade or so, but UN’s Dimonsil is extremely interesting because the escapement of its Caliber UN-118 is made from a synthetic diamond grown on a silicon base.

Like other synthetic diamonds, UN and its partner, Swiss firm Sigatic, place the silicon under intense pressure, creating the diamonds much like carbon gets placed under intense pressure in nature to make real diamonds.

So while gold is plenty brilliant, as they say, diamonds are forever.

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