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David Yurman Classic Chronograph

James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Phil Ivey, March/April 2010

David Yurman and his family are best known as jewelers. Their shabby chic, East Coast style, with an emphasis on silver instead of gold, has created an iconic American look for jewelry much in the same way as Ralph Lauren’s clothes have for fashion. It all began with the idea of a cable bracelet in the early 1980s, which has come to be the signature design for the Yurman brand.

Yurman, now teamed up with his son Evan, has used the same cable look to personalize the design of their entry into the men’s fine watch market. They do not want to be considered fashion watchmakers but fine timepiece producers. Evan has been quoted saying that the range emphasizes “tradition with a modern twist.” Maybe he is speaking literally about the twisty, cable design around the side of the watch’s case.

The first collection was launched at the start of last year, and includes the classic three-hand mechanical movement Automatic, the Moon Phase and the Chronograph. All have automatic movements. The Chrono is clearly the coolest of the three, with its racy brushed stainless case, black face and black alligator strap with buffalo lining. There’s a retro 1960s, 1970s look to the watch that recalls the glory days of great sports car design symbolized by such marques as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.

The watch is housed in a 46-millimeter case that uses a Swiss Dubois-Depraz 2050 ETA 2824, a chronometer-caliber movement that can achieve a 40-hour power reserve. The watch’s sapphire crystal has a double-coated, antireflective coating. Another crystal on the skeleton back reveals part of the movement in action. Indicators include a seconds dial at 3 o’clock, a 45-minute counter at 9 o’clock and a center-mounted stoppable seconds timer. It’s quite functional as well as stylish, with its water resistance to 100 feet (Shame a stainless-steel bracelet is not yet offered.) Suggested retail is about $4,500.

Yurman launched its focused men’s watch collection just a few weeks after fashion magnate Ralph Lauren did the same with his larger and more diverse watch line. Yurman’s watches are much better values and achieve much of the same design, feel and functionality of the Lauren watches but with that little extra “twist” of personality.

Visit davidyurman.com.

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