ML - Michigan Avenue

2015 - Issue 2 - Late Spring

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 48 of 139

photography courtesy of chopard love in the form of wedding bands. The luxurious partnership between gold and timekeeping began in the 17th century, which saw the creation of personal timepieces in the form of pocket watches, with early watchmakers naturally turning to gold to satisfy aff luent clients. In its pure form (roughly 24 karats), gold is incredibly soft and malleable—much too soft to be crafted into the hull of a watchcase that is meant to protect the movement within. As such, the most standard international karatage in watchmaking is 18 karat, which contains 75 percent pure gold. The remaining 25 percent is comprised of other metals or alloys (materials that make the watch stronger and can lend a new hue to the color). To form the hues of gold, a variety of materials are added to the original yellow gold ingot during the melting process. Colors of gold trend over time, and yellow gold—though still consistently used—is less popular today than 18k white gold (made by mixing white metals like palladium or nickel with the gold) and 18k pink or "rose" gold (the more copper added, the richer and deeper the pink-gold hue). Typically the value of 3N and 4N is given to pink and rose gold, while 5N takes on a deeper, richer hue. Some brands refer to their 5N pink gold as "red" gold, with certain watchmakers going a step further to create their own gold hues—think green, orange, honey, brown, gray, and even purple—by adding various alloys. Others not only add special metals to achieve their own proprietary color, but also add materials to slow down or stop the fading of the color of gold, or assist in preventing scratches. To achieve certain unique shades like black, alloys are not part of the coloration process; instead, the color is achieved via an external coating in either electroplating, physical vapor deposit (PVD), or by controlled oxidation. For more watch features and expanded coverage, visit MA A FAirmined mAsterpiece masterful watch and jewelry maker chopard takes luxury to sustainable heights with Fairmined gold. The watch and jewelry industry can be fraught with confict, especially when it comes to the mining of diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals. The 2006 release of the flm Blood Diamond brought home the reality that diamond mining often funds illegal or criminal activities and ultimately spurred reform. Now, the same code of ethics is being applied to gold mining, and Chopard has taken a leading role. In 2013 Chopard launched "The Journey to Sustainable Luxury" project, a multiyear commitment to sustain- able and ethical practices in partnership with Eco-Age. For the initiative, the company teamed with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), the nonproft, nongovernmental organization behind the concept of setting Fairmined standards and certifcation for artisanal gold mining. Chopard's support has included committing to purchasing a substantial portion of the cooperative's resulting gold—certifed as "Fairmined"—and utilizing it in jewelry collections. "It is a bold commitment," says Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, "but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible." Taking the stance a step further, last year Chopard unveiled the world's frst watch made of Fairmined gold from South America, marking the offcial arrival of ethical luxury watchmaking. Now available to the consumer, the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined watch features a case, caseback, and bezel that are made entirely with Fairmined gold. The watch holds the Fairmined certifcation that guarantees that the gold was extracted in a responsible manner and that miners have been fairly compensated. The 18k rose-gold watch is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement with tourbillon escapement and nine days of power reserve, thanks to L.U.C Quattro Technology that utilizes two sets of two stacked barrels for consistent, long-lasting power. The 43mm COSC-certifed chronometer is not only also certifed as Fairmined, but also holds the Qualite Fleurier Foundation certifcation that attests to its precision and durability. Just 25 of these timepieces are being built, though Chopard plans further Fairmined watch releases in the future. Colors of gold trend over time, and yellow gold —though still used—is less popular today than 18k white or rose gold. L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined watch ($144,570) is made with certified gold from South America. The brand's top-notch movement powers it with L.U.C Quattro Technology. Neiman Marcus, 737 N. Michigan Ave., 312-642-5900;  47

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