The Mystical Properties of Mother of Pearl

Long has mother of pearl been the dial material of choice for ladies watches. But is there more to it than meets the eye?

The dictionary definition of mother of pearl is ‘a hard iridescent substance, mostly calcium carbonate, that forms the inner layer of the shells of certain molluscs, such as the oyster.’ Made from the same outer coating as precious pearls, mother of pearl or ‘nacre’ (to give it it’s official title), is ‘secreted by the epithelial cells of the mantle tissue’ or natural inner lining that builds up on the inside of the shell of a mollusc. For such a mundane process, the beautiful results of the calcium carbonate layering seem incredible.

So why is nacre called mother of pearl? The mollusc shells, are the ‘mother’ from which pearls are ‘born.’ Therefore the lining is taken from the mother. Of course this assumes that each shell will create a pearl, but I think we can allow a little artistic licence.

Ladies Newport Chronograph models with mother of pearl dials

Ladies Newport Chronograph models with mother of pearl dials

As this creation of beauty is seemingly a natural phenomenon, there are a number of theories and myths that are associated with mother of pearl.

The mystical qualities of this miraculous material are meant to include the ability to heal the body and mind. It is thought that mother of pearl has the power to enhance your psychic sensitivity along with imaginative skill; shield the soul from the off-putting energies and transform them into positive ones; nurture and protect the wearer; rid the wearer of hurtful emotions and evoke a sense of harmony and balance. So where does all this positive energy come from? It is taken from the ocean bed during the layering process and therefore transfers positive the energies of the sea to the wearer.

So when you are considering your next watch purchase, remember that the addition of a mother of pearl dial could seriously improve your life!


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2017 Review

As we say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in a brand-new year, it is time to review how we spent our well-earned cash over the Christmas period.  A watch purchase is often seen as an investment purchase, so making the right decision is crucial and often well researched.

As most of the year’s sales are made in the last financial quarter, i.e October, November, December looking at Christmas buying trends can be very telling of the financial feeling for the entire year.

So, which watches did we choose and how much money did we spend on them?

Siam bangle watch from Michel Herbelin. Model number 17435/BT19 – RRP £399




For women, the Michel Herbelin best-seller was a very stylish bangle watch from the Siam collection.

Model number 17435/BT19 – RRP £399


With the effortless combination of high grade stainless steel and natural iridescent mother of pearl still showing design dominance, this watch is an easy choice for everyday wear.




What was our highest selling men’s watch?  The blue rubber strap edition of the Newport Connect collection. Model number 2017.GC/15CB – RRP £620.

Newport Connect from Michel Herbelin. Model number 2017.GC/15CB – RRP £620


This watch not only informs the user of sleep hours and gives phone and activity notifications, but it bridges the gap between old and new with a desirable analogue dial, practical rubber strap and attractive bold styling.

Whether the popularity of the best-selling watches from 2017 will be replicated in 2018 remains to be seen, but as the new year models are developed and released, new trends will undoubtedly unfurl.

The Personification of Watches

We all love our wristwatches.  Many are given to us by loved ones to celebrate birthdays, commemorate special anniversaries or traditionally perhaps inherited, or given as retirement or wedding gifts.  The likelihood is that your watch (rivaled in hierarchy only perhaps by key pieces of jewellery) will be a faithful friend, staying with you for decades at a time.

As I write this, I wear a well worn timepiece, a well loved, treasured gift.  Although this it is now not my only watch, it is worn more than most.

My treasured Michel Herbelin watch – seven years old and counting!

So at the risk of appearing over sentimental, do we think of a watch as an old friend?  Verification could be found in the choice of anatomical vocabulary commonly used to label individual watch elements.  It could be argued that this personification of the object reveals our affection for it.

These are some examples:

The workings of a watch or the movement are referred to as the watch ‘heart’.

Watch ‘hands’, pointing to the hour, minute or second.

The dial of a watch (that sits under the glass) is colloquially referred to as its ‘face’.

The case containing the movement can be referred to as the ‘head’.

The ‘shoulders’ of the case hold the lug of the bracelet or strap in place.

A watch has moving parts like an engine or a human heart.  It will wear out as our cars or our own bodies will in time.  The difference between a car and a watch (although both have engines of sorts) is that the watch is worn on our body, therefore our personification of it is, I suppose, inevitable.  So look after your watch as it is likely, that your children when the time comes, will love it as much as you do.

Michel Herbelin 70th Anniversary 1947-2017


Michel Herbelin - Inspiration 1947 - 1947-P11MA


 Limited Edition watch to celebrate 70 years of watchmaking in Charquemont, France

1947 saw the foundation of French Watchmaking company Michel Herbelin, which this year celebrates its 70th birthday. An anniversary watch commemorating those seven decades of watchmaking passion is to be issued in a numbered limited series of 500 worldwide. Paying tribute to the past, this new timepiece christened Inspiration 1947 also brings beauty into the present moment, beating to the rhythm of its manually wound mechanical movement. . .

An inspired style

While naturally drawing inspiration from the watch designs of its earliest years – 1947 to 1950 – Michel Herbelin has taken painstaking care over every detail of its anniversary model to anchor it in the 21st century.

Limited Edition 1947 Anniversary Watch 1947/P11MA RRP £1,245


The case measures 40 mm in diameter, its design a ubiquity of rounded curves extending into refined, plain lugs. A domed dial shelters beneath an answering curve of sapphire crystal, set off by the polished yellow gold that plates the steel case.  Patterned with a matte silver sunburst, the dial heightens this model’s understated aesthetics with two hands in finely curved dagger shapes that sweep around a clearly set out minute track punctuated by gilded applique hour-markers.  With a date aperture discreetly set at 3 o’clock, the classicism of the overall design is subtly roused by the graphic starkness of the dial’s small seconds counter.

Lovers of beauty will appreciate Michel Herbelin’s single-minded attention to the finish of each tiny detail. Like the ribbed, ball-shaped crown set with a blue cabochon, or the watch strap made from gold leather, hand-finished for a patina that brings the final touch of elegance to the timeless design of this commemorative timepiece.

 A manually wound mechanical movement

True to the watchmaking conventions of the 1950s, Inspiration 1947 is fitted with a manually wound mechanical movement – the first seen at Michel Herbelin since 1970. . . As ever, a Swiss-made calibre was selected to guarantee reliability and sturdiness:

the 24-jewelled Sellita 11 ½  SW216-1 oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers a 42-hour power reserve. The circular graining and Côtes de Genève pattern of its workings can be admired through a transparent caseback, to the delight of everyone who appreciates fine mechanisms.

Watchmaking expertise in the French tradition

Founded in Charquemont in the Haut-Doubs region, French Watchmaking Atelier

Michel Herbelin has been designing timepieces that highlight French watchmaking expertise for 70 years. The family-run business takes pride in producing quality watches of refined design, and making them widely accessible through its reasonable price range. In keeping with this philosophy laid down in 1947, the Michel Herbelin anniversary watch was conceived, designed, assembled, calibrated and inspected within our Maison in the Jura.


Newport Connect Watches

A new generation Newport

Newport Connect

After months of eager anticipation, the Newport Connect watch is here!

After being showcased at Baselworld 2017, the Newport Connect featuring a classic analogue dial integrating smart functions is now available to own. Immediately recognisable with its central clasp, the Newport Connect delivers a modernist reinterpretation of the Newport, the emblematic Michel Herbelin watch.

Adhering to a traditional watchmaking aesthetic, the Newport Connect remains true to the first mission of a watch: to tell the time.

Newport Connect Man


Enhanced by a bezel punctuated by four screws, the 41.5 mm diameter case in the Men’s model and 35 mm diameter case in the women’s model in steel or coated with polished gun PVD opens onto an analogue dial, protected by a scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Stamped with a vertical motif in the centre, with sunburst pattern under the hours and circular brushing on the encircling flange, the dial is given a subtly architectural  touch through the contrasting effects of materials, bringing clarity and depth to the background colour. Coated with a luminescent material, the hour and minute hands move between imposing hour markers, punctuated by Arabic numerals austerely set at 6 and 12 o’clock. In their minimalist design, they ensure optimal readability and at the same time, add a dynamic impact to the overall refinement of the dial. Presented with a bezel in brushed steel or brushed rose gold PVD, the Newport Connect is finished with a either  a genuine leather strap or in FKM rubber, an extremely resistant material that is specific to this new collection.  With carefully worked elements to ensure wearing comfort, it presents a smooth, shiny appearance that brings the final touch of modernity to the sporty chic style of this piece.



What exactly are the multiple functions?Newport Connect Lady

While it is busy notifying its owner of incoming calls and messages, it also ensures optimal physical well being: it tracks activity and sleep time with dynamic coaching that offers suggestions and tips according to the wearer’s profile and target goals. It is also a helpful travel companion, automatically resetting to local time zones, but remembering the time in the city of origin: a major advantage in managing time shifts. Indicated by the hands and a vibration mode, these functions are easy to use: the transition from a smart functionality to the analogue time display is made by simply pressing on the crown.

When a call or message notification is received on the mobile phone, the watch vibrates: the two hands move to PHONE, at 2 o’clock for calls, or to NOTIFICATIONS, at 10 o’clock for messages. A single push on the crown triggers the movement of the hands back to the time position.

Activity tracking can be viewed by pressing once on the crown. When the minute hand points to ACTIVITY at 8 o’clock, the hour hand indicates the percentage of activity obtained on the graduated circle, at the centre of the dial. After two seconds, the hands return to their initial position.

Based on an identical mode of functioning, the sleep tracker is displayed by pushing on the crown for 3 seconds. The minute hand points to SLEEP at 4 o’clock, while the hour hand indicates the percentage obtained on the graduated circle, at the centre of the dial. Two seconds later, the hands return to the time.

The Newport Connect functions with the MMT-365 application, available for iOS and Android. Once it is downloaded onto the smartphone, it is possible via Bluetooth to monitor activity and sleep for the day, the week or the month, thanks to simple, easy to understand graphics. The data collected on the watch is memorised for up to 30 days and can be saved on the cloud and restored if needed.

A watch “Made in France” Drawn, designed, assembled, adjusted and inspected at the Michel Herbelin French Watchmaking Studio, the Newport Connect is heir to French watchmaking know-how, rooted in the Jura mountains of France’s Franche-Comté region since 1947. As with all the brand’s collections, it is equipped with a Swiss movement, a true mark of quality and precision. In this case, it is a quartz calibre, the MMT 281, for which the decisive advantage is battery life. Powered by a battery with a life of two years, it does not need to be recharged. A real joy. . . Blending in perfect harmony the elegance of a traditional watch with the functions made possible by connected technology, the Newport Connect will conquer watch and high-tech aficionados of all ages.

Newport Yacht Club Skeleton Auto Limited Edition

Own a little piece of history…

This season Michel Herbelin have produced two very special watches to celebrate Newport Yacht Club – part of the flagship Newport collection. Inspired by the America’s Cup and the race to Newport, Rhode Island, Newport has been an integral part of Michel Herbelin’s iconic collection since 1988.

These two watches are feats of engineering achievement made in the historic image of Newport but with an incredible elegance and modern feel.

The fully open dial and transparent case of the Newport Yacht Club Skeleton (model 1655/SQ11) enables an unadulterated view, front and back, of the ruby studied 11 ½ SW200 Sellita Swiss Skeleton movement, generating 28,800 oscillations per hour and with a power reserve of 38 hours. The dial detailing echoes the portholes of transatlantic sailing ships.

Newport Yacht Club

The Open Heart window showing the 11 ½ SW200 Swiss automatic movement of this second timepiece fits delicately into the mother of pearl dial (model 1655/CO19). The case back again is transparent keeping the view of the movement open to the wearer.

Newport Yacht Club Open Heart

With both models only being made in a limited edition of 100 and each piece individually numbered, this is a rare opportunity to own your very own part of Michel Herbelin history.


Antares Interchangeable – The watch that changes with you

With every watch purchase comes the fear that the style and colour you choose will not stand the test of time.  The colour of the leather strap or type of metal on the bracelet is carefully considered to avoid clashing with regularly worn items of jewellery.  As a result of this, it requires a hint of daring to opt for something more unusual if it is to become a staple item.

Michel Herbelin watch

The Antares Interchangeable watch from Michel Herbelin


The Antares watch comes with an innovative connecting system that enables the wearer to click and lock their existing strap or bracelet in two easy steps to remove and replace with an alternative in a few seconds.  This means that the watch strap can be regularly changed without taking it into an expert fitter – allowing it to adapt and change with you.




Single and double wraparound leather straps and bracelet

Single and double wraparound leather straps and bracelet

There are around 30 different coloured leather straps available in soft smooth calf skin leather, crocodile or lizard, suede or shiny gloss finish.  They are also available in single and double wrap around lengths.  If leather is not to your taste, there are bracelets in a variety of metal finishes with the same click and lock fixing, allowing them to be worn in the same way.

This watch is a fusion of fashion and practicality.

Antares Interchangeable with blue satin double length strap

Available to order online

or from any official Michel Herbelin stockist

The Matterhorn: Watch Testing In The Extreme

John Peck

John Peck

How many people can truly say they have tested their watch to it’s limits?  We spoke to real life adventurer, motivator and team building expert John Peck who has done precisely this in his incredible adventures to the four corners of the earth.  John has rowed from London-Paris in a whaler rowing boat (World Record holder), rowed across the Atlantic, climbed the Matterhorn, lead a student expedition to the Malaysian jungle and completed the Marathon Des Sables – 7 day/ 151 mile marathon race across the Sahara Desert!  Quite amazing by anyone’s standards. 

John says, “It is always impressive to see a film star sporting a good quality watch but I guess many of them will never get the chance to test them in action for real in seriously dangerous conditions where your life can be on the line any minute. Over the past ten years I have had the chance to really put what I consider to be one of the finest quality watches available from Michel Herbelin to the ultimate test in environments that could not be more testing – from temperatures of minus 45 degrees on the polar ice cap to + 45 degrees in the heart of the Sahara Desert.

The Matterhorn. Photo: John Peck

The Matterhorn. Photo: John Peck

Let’s start with what is probably one of the best-known mountains in the world – the Matterhorn – at just under 5000 metres – it has justifiably earned its image as the ‘killer mountain’.  On a climb like this, what you are looking for is a no nonsense, discrete watch that will not catch on your equipment ,and will withstand the occasional hand jamb or falling rock without immediately falling apart.  My Michel Herbelin watch proved to be just the job for this.” As you can imagine, a very experienced climber like John, has to trust the equipment around him as the implications of a failure in such extreme conditions could be catastrophic.

Matterhorn Early Morning view down into Zermatt. Photo: John Peck

Matterhorn Early Morning view down into Zermatt. Photo: John Peck

John explains that, “On a climb like the Matterhorn, timing is everything. To know when to turn back or continue to the summit can determine whether you will live or die. It is always great to know when tackling peaks like this, whilst there are many variables that you may not be able to control – a trusty watch will always be your friend and consistently feels good on your wrist – whether perched on the sheer rocks on the slopes of the Matterhorn or on the table in the Boardroom. Michel Herbelin ticks all those boxes for me – and , amazingly – at a price you can afford.”

John wears a Michel Herbelin Divers watch, with date function and luminous hour markers and hands. It is water resistant to 200 metres, but in his experience it will also withstands dramatic changes in air pressure and the odd knock from falling rocks!

Michel Herbelin Diver's watch model 12682/05B

Michel Herbelin Diver’s watch model 12682/05B

Click here to find out more about John Peck and his adventures

Any colour as long as it’s BLUE

Daniel Craig’s tux may have started it all, but now stores are racing to keep up with the demand for blue suits. Blue tones are also hot when it comes to gents timepieces this season.

When it comes to men’s suits, blue is cool – and hot – as high street retailers report the colour is the new go-to hue for men’s formal wear. For the first time in John Lewis’s 150 year history, blue suits are out-selling black ones nearly four to one: a blue suit is sold nearly every four minutes. The department store chain has expanded its blue suit range by 30 per cent this season in response to demand.

It is a similar story at Marks & Spencer, where blue suits started outselling black in the last year and doubled its range of blue suits in the same period. It now sells two blue suits for every black one.

“Generally, men are wearing colour again” said Charles McKenna, buying director at menswear chain Slaters. “Last year, various shades of grey became very popular. This year the cloth mills introduced blue in various shades, royal blue being extremely popular.

Actor Daniel Craig’s appearance in a midnight-blue tux in the 2012 Bond film Skyfall helped kick-start the trend.
Daniel Craig

Indeed, Craig favoured blue throughout the film. In one of the final scenes, Bond is wearing a navy coat with leather accents around the collar from designer, Billy Reid.  While 007’s coat was single breasted, Billy Reid made the same style in a double breasted version along with a Bond Peacoat which is still available to order.



As trends in timepieces closely follow fashion trends, blue tones are becoming an increasingly popular choice for men’s wristwear. Here is a look at our current favourites:-



36655-AN652014-copie-577x1024Newport Yacht Club Chronograph ref 36655/AN65

 Click Here

With its striking blue PVD bezel and blue dial, the Newport Yacht Club Chrono is an imposing and practical timepiece. It has a soft blue calf strap with stitched sides     that will ensure comfort and durability.  RRP: £665









12270-BT15-553x1024Newport Trophy Bracelet Watch ref 12270/BT15

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From Michel Herbelin’s flagship NEWPORT collection, the Newport Trophy is a rugged, practical timepiece with a fresh and youthful vibe. The 39mm case is in stainless steel with a brushed gold PVD bezel. The blue lacquered dial has luminous indexes and hands for improved legibility in dark conditions. Water resistant to 10 ATM, this is the perfect watch for an active man with a spirit of adventure.  RRP: £585







1686-B15-578x1024Newport Yacht Club Automatic ref 1686/B15

Click Here

This version of the Newport Yacht Club watch has an AUTOMATIC movement so there is no battery to change. The watch is powered by the movement of the wrist. The beauty of this timepiece is in the top quality finishing. The Stainless Steel case and bracelet are finished to the highest possible standards creating a watch that feels as luxurious as it looks. The bold indexes on the dial are shaped to resemble the hull of a yacht. Coated with a luminous material, both the indexes and hands can be read in even the poorest light conditions. The dial is in a rich, midnight blue lacquered finish with the applied Newport Ship’s wheel logo at the 12 o’clock position. The Newport Yacht Club is a luxury watch with bold detailing which gives it a modern flair. RRP: £820




Sources:- The Independent on Sunday, 24 August 2014


Top 5 Watch Forums

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In the world of watches, forums are still the place to be for the latest news and insider knowledge. Where social media has been offering an outlet for watch related discussion in recent years, attention has never detracted from watch forums as they continue to go from strength to strength.

Watch collectors and enthusiasts love to share their latest investment, or when they are not showing off their latest pride and joy, are on hand to offer priceless advice to others before looking to make a considerable purchase. Undeniably a valuable resource for anyone; regardless of whether you are buying your first or tenth wrist watch, we take a look at the some of the biggest and busiest watch forums which have long created a buzz online.

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