Contributor
Melissa Pearce
Melissa is an international watch and jewellery journalist who has been working in luxury media for over a decade. She enjoys covering historic topics, vintage timepieces, and the minds behind the most innovative watch houses. Her first watch had a Mickey Mouse dial and she remains irreverent in her daily selection: Longines, Citizen, Casio and Nolan Miller are all in the mix.

Posts by Melissa:

27.02.2018

HANDS-ON: Keeping illustrious company with the Breguet Reine de Naples 8918

First shown at Baselworld 2017, the stunner that is the Breguet Reine de Naples 8918 in rose gold is my pick of Breguet’s women’s offerings (in Australia) at the moment. Breguet is all proportion, horological order and watchmaking museum elegance. But sprinkle that heritage with 1.46 carats worth of white diamonds and the ghosts of French royalty,  and you are contemplating a pretty heady proposition. Let’s start with the diamonds before working back over the centuries to Parisian courtiers, and really, it’s hard not to. They include a pear-shaped diamond at 6pm (approx. 0.09ct); a briolette-cut diamond on the off-set crown situated…

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08.02.2018

INTERVIEW: 15 minutes with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – “Elegance is an attitude”

Time is a funny thing. The PR schedule was fast and furious when Longines Ambassador of Elegance Aishwarya Rai Bachchan held court at her Four Seasons suite during the afternoon prior to the Sydney opening of Longines’ flagship boutique. But sitting in front of the world’s most famous grey-green eyes, as they surveyed the harbour far below, time slowed. Mixing regal bearing with warmth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan speaks in a considered, melodious flow. Most of the Australian pack wanted, of course, to ask for her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, a topic she politely addressed, but we felt we had…

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05.02.2018

EVENT: Bollywood royalty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan opens Longines flagship Sydney boutique

Wherever Aishwarya Rai Bachchan goes in India there is a monumental crowd surge, and it was no different in Sydney at the weekend when Longines launched their flagship boutique in Australia and celebrated their starring role in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Some local Indian film fans had brought their entire clans and staked out a viewing spot when the Queen Victoria Building opened that morning, even though the superstar was not due to arrive until 6.30pm. The press scrum was on when the world-famous beauty made her entrance, flanked by intimidating security, followed by countless hands launching mobile phones high.…

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22.01.2018

HANDS-ON: Hoisting the high spirits flag with the Franck Muller Color Dreams

My art deco admiration and monochromer habits have always had me on Team Casablanca considering Franck Muller’s selections. But it is party season after all, so I am easing up on the classic palette and eyeing off a completely different proposition. The Color Dreams collection is a parade of watches with one exuberant mission: to liven up proceedings. There’s nowhere to run for introverts with the complete spectrum of appliqué, exploded rainbow numerals — each one in a different colour — the dial is bolstered with as saturated a hand-stitched crocodile strap, from as wide a vista as the hours’ tones.…

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02.12.2017

HANDS-ON: Starry-eyed for the Montblanc Bohème Day & Night

The petite Montblanc Bohème Day & Night isn’t exactly bohemian, nor are any of Montblanc’s timepieces really, but as much as this watch has all the signs of studied fine watchmaking, the viewer has to acknowledge the Day & Night is a little romantic. For all Montblanc’s credibility, hard luxury can still have a softness, expressed in this case by a pristine silvery-white guilloché surface, floral Arabic numerals, and a miniature window on to the sky above.   Through its dial’s crescent frame, the vista’s transformation across a 24-hour trajectory is illustrated in daytime in light blue with a dynamic…

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22.11.2017

EVENT: Hublot rallies for Australia at the Ashes 2017-18 with a limited edition all-rounder

Michael Clarke loves that Hublot loves cricket. And three years into their sponsorship of the International Cricket Council, Hublot has definitively put its hand on its green and gold heart with its latest partnership with Cricket Australia for the Ashes Series 2017-18 (23 November – 8 January). Clarke, himself, steered two Ashes series as Australian captain and was the last man to lead the Aussies to an Ashes victory on home soil, the history-making 5-0 triumph in 2013-14. Prior to leading an exclusive lunch at the SCG’s Members Pavilion to celebrate the global unveiling of a special limited edition Hublot…

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14.11.2017

NEWS: The New York Museum of Modern Art thinks these are the most iconic watches of the 20th century

New York’s Museum of Modern Art is showcasing a collection of the 111 items of clothing and accessories that impacted the 20th and 21st centuries entitled Items: Is Fashion Modern? Timeless garments such as Levi’s 501s and the Little Black Dress, and two watches — Rolex and Swatch. But which is more iconic? The battle for the most enduring watch of the 20th century is on … If we measured success in this exhibition on numbers alone, then Swatch is the clear winner. Its tally includes a 1985 Mille Pattes model, designed by Keith Haring, 1983’s GB100 and GK100 Jelly Fish; plus two…

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06.11.2017

HANDS-ON: Get in the bling – Hublot’s Big Bang Steel Diamonds is a knockout

Let’s face it, women are not buying women’s watches necessarily; they want a watch that does not discriminate, with a bit of bravado, whether by means baller or boxer. That said, the full diamond effect in every direction, of the kind that was Hublot’s 2 million Euro 44mm 145-ct Big Bang behemoth, with its baguette-laden strap, case and dial, is too chunky a statement for most women. Well, with the exception of the wife of a Vegas casino owner, who naturally felt right at home in it and swiftly claimed hers. I prefer to make like a Mayweather cornerman, not…

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21.10.2017

LIST: 11 classic ’80s watches, just in time for Stranger Things

The ’80s were Nerd City, peppered with popped polo shirts and pie-crust collars, Slime, The Breakfast Club, pommes noisettes, Pop Rocks candy and brine shrimp pets masquerading as Sea-Monkey kits. All items the young cast of the addictive, nostalgia trip that is Stranger Things no doubt had to get across when their director asked them to watch The Goonies and Stand By Me in pre-production. Against this neon, fad-filled haze emerges the ’80s saving graces – the best pop music in history and watches that either embraced new technology or new money. Here’s 11 (see what we did there) watches…

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28.09.2017

LIST: The evolution of the wrist – 3 professionals who rely on wrist machines that tell the time and more

There are some sweeping generalisations in the watch world when it comes to the watches preferred by professionals in different fields – Breitling for airline pilots, Hublot for NBA players, Nomos for architects… but reality doesn’t quite conform to prevailing watch-lover logic. The fact is those that leap from high altitudes don’t choose a Zenith as their wrist machine of choice, like Felix Baumgartner. Formula 1 drivers no longer don chronographs, they’re more likely to be painted on their gloves. We put our usual watch-only criteria aside to learn what these watch-looking machines actually do and why they are necessary. Luke…

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15.08.2017

HANDS-ON: When your hands are tied, consensually – Bulgari Serpenti Skin collection

Ancient Greek and Roman mythology furnish Bulgari with emblems from across the epochs, but their love affair with bold women in history also holds sway on their aesthetic. Like serpents, these dangerous beauties are sinful and sinuous — and nothing less than paradoxical. Fittingly, their latest Serpenti watch is a timepiece that can literally shed its skin. I regret not unravelling my tape measure to record the length of the thin double tour strap of the Bulgari Serpenti Skin, but it just felt so at ease on me I was happy to let it linger a while, almost unobtrusive except…

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01.08.2017

LIST: Tech set – the watches of 6 Australian start-up founders, including the guy who prefers his Daniel Wellington to a Daytona

Flash through the gallery of any broadsheets’ business section and in their latest technology success stories you’ll either see bare wrists or smartwatches — in stark contrast to other bling heavy business sectors. Maybe the preference is to spend on intellectual property fees with watches only casting a faint shadow on their bedside tables. We went further, tracking down six local leaders and quizzing them on their wrist choices, both connected and classic. Tim Fung – Founder and CEO of Airtasker Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 The premise of Airtasker – the online small jobs marketplace for outsourcing the services of…

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13.07.2017

LIST: 7 power players who wear budget watches

There is a band of world and business leaders who choose discreet watches over luxury pieces with value tantamount to a home deposit, recoiling at the thought of wearing a watch fashioned in their namesake or brandished as a status symbol. It would be a foolish misstep, however, to underestimate these style sleeper cells; men of influence, they resolutely reign in their domains. Steve Jobs – the late Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. Net worth: At the time of his death in 2011, Jobs’ net worth was estimated at US$10.2b Watch: Seiko BCRP St. Steel Back / 33mm…

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04.07.2017

LIST: 11 vintage watches for under $2000 that look superb on women

There’s no better way for nascent female watch enthusiasts to dip their toes into luxe waters than scaling the vintage market for a play with men’s models. You can score an utterly original watch, with provenance or history to boot, but with a forgiving price tag. First up, just get scanning the spectrum. With a feel for the models that interest you and when expenditure is more considered, you can start to look at rarity, how watches will hold their value, the history of a house, exemplary workmanship and innovation. My entry into this world was a diminutive Jaeger-LeCoultre ladies…

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30.05.2017

EVENT: Rado rallies behind young Australian design talent at the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards 2017

Co-presented by Belle magazine and Coco Republic, the leading name in furniture, property styling and interior design services, last week’s Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards brought together Australia’s best interior designers to celebrate the spectrum of their creativity working across residential, commercial and hospitality projects over the past year. The seventh industry awards night featured two new categories: the Rado Emerging Design Star and Best Work With Colour. The winner of the Rado Emerging Design Star award at the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards 2017 was Yasmine Ghoniem (Amber Road Design, Sydney), who said of her accolade, “The talent [tonight] was absolutely…

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08.05.2017

EVENT: The poetry of time is all in the details at Van Cleef & Arpels’ first Australian high jewellery exhibition

A three course, thoroughly French menu paired with Premier Cru Burgundy? Tick. A white-gloved waiter per guest? Tick. And a venue that Zelda Fitzgerald would have felt at ease in? Tick. Van Cleef & Arpels’ inaugural High Jewellery lunch in Sydney last week, at the private home Barford House, was a lesson in femininity and Place Vendôme heritage. The celebratory cavalry was out for the arrival of more than 80 high jewellery pieces. It’s the first such visit since the legendary Paris maison established its Australian presence, opening its Melbourne boutique last October and its Sydney flagship in February. This notable…

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