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Hometown Hero

TONY GWYNN More than a Legend


Teaching children through classical music


From Georgian to Retro: a look at the evolving trends of jewelry design

SOMETIMES THE UNDERDOG WINS San Diego-Based race team Autocon have the heart & spirit it takes to win

What’s New: An amazing 7.70ctw Van Cleef & Arpels estate diamond ring

PLUS: Introducing our latest watch line Phillip Stein, new designs from Hearts On Fire, Bertolucci, Omega, and much more.






COVER STORY 18 Photography by Aimee Hargrove Publisher Leo Hamel Executive Editor and Photographer Aimee Hargrove Art Director and Designer Erny Castro Writers Dorian Hargrove Robin Hart Leo Hamel Contributing Writer’s Cynthia Chaplin Bianca Ramirez Kelsey Lamaun Carly Park James M. Hart Content Supervisor Maggie Scheuer Copy Editor Robin Hart



Our Services The Gemological Institute of America Diamond Cuts Jewelry Design: Through the Eras 15 Testimonials 19  Watch Out: Philip Stein 20  Estate Jewelry 23 Classics 4 Kids 24  Sometimes the Underdog Wins 27 Why Collect? 28 Impeccable Taste: Ulysse Nardin Collector 30  Cover Story: Keeping it Simple; Tony Gwynn 32  What to Wear: The Races 33 Events Calendar 34 The Concept and Measurement of Time: Part 1 36 New from Omega & Bertolucci 38 Birthstones 39  New from Marco Bicego 40 Van Cleef & Arpels 41 The Psychic Jeweler 42 New from Hearts On FireÂŽ 43 A Love Story 06 08 10 12

Old Town 1851 San Diego Ave. San Diego, Ca 92110 619.299.1500 Solana Beach 415 S. Cedros Ave. Solana Beach, Ca 92075 858.509.5900 Rancho Bernardo Buying Office 16909-A West Bernardo Dr. San Diego, CA 92127 858.675.0239



Maxi Marine Chronometer 43 mm - 266-67-3/43 Self-winding chronometer certified movement. Water-resistant to 200 m. 18 ct rose gold case. Available on gold bracelet or rubber strap. W W W . U LY S S E - N A R D I N . C O M


Hello Friends and Customers, The feedback from our first issue of this new magazine, Leo Hamel Times, was quite satisfying and we incorporated some of your suggestions in this current issue. I am interested in any further input you may have on subjects you’d like to see us cover. If you have a story or idea for a story that you would like to submit, we’ll consider it. It doesn’t have to be about jewelry or watches; any story or article of interest may be appropriate. And you don’t have to be a professional writer – just put your story into words and we can help you polish it up a bit. Send your stories and ideas to: I am pleased and honored that Tony Gwynn, an all-time favorite of San Diego baseball fans, agreed to be the subject of an article in this edition. Although there is no question that Tony is an outstanding athlete, it is because he and his wife, Alicia, generously give not only their money but also their time to those in need that I call them “heroes.” If you have visited either of my stores recently you may have noticed that we are offering a larger variety of estate jewelry for sale than before. My company was founded on this basic formula: a great selection of estate jewelry and pre-owned fine watches. You’ll be seeing more of both as we expand our collection once again. And we are always interested in buying your old jewelry and watches or taking them in trade for something new. You can upgrade that plastic crystal Submariner for the latest sapphire crystal model now! Upgrade your diamond ring to a bigger one or trade in your diamond earrings for some twice the size! By the time this goes to press we will have opened a new buying office in Rancho Bernardo where my brother-in-law, Dano, will give you top dollar for your unwanted jewelry, watches and other valuables. If it suits our customers we may even start doing a little selling there but we’re starting out with a buying office as that is what is now in demand. Enjoy perusing this issue and let me know if there is anything I can help you with or anything in this magazine you’d like to see changed. You can always contact me directly at And thank you again to all my loyal customers – this magazine is for YOU! Leo Hamel President Lisa Hamel Vice President

Hello Aimee,

Letters to the editor


How are you doing? Hope all is well. My name is George and I have been in the Marketing and Advertising business for 21years and I wanted to let you know what a great job you and your staff did on Leo Hamel Times Vol. 1. I came home one evening to check my mail and found the magazine with Mayor Jerry Sanders on the front cover and I said to myself I remember when we interviewed him when I was at the radio station. I opened it up and I said WOW! I didn’t know that Leo Hamel was in the publishing business. What a beautiful picture of him, his wife and the little ones. Let’s not forget Leo Hamel Senior lifting weights with Leo Hamel Junior. Great Job! Sincerely, George R. Hi,

I have just received your new effort, the Leo Hamel Times, and feel compelled to write some thoughts that it brings to mind. I think this is a substantial step forward in the marketing of your products and congratulate you and your team. Whereas before your catalog was looked at only if there was time on my hands, now I’m compelled to read it because it contains stories and tidbits that I can relate to. Keep up the good work. While I’m at it, I congratulate you on bringing the Glashütte Original line into your stores, which you had mentioned previously. This line is a much greater value than its competitor A. Lange & Söhne. Indeed, German brands in general are far better values than the Swiss, whose prices have become beyond reason for causes too many to go into here. Nevertheless, I’d probably sell my soul for an H. Moser & Cie. Such is the sickness of a watch-a-holic. By the way, it would do no harm if there was a discreet little list somewhere of the lines you carry (see list page 12). Right now I’m trying to compare the desirability of a Glashütte Pano versus a Perrelet jumping hour and it’s hard to remember everything about a source. Congratulations again on Volume 1 and good luck in the future. Sincerely, Robert B.

W W W . U LY S S E - N A R D I N . C O M



Watch Repair Recieve 10% OFF cut here

•Ring sizing •Cleaning and overhaul •Pearl restringing •Jewelry polishing •Prong re-tipping •Any other repair

Not valid with any other coupon or discounts. One per customer. Expires 9/30/08


echanical watch movements are like engines in luxury automobiles; they need to be maintained and serviced on a regular basis. Lubricating an automatic movement is similar to getting an oil change in your car. When an automatic watch is not serviced every 3-5 years the oils dry out, timekeeping may lose accuracy, and parts can begin to wear. Old lubricants turn into a fine dust and can wear out the pivots of watch wheels if not replaced regularly. A complete watch service at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers consists of disassembling the watch movement, cleaning every part of any old lubricant, relubricating all necessary points, reassembling the movement, and adjusting the timing to standard (plus or minus 2-9 seconds per day) specifications. The exterior of the watch is then fully refinished, removing all scratches and restoring the factory finish to the exterior case and bracelet, and timing is checked for accuracy over a period of 72 hours. A service from Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers also includes a one-year warranty on timekeeping and a 90-day warranty on parts. It is a common misconception that if a watch has not been worn for years it does not need to be serviced. An automatic movement works best when it is in use; the rotation of the winding rotor and motion of the various gears and parts allow oils to distribute evenly throughout the movement; when it is not being worn these oils disperse and dry out. Sometimes watches can run for many years without being serviced, but doing so wears down the movement parts, eventually causing very costly repairs and can dramatically reduce the accuracy of the timekeeping. If you wish to keep your timepiece in optimum working condition and perhaps some day pass it on to a loved one it is crucial to have regular maintenance performed. Fine watches can continue to perform flawlessly for decades and even centuries as long as they are properly maintained.


Jewelry Repair

s your jewelry in disrepair? When we love our jewelry, we wear it every day and it really takes a beating, getting scratched and dented along the way. Maybe your wedding ring is a bit tight; that favorite chain is broken; the backs are missing from a pair of earrings; and the string on grandma’s pearls has stretched to twice its former length. Maybe you found a lovely vintage piece of jewelry at an estate sale that needs restoration, or the setting is outdated. Perhaps your favorite pieces are just not as shiny and sparkling as they were the day you bought them. These are all problems that we at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers can solve! The highly-trained jewelers in our repair department can evaluate your jewelry and give you an estimate for any repairs or changes that you would like to have made. Our professional jewelers can do it all: size rings, retip prongs, tighten loose stones, restring pearls, polish jewelry, rhodium plate and replace clasps. We do it all and for less money than you might think. Why buy new when you can repair or restore what you already own and make it look like new again?! We have four full time jewelers and can do some items same day or within 24 hours. Come in for a free estimate today!

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers announces a

New Buying Location We are proud to announce the opening of our new Rancho Bernardo Estate Buying Office. We are paying top dollar for the following items: •Gold, silver or platinum jewelry; new or old, even damaged •Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier and any fine Swiss watches •Diamonds & precious gems •Designer jewelry •Antique & vintage jewelry •Coins and precious metal •Antique firearms, ivory carvings, fine art, vases •Colored gems and more

Rancho Bernardo

16909-A West Bernardo Dr. San Diego, CA 92127 858.675.0239 #3711-1889


The School of Hard


The Gemological Institute of America

Written by Cynthia Chaplin, G.G.


id you know that synthetic rubies have been around since the 1880’s? What about the fact that tanzanite gets its intense blue-purple color only after heat treatment? Were you aware that although diamond is the hardest substance on earth, that jade is actually tougher? Having a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) in the jewelry store that you patronize is peace of mind for you and assurance of quality for the jeweler. A trained G.G. is able to accurately identify natural diamonds versus diamond simulants, determine the “grade” of a diamond (typically thought of as the color and clarity) and estimate carat weight on a mounted stone. Carat “weight” is actually that – how much the diamond weighs in a measurement called “carats.” To estimate weight when the diamond can’t be weighed on a scale is done by measuring the dimensions of the stone and performing mathematical calculations from those measurements. A Graduate Gemologist is also a colored stone expert who can identify and determine the quality of over 250 colored gems, differentiate between natural, synthetics and simulants, and spot treated and assembled stones. Many different kinds of gemstones are subjected to some kind of color-enhancing treatment these days and that can affect their value. Assembled stones are made from a less valuable stone that is glued to a more valuable one to enhance the color or increase the size. We can even give you some background information and history of many gemstones, tell you which locales produce the highest quality, and help you to judge the more elusive aspects of value. Since its inception in 1931, the 8 LEO HAMEL TIMES

Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, has set the standards in the field of gemology for the entire jewelry industry. Many people are familiar with GIA’s system of grading and certifying diamonds, but might not realize that GIA is every bit as much invested in education as in laboratory science. The Graduate Gemologist program is an intensive course in diamond grading and colored stone identification with an emphasis on the jewelry industry which takes a minimum of six months to complete. Students are trained in the use of very specialized equipment; the microscope is standard, but there is also the refractometer, the polariscope, the spectroscope, the dichrosope, and many more. In addition to the laboratory training, GIA requires all of its teachers to have at least three years of retail experience in the jewelry industry in order to provide students with the maximum amount of applicable training. Seminars are held regularly on campus by industry leaders in order to further the education experience. The student comes away with not only a quality scientific education, but also advice from insiders in the trade and tips from the field. Whether you need to identify the stones in the jewelry your grandmother passed down, decide which gemstone will work in the custom design you’ve been dreaming of, or simply want more information on choosing the right diamond for your soon-to-be fiancée, five Graduate Gemologists are available at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers to help with a wealth of knowledge to share.




magine possessing an incredible piece of custom-designed jewelry that no one else on earth will ever own! Our Custom Jewelry Team can make your dreams a reality and for less money than you may think. Our talented jewelry artisans skillfully unite the best of old-world craftsmanship with state-ofthe-art Computer Aided Drafting techniques. The resulting creations are both artistically stunning and scientifically precise in design. Virtually any piece of jewelry that you envision can be brought to life by our Design Team. Bring in a picture or drawing of something that caught your eye and we will make it uniquely yours. Recreate the piece that was lost or stolen so that it can once again be enjoyed. See some bling on a Hollywood star that you admired? It can be yours. We want the process of designing and creating your unique piece to be a fun, interesting and enjoyable one. You will approve an exact wax model of your design before work begins so that you are assured that your finished custom jewelry will exceed your expectations. Come in and get started on your custom designed jewelry today!

ow much jewelry do you have in your jewelry box that you don’t wear because it’s out of style or just isn’t your style? Why not recycle that jewelry into something new that you can actually enjoy wearing? Our expert jewelers can take your existing piece and redesign it to change the look a little or a lot. White gold can be made yellow, or yellow gold made white. Shiny finishes can become matte, or satin finishes can be polished to a high shine. Gemstones can be added or swapped for different colors or for diamonds to add sparkle. Diamond earring studs can be converted into sexy dangles. A diamond pendant can be reset in a slide or enhancer, or add a diamond or two and create a Journey pendant. Buy another diamond to match and make a pair of earrings. Take the diamond from a ring and set it in a pendant, and then set a bright colored stone in the ring. The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to get a whole new look. And don’t forget your watch! We can add diamonds to many watch brands, on the bezel that goes around the dial, on the lugs that hold the bracelet to the case or sometimes on the clasp too. Adding diamonds to a watch dresses it up and adds a touch of luxury. Many watches can be fitted with different straps in a variety of colors and textures to make a dramatic change in the look. Bring us your jewelry box and discover the possibilities!

Custom Jewelry


The History of

Diamond Cutting t takes millions of years to transform carbon into diamond as the result of the extreme heat and pressure that is exerted in the earth’s layers far under the surface. Because of the complexity of diamond’s crystalline structure it has taken thousands of years to perfect the art of cutting these precious gems to release the maximum fire and brilliance. Cut determines how well a diamond will reflect and refract light. The more precisely a diamond is proportioned and

polished, the bigger it will look and the more brilliantly it will perform. Before the 1300’s diamond cutting was considered taboo, attributed mainly to the difficulty encountered when trying to cut the ultra-hard stones. Up until the latter part of the century diamonds were worn or displayed in their natural octahedral shape, like two pyramids stacked base to base.

Old Single Cut


By the end of the 14th century the taboo of cutting diamonds had become obsolete. Yet due to primitive cutting techniques diamonds still had a dark and dull appearance. Due to this lack of beauty, the diamond was not as popular and highly coveted as its counterpart, the colored gemstone. Rubies, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones were all the rage.

{ Old Mine Cut


With time the cutting and shaping of diamonds became more refined. The earliest form of the “Modern Round Brilliant” cut is the “Old Mine” cut. This cut is round in shape, and the crown is taller in proportion to the smaller table of the gem, allowing the brilliance and fire to shine through the facets with ease. 10 LEO HAMEL TIMES



Rose Cut


Advancing the art of faceted gem cutting, Giacomo Tagliacarne and the Renaissance’s Giovanni delle Corniole refined the “Rose” or “Rosette” cut. The Rosette cut popularized the diamond by showcasing its ability to reflect and refract light. Unfortunately the thicker cuts used by this cutting technique to prevent light from leaking out through the bottom of the diamond rather than being reflected back out of the top, also reduced the fire and diamond’s potential to dazzle remained untapped.



Old European Cut


With a circular girdle, the “Old European” cut is the immediate precursor to the “Modern Round Brilliant” cut. With a hefty crown, a tall depth, and a small table, the “Old European” cut truly revealed the splendor of the diamond for the first time.


Hearts on Fire® Super Ideal Cut

Modern Round Brilliant Cut


The Modern Round Brilliant Cut was developed in 1919 by renowned Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky, and used mathematical science to further refine the Old European Cut and maximize the scintillation, fire and brilliance of the cut diamond. The Modern Round Brilliant cut when done to exact proportion is referred to as an “ideal cut” diamond. Unfortunately most diamonds are not cut to these exacting standards and although they have the basic shape and form of the Modern Round Brilliant, they do not exhibit the fire and brilliance that one could expect from an ideal cut.


The Hearts On Fire® diamond has set the new standard for diamond cutting with their Super Ideal Cut – far superior to the average “ideal cut.” Hearts on Fire’s® name was inspired by a natural phenomenon of light created by this perfect cutting technique – each Hearts On Fire® round brilliant diamond displays a perfect ring of eight hearts when viewed from the bottom, and a perfectly formed symmetrical fireburst when viewed from the top. Only a select group of craftsmen have mastered the skills necessary to cut these diamonds. The Hearts On Fire® diamond is analyzed, hand-cut and polished using 100x magnification, which is 10 times the grading standards used by the world’s gemological labs. That’s why Hearts On Fire® diamonds take up to four times longer to cut than other diamonds. It is also why a Hearts On Fire® diamond looks like no other diamond of comparable color, clarity and carat weight. They sparkle with the utmost brilliance and fire and less than one in every million diamonds is cut to this extraordinary level of perfection. It is affectionately called a “five-table” diamond, as its cut and polish allows it to stand out from as far as five restaurant tables away. Hearts On Fire® diamonds – for a difference that you can really see!


Personal Shopper

Offering our TIME


t Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, we pride ourselves in having the most experienced and knowledgeable team of sales professionals in San Diego County, or maybe the world. Members of our sales team have owned as well as managed other jewelry stores and small businesses, and others are Graduate Gemologists. In combination they represent a vast amount of expertise in the jewelry industry. Our sales executives offer a personal shopping service that can cater to your jewelry and watch needs. Do you collect vintage Art Deco, or have a penchant for black diamonds? Looking for a particular model of IWC that is out of production? Let your sales professional know of your preferences and they will do the shopping for you. You’ll get the first shot at the most coveted goodies even before they go on display. We also cater to corporate accounts. Our corporate customers have rewarded their employees with such incentives as fine Swiss watches or jewelry gift certificates. We are happy to help their employees choose the perfect piece to celebrate that promotion or attained goal.


Best But The

Here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers we carry only the finest watches and jewelry from some of the world’s most prestigious brands.

Pre-owned Rolex


Dear Mr. Hamel, Last week I visited Leo Hamel’s in Solana Beach.

I had the pleasure of being attended to by Evan Campbell whose friendly demeanor and thorough knowledge in responding to my many questions served to be very educational guaranteeing I will be a returning customer. I look forward to visiting your store in the future and will be recommending Evan to others.

Dear Leo Hamel,

Best Regards, Catherine Besmehn

Ten years ago for my 30th birthday my husband made my dreams come true; he bought me a Rolex watch. During that time he met and worked with Yolanda and she helped find the perfect watch for me. I’ve worn it almost every day for ten years and it is by far my favorite piece of jewelry. When my husband’s big 40th Birthday came around a few years later, Yolanda helped me surprise him with the perfect watch. She helped me decide on just the right gift, an Omega, and he appreciates the quality of such a fine watch.

With both purchases Yolanda was outstanding in patience and guidance as well as assuring us that the price we were paying was appropriate. Her smile and warmth were amazing and to be quite honest I really consider her a friend. Whenever I hear one of your ads on TV or the radio, I think of Yolanda and her friendly smile. To me she is what makes Leo Hamel a warm comfortable place with such amazing customer service.

Thanks to Yolanda, we have always left Leo Hamel feeling satisfied that the work done was of the finest quality. She makes us feel appreciated and valued, assuring that we are completely satisfied with our service. It is evident that Yolanda is both experienced and competent and above all by her dedication she proves that Leo Hamel is worthy of its reputation, that of being one of the finest Jewelers in all of San Diego. Sincerely, Monica Stepanof Karen took care of me when I decided to mark my 40th birthday with a special watch.

I thank her for her patience and help during the watch selection. I also want to thank her for her nice letter that she sent me not long after that purchase.

If I need assistance in the future I know where to go. I will ask for Karen. Brindusa Ses LEO HAMEL TIMES 13



Circa 1837-1901 Victorian jewelry was named after Britain’s Queen Victoria, and includes different styles that were popular during her reign. Sentimental jewelry was in demand and many people had lockets, brooches or pendants made with human hair from loved ones. After Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria wanted to remain fashionable while in mourning and “mourning jewelry” was created using jet and other black materials. Neo-Classical designs based on archeological finds in Greece and Rome were also popular, as well as Egyptian and Assyrian themes. Other recurrent designs included crescent shapes, snakes, and cameos. The gemstones most commonly used in Victorian jewelry were diamonds, jet, garnets, amethyst, coral, turquoise, tortoise shell, and chalcedony, and were often set in silver and yellow gold. Diamonds were usually rose cuts or early brilliant cuts. 14 LEO HAMEL TIMES

1730 1775 1790 1805 1820

Written by Carly Park, G.G.


Georgian Victorian Art Nouveau Edwardian Art Deco Retro


The History The Style The Eras



This jewelry style was named for the four Kings named George who ruled England during this period. The designs are bold, ornate, and symmetrical. Bows and swags were popular motifs, and the techniques of chasing and repoussé were often used. Garnets, topaz, coral, and diamonds were fashionable, set in high karat yellow gold and silver settings. The diamonds in jewelry from this time were usually rose cut or table cut and often foil backed to give them more shine.


Circa 1714-1830


Art Nouveau Circa 1895-1915

1880 1895 1910

Art Nouveau is French for “new art.” This style was greatly influenced by the Japanese art that was being imported to Europe at the time. It is also seen as an artistic revolt against the mechanical themes and methods of manufacture that came out of the Industrial Revolution. Nouveau designs were more organic and asymmetrical. The jewelry incorporated sweeping and flowing lines with natural motifs such as flowers, insects, birds, and the female form. Diamonds were uncommon in this style and overshadowed by the use of colorful enamels and glass, and gemstones such as pearls, opals, amber, moonstone, tourmaline, amethyst, and chalcedony. Noted Art Nouveau designers were Rene Lalique, a glass designer renowned for his stunning creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewelry, chandeliers, clocks, and, in the latter part of his life, automobile hood ornaments, and Louis Comfort Tiffany, who designed stained glass windows and lamps (hence Tiffany lamps), glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels and metalwork.


Circa 1901-1915 1925 1940

This style of jewelry was named for England’s King Edward VII. During his reign, jewelry was flaunted as a statement of wealth. Edwardian jewelry was made using the finest gemstones and precious metals. Use of platinum in jewelry became widespread and was valued not just for its pure color, but for its strength as well. Platinum’s strength and durability allowed for more intricate designs and the use of delicate filigree. Edwardian jewelry is distinctive for its white-on-white look using fine platinum filigree set with top quality pearls and diamonds.

Art Deco 1955

Circa 1915-1939


Art Deco design came into vogue after the end of WWI. The forms were bolder and geometric compared to the delicate Edwardian and flowing Art Nouveau styles that predated Art Deco. Strong, contrasting colors were achieved using richly hued gemstones such as diamonds, black onyx, lapis lazuli, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, jade, turquoise, and coral. Platinum was the most common metal used, but jewelry was also crafted from white gold. Designs were streamlined, linear, and geometric.

Retro 1985

Circa 1940s


During WWII, gemstones and platinum were in short supply so gold and enamel became very popular. Different colors of gold such as rose and green were used along with yellow gold to enhance the design and make up for the lack of color from gemstones. Retro jewelry is characterized by flowers and bows, animal figures, and industrial-inspired designs. Gemstones that were lighter in color such as citrines, aquamarines, and amethysts as well as smaller diamonds, sapphires, and rubies were used sparingly as accents.


*Jewelry shown illustrates each era’s style and is not necessarily of that vintage.


Real TIMES, Real People


As told by customer Joanie Murphy


urning 60 was not something I was looking forward to. How in the world could I have gotten to be that age? In my mind’s eye I am still in my thirties; sure, I can see some physical changes and feel a few aches here and there but 60 years old? It seemed unbelievable. I determined that one way to manage the whole ordeal was to schedule rotator cuff surgery 2 days before my birthday (I’d been putting it off for two years and really needed to get it done). I thought the surgery would be a blessing; a party of one and being medicated I probably wouldn’t think about the impending birthday. When my best friends Tom and Helen learned of my plans, they said we were absolutely going to celebrate my 60th birthday and offered to have a gathering at their house the weekend before my surgery. I couldn’t say no; we’ve been friends for almost 40 years. I noticed my husband talking furtively with Helen over the next couple of weeks and I thought, “Oh there’s a surprise of some kind.” Helen assured me that the party would be no big deal; just our children, grandchildren and dearest friends. The fateful day arrived and I was feeling a bit reluctant to attend the “happy event.” When we arrived I could see 16 LEO HAMEL TIMES

a lovely birthday cake on the dining room table that read, “Happy Birthday – Grandma.” That’s my husband’s humor, and I do love being a grandma so I said to myself, “Suck it up and have a good time.” I was thrilled to greet old friends who I don’t see much because we are all so busy with kids and grandchildren. It then came time to open presents. I saw all these lovely gold bags with purple tissue paper and thought, “Isn’t that cute? Helen must have bought all the bags to match.” My darling grandson Sonny was my helper and he brought me each bag. I opened the first gift from Tom and Helen and inside was a Pandora bracelet with a charm that read “I LOVE YOU” with spacers added as a gift from Maggie (my favorite Leo Hamel employee). Then it dawned on me that all the bags were from Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. In every bag was a Pandora charm that represented something meaningful about my relationship with the giver. My husband gave me a queen bee charm, a gold snake charm (I hate snakes - more of his humor) and three gold ring spacers; my son and his girlfriend gave me a charm shaped like a suitcase that has Paris and the Eiffel tower on it (I teared up at that one – my mom was from Paris);

from my grandson Sonny there was a baby shoe charm; from his mommy a gold cross; from my stepson Travis, wife Michelle and sons Elias and Owen a baby bootie charm; from my stepdaughter Heather a snowman charm (I gave her a snowman at Christmas); from my grandson Alex a little boy charm. From my stepdaughter Melissa I received a graduation cap charm, to memorialize her graduation and how long it was in coming (inside joke). From various friends I received charms in the shape of a high heel shoe, a heart, an angel, a pineapple, a puppy, a silver ring with my birthstone, a gold and silver stack of rings, a silver ball with hearts, a Journey ball, a letter ‘B’ ball and a beautiful Murano blue glass charm. Each charm was added to my bracelet as each gift was opened. After all of my gifts had been given, I had a complete Pandora charm bracelet! Helen had called everyone and told them about the idea of the bracelet and the charms and each person went to Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers in Old Town to select the perfect charm for me. You can just imagine how overwhelming and special that was for me.

Every time I wear this wonderful Pandora bracelet I get choked up. The entire bracelet is filled with charms that mean so much to me and memories of each person who gave one to me. This was the best birthday present I could have ever received and such a thoughtful and loving surprise; thanks to my family and dearest friends and Maggie who helped everyone to purchase their gifts. How silly I feel now for not wanting to turn 60 - it turned out to be one of the best days of my life. My warmest regards, Joanie Murphy

Because my husband knows who his queen is

Because my stepdaughter appreciates what I do for her

Because they all have a special reason that I am in their lives, and why they are here to celebrate mine

Because my son appreciates our family history

For men who still think of blackberries as a fruit.

Not this one.

Big Ingenieur. Ref. 5005: A device that tells you the battery’s empty isn’t much use out in the wilds. But the largest automatic movement made by IWC goes on running continuously and reliably. And if you should decide to take a break between K2 and Mount Everest, it has a seven-day power reser ve. Thanks to its solid stainless steel case, its delicate mechanism will forgive you almost any thing. Even a beard. IWC. Engineered for men.


Mechanical IWC-manufactured movement | Automatic Pellaton winding system (figure) | Seven days’ continuous running | Power reserve display | Date display | Antireflective sapphire glass | Sapphire glass back cover | Water-resistant 12 bar | Stainless steel

Wearing a watch

NeverFelt So





b. e.



HILIP STEIN® has become a leader in mind-body wellness by integrating frequency-based technologies into luxury timepieces. The watches help to balance the body’s flow of energy, sometimes referred to as “Chi.” Wearers of PHILIP STEIN® watches report better sleep, less stress and an improved sense of well-being as some of the benefits they feel. The Earth has a frequency, discovered by physicist Winfried Otto Schumann in 1952. The lowest frequency and highest intensity of this Earth frequency occurs in the 7-9Hz frequency range. This is considered by many researchers, therapists, and healers to be the natural resonance of the Earth, and the frequency with which the human brain and body function most efficiently. PHILIP STEIN® utilizes two types of technology in their products: Single Frequency *All prices subject to change

d. Technology and Multiple Frequency Technology which both emit natural well-being frequencies in the 7-9Hz range helping the body’s energy flow. As a company, PHILIP STEIN® is committed to researching technologies that work with the body’s subtle matter, or energy, to create positive effects for the wearer. They create fashionable, functional products that people love and love to wear and Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers welcomes PHILIP STEIN® into our family of exquisite watches. a. SS, LDS Mini Harmony, $830 / b. SS, LDS Small Harmony, $1,895 / c. SS, Large Harmony, $695 / d. SS, LDS Small Double Diamond Model, $3,910 / e. SS, LDS Small Double Diamond Model, $2,555 / f. SS, GTS Sport Chrono, $1,695



e. b.



a. 14ky, Oval Ruby Ring, 4.95ctw, $365 / b. 14ky, Oval Ruby Earrings, 9.55ctw, $495 / c. 14ky, Oval Ruby Floral Necklace, 100ctw x 315, $3,850 / d. Platinum, Oval Ruby (4.35ct) and Marquise Diamond (2.45ctw x 25) Cluster Ring, $16,000 / e. 14kw, Pear Shaped Diamond (1.10ctw x 2) and Marquise and Baguette (2.40ctw) Cluster Dangle Earrings, $9,000 / f. Platinum, Diamond Vintage Ring with Filigree and Leaf Engravings, 0.41.ctw, $995 / g. 14kw, Diamond & Two Pearl Bypass Ring, 0.30ctw, $450 h. 14kw, 331/2 inch, 7.88mm Pearl Necklace with Diamond Clasp, $995 / i. 14ky/w, Black Rhodium Plated White & Champagne Diamond Tear Drop Shaped Dangle Earrings, 5.48ctw, $3,150 / j. Platinum, Marquise and Treated Fancy Yellow, Orange, Blue, and White Diamond Cluster Ring, 3.71ctw, $8,000 / k. 14ky, Oval Blue Zircon, Rose Cut Diamond & Blue Enamel Vintage Ring, 0.50ctw, $895 / l. 14kw, Diamond (0.55ctw x 20) Ring set with an Oval Blue Sapphire (3.70ct), $6,975 / m. 18kw, Diamond & Oval Blue Sapphire Center Lever Back Earrings, 1.45ctw, $1,950 / n. 14kw, Round Blue Sapphire (7.00ctw x 7) and Diamond (6.51ctw) Bracelet, $8,900 / o. Platinum, Diamond (2.20ctw) and Pear Shaped Blue Sapphire (2.00ctw) Cluster Ring, $4,250 / p. 22ky/w, Diamond Milgrain Wide Bracelet, 15.25ctw, $19,000

o. n. p.




g. i.



The latest in what you can find at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers


*All prices subject to change





Dr. Donnelly advertised in our first issue and coincidentally I needed a dentist for the first time in a long while. Though reluctant to go I ended up actually enjoying the process because of how friendly and accommodating everyone was. The care was superb as well. I personally and highly recommend them!

lassics C



Written by Dorian Hargrove Photography by Aimee Hargrove


n Ms. MacKenzie’s second grade class at Florence Elementary School in Hillcrest, sixteen students sat cross-legged on padded mats in the front of the classroom. All were silently energetic as they stared at the guest speaker, their little faces full of curiosity. The speaker that day was Dana Mambourg Zimbric, Music Director and Composer for the non-profit music literacy program, Classics 4 Kids. “Hello everyone! The last time I saw you was at the ‘Fairwell’ symphony in November,” said Mambourg Zimbric. “Does anyone remember what composer the symphony was about? Remember it started with Hay…” “Haydyn,” four second-graders excitedly answer out loud. “Yes, that’s right! Very good! Joseph Haydyn was the composer. Well today I’m going to talk to you about another symphony. This one’s about nature…” The symphony Mambourg Zimbric referred to is one of the 40 childfriendly classical concerts that Classics4-Kids plays each year throughout San Diego County. The concerts teach classical music to Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade students as well as educating them about the composers and the different instruments used in a symphony. The program sells the subsidized tickets for six dollars and typically each class attends three different symphonies per school year. The results are clear. Schools that have participated in the program

witnessed increases in standards-based test scores, the most significant being in mathematics. For the Standard-based Assessment on Mathematics Test (SAM) students scored an average of fifteen points higher after participating in the Classics-4-Kids program. “Also, the second-graders who participated in the Classics program had an additional 40% increase in test scores compared to other grades who did not participate in the program,” said Laurie Sanderson, Director of Resource Development. With those kinds of results it’s hard to believe that the program is only in its fourteenth year. It started in 1994, when Marion Scire wanted nothing more than to give his sixth grade daughter and her classmates a chance to see a professional piano recital. However the funds to pay for 600 sixth-graders to attend a professional recital were just not in the budget, so Scire and his daughter had to get creative. They sold homemade chocolate lollipops shaped like music notes to pay for the cost of admission. In the fourteen years since, the independent non-profit organization has grown immensely. In 2007, over 30,000 elementary school students were given the opportunity to see a live symphony perform, and 7,000 of those children attended the concerts at no cost. The growth continues; in the 2008 school year over 15,000 tickets were sold during the first week alone. However, running a non-profit

organization experiencing that much growth is no easy task, especially considering that Classics-4-Kids is completely independent, with over 50% of their annual budget earned through private donations. The program consists of three full-time paid employees and relies on nearly 200 volunteers. To learn more about the program visit their website:


Sometimes the



Written by Dorian Hargrove

Photo provided by Richard Prince


t the 31st annual Long Beach Grand Prix, fans lined up inside the gates for a chance to meet members of the American LeMans Series race teams and ogle their race cars. Race car drivers passed out handshakes and autographed posters. Their fire-resistant overalls were covered shoulder to shoulder with patches from big name sponsors. Behind the tables, heavily polished race cars crouched next to 45 foot-long transports. The lines in front of the tables of the Porsche, Ferrari, Flying Lizard, and Audi teams grew ever longer. While their drivers, dressed in expensive race suits and wearing designer sunglasses, signed autographs, Mike Lewis, owner and lead driver of Autocon Motorsports, relaxed and played with his young children. Unlike the bigger teams, the crew of San Diego-based Autocon’s racing team consists mainly of volunteers and interns. There are only three paid permanent members. Dano McCarthy, estate buyer for Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers and volunteer for the team says, “Only our air fare, hotel and food are paid for. Like most of the other guys, I do it just to be close to the cars and the racing.” The Autocon team is sponsored by JeanRichard, a small fine Swiss watch company with a modest budget. Their orange and grey trailer is noticeably older than those parked around it. Worn spots compete for space with splotches of dried oil and fluids on the crew’s 24 LEO HAMEL TIMES

overalls. The paint on their V-10 Le Mans prototype race car lacks the immaculate luster seen on the other race cars. “Our budget is probably ten to fifteen percent of those of the factory teams we race against,” says Lewis. “In the spectrum of ALMS teams we are certainly the smallest both in terms of personnel and budget. We do a lot with a little! It has always been our strategy to pour everything possible into making the car the best it can be while letting some of the other ‘window dressing’ elements suffer. Our trailer is not new, we don’t have 20-30 guys running around, we don’t have a big catering and entertaining capacity. But we do build a good race car that finishes races and is reasonably quick.” So quick in fact, that they are the only American prototype team from the United States that has been invited to race in The 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, the biggest race in the American Le Mans circuit. Lewis and Crew Chief David Steele formed the team over 20 years ago and it has grown year by year. “We never had plans to grow, although every driver likes to advance. We race because we love it. We have a passion for the sport and the competition. And even though we rarely have the speed of the mega-teams, we still fight the good fight and manage to trip them up now and then,” says Lewis.

As race fans shuffled from one table to the next at the Long Beach Grand Prix, the underdog Autocon team prepared themselves for what they thought would be an unrewarding race. All were feeling the effects of a crash that happened on the previous day, when one of their drivers was hospitalized with a broken vertebra in his spine. And on top of that, the car just didn’t seem to be performing well out on the track. But as soon as the green flag was waved over the sun-filled straightaway that day in Long Beach, the crew brushed off the setbacks and put everything they had into running the race. Lewis and Chris McMurry, who flew down the night before to replace the injured driver, managed to stay in striking range of the other cars and ended up holding the third place trophy. “Congrats to the team on its first podium of 2008,” wrote Lewis in an e-mail to the team the following day. “Just look at the competition we face: names like Penske, Audi, Andretti, Brabham, Acura, and Porsche, all with huge sponsors and budgets. To merely step onto the playing field with these guys and compete is a credit to you all.” Now this courageous group is gearing up for the race at Le Mans on June 8th. For more information visit the Autocon’s website at

JeanRichard: The official watch of Autocon Sports.

Photography by Aimee Hargrove


Why Collect Wrist Watches?

Written by Leo Hamel


have often been asked why a man would want more than one watch. This question often comes from someone who has never owned a fine watch. Once you experience the pleasure of wearing of a fine watch (Swiss or German) you will feel a little differently about them. Most men do not wear a lot of jewelry and their watch is sometimes the only piece besides the wedding ring. So a watch can mean different things to you and can substitute for the collections of jewelry a woman may have. Pride of ownership and appreciation of craftsmanship are reasons to enjoy a second watch or even a third. After wearing a fine watch a person often finds themselves wanting another. If the first one was a sport watch then a dress watch starts looking desirable or even “necessary.” So two becomes the irreducible minimum until another reason comes along and a specialized need often fills that bill. The two-time-zone watch for the traveler, a chronograph to clock the horses, the 3000-foot waterproof

divers watch, or the moon watch (just in case) all come to mind. There are watches for doctors, nurses, pilots, race car drivers, yachtsmen and even cave explorers! So there you have three reasons why a man could have at least three watches. But a strange thing happens at three. This number now makes you a collector and collecting becomes a hobby of sorts. Our watch collectors often know more about the watches than we do. They become a study and no detail is too minute to be important. In the old days collecting meant vintage watches but now modern watches are collected with more intensity than even the older ones. This is a new and exciting field which didn’t exist when I first started this business. To collect, wear, show off or to treasure in private, the choice is yours. Check out the amazing Ulysse Nardin collection on the next page (pg. 28).


Words from a Ulysse

Nardin Collector


lysse Nardin doesn’t simply make some of the world’s most beautifully designed modern day mechanical wristwatches. They create them, one at a time, each piece expertly finished and individually numbered. From elegant divers to haute multicomplication timepieces, there is a U.N. for virtually everyone. The collection you see here is a testament to their innovation and creativity of the highest order. As a collector, purchasing any fine Swiss timepiece is more than just an investment in a watch. It’s an investment in the very people that stand behind it too. At Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers you’re not just a customer; you’re really part of a very special family, whose entire staff of dedicated and talented professionals is committed to your complete satisfaction top to bottom. D.L.


Impeccable Taste Prices and availability are subject to change.



Keeping it


with Hometown Hero

Tony Gwynn

Written by Dorian Hargrove Photography by Aimee Hargrove

nce the private batting lessons ended, inside the O shaded batting cages of Tony Gwynn Stadium at San Diego State University, two teenagers wiped the sweat off

their brows. They were asked if they had any questions for their tutor, head coach of SDSU’s Aztecs and Hall of Fame baseball player, Tony Gwynn. “Um, sometimes I get into the batter’s box and feel like I lose all confidence. What was your mind set when you stepped into the box?” “It was always, ‘bring it,’ because I knew that they couldn’t beat me. They might be able to get me out, but they couldn’t beat me. Early on I realized that for me it wasn’t about hitting it out of the park; it was about putting the ball in play and making them work to try and get me out. I always told myself, just keep it simple.” Keeping it simple is more than just baseball lingo for Gwynn, much more. For Tony and his wife Alicia, whom he met during middle school in Long Beach, keeping it simple is a way of life and a motto by which to live. It’s a motto that they instilled in their two children, Tony Jr. and Anisha as well as over 20 troubled teens the Gwynn’s invited into their home over the past two decades. For the Gwynn’s, keeping it simple means going back to the basics of life; for those troubled teens it meant seeing what the inside a loving home is like, the importance of sitting down at the dinner table together, and the need for communication. You see, although the Gwynn’s like to keep it simple, that doesn’t mean that they like to take the easy way out. For instance, take Gwynn’s decision to coach San Diego State’s baseball team. For any other person, coaching at a college like SDSU would be the job of a lifetime, but when that person is a member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame, the recipient of eight National League batting titles (second to Ty Cobb) and is considered to be among the top 50 greatest players in the history of baseball, it’s hard to imagine why the meaning of the seventh inning stretch wouldn’t change to a full body massage on a private island. But, that just isn’t

Gwynn’s style; no, the reason he accepted the job at his alma mater was so that he could continue having a positive impact on the lives of young people. That selfless attitude was evident throughout his 20 years in the major leagues where he learned early in his career that the game of baseball wasn’t the most important thing in life. “When I first got into the big leagues, I got so caught up into what I was doing and how I was playing. After a few years, I started thinking more about my family back home, and all that I was missing. It grounded me and made me realize what was important. It was Alicia and the kids; all of them,” Tony said, playfully peering over his left shoulder at Alicia, “and always remembering that life is easy; we are the ones who complicate it.” And while Tony spends most of his time on the field with his players, Alicia spends much of her day working for their foundation. The Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation (TAG), has been involved in the lives of San Diego’s youth since 1995. The program is designed to instill practical principles in today’s youth such as respect, honor and trust. Those principles, according to Alicia, are crucial in building a strong self-esteem, resolving conflicts through communication, and setting life goals. Tony and Alicia Gwynn have had a positive impact on so many of San Diego’s youth, they deserve to be called two of our community’s most appreciated humanitarians. And apparently things had become too simple in the Gwynn household as of late, because there recently appeared a new addition to the family: an eighteen-year-old looking to build a solid foundation for the rest of his life. He was fortunate indeed to find this place from which to start and these people to show him the way. More information on the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation can be obtained at

Tony Gwynn gives batting tips to two teens.


What to wear:

A Day at the Races Marco Bicego

18ky/w, Diamond Teatro Earrings, 0.09ctw, $1,220

Marco Bicego

18ky, IL Cairo Textured Multi-Strand Bracelet, $6,615

Marco Bicego

18ky/w, 1.45 ctw Diamond Marrakech Multi-Strand Necklace, $25,905

Jewelry worn by model Jordan Olive Photography by Aimee Hargrove 32 LEO HAMEL TIMES

Events Calendar


Ruby July 4th - Independence Day July 17th - September 3rd Racing Season at Del Mar July 25th - 26th Leo Hamel’s Art Nouveau & Deco Estate Show July 26th - Parents Day


Peridot August 1st - August 24th La Jolla Society SummerFest August 2nd - Friendship Day August 10th - Annual Hillcrest Cityfest Street Fair August 22nd - 23rd Leo Hamel’s Colored Diamond & Gemstone Show



September 7th - Labor Day September 9th Coronado Art Walk September 13th Grandparents Day September 25th - 28th San Diego Film Festival September 26th - 27th Leo Hamel’s Spectacular Mystery Show LEO HAMEL TIMES 33

The Concept and

Measurement of


Part I

Written by James M. Hart, PLS, CFedS


tudies suggest that we look at our watch, often subconsciously, every 8 seconds. It is commonplace for someone to ask “What time is it?” That’s a pretty easy thing to answer for most of us. But have you ever been in a room and had several people respond with a different answer? Of course our timepieces are all generally pretty close to each other, but rarely are they all precisely in sync. What if we were to take the simple question, “What time is it?” and rearrange the words to, “Time: What is it?” How would you answer that question? In Book 11 of St. Augustine’s Confessions, he ponders on the nature of time, asking, “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not.” It seems simple, but try refining your answer to a written sentence. It’s often found to be more difficult than one first imagines. Try this on for size: Time is the occurrence of events, one after another. So how much is time? The year is well understood to us – in a general sense anyway. The concept of one complete orbit of the Earth around the Sun being one year and one complete rotation of the Earth being one day is familiar. But, how do we end up with 365¼ days in a year? How is it that the length of one day is actually 23 hours 59 minutes 47 seconds? There is a virtual universe of thought behind these concepts – all pent up in fields such as astronomy, physics, mathematics, and even land surveying. Historically the concept of the year and the day was easily understandable just by observing the sun and the stars. Pagan rituals were attuned to the equinoxes and the solstices. We tend to think of these events simply as the onset of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter (the Vernal Equinox, the Summer Solstice, the Autumnal Equinox, and the Winter Solstice, respectively). These are not events that occur in a broad brush sense of time but at very precise moments, each in an instant and precisely timed. For example, the Vernal Equinox is that precise instant in time when the Sun crosses the Earth’s equator on its trek into the northern hemisphere to create Spring. At that instant in time, the night is of exactly the same duration of time as is the day. The Summer Solstice is that exact instant where the Sun ceases its northerly motion and starts to head back south. At the precise time that this Solstice occurs, daytime is longer than nighttime and the difference is maximum. You’ve probably surmised that the Autumnal Equinox is the same as the Vernal Equinox except the Sun is heading across the equator into the Southern hemisphere and that the Winter Solstice is when nighttime is longer than the daytime and the difference is again maximum. With this repetition of universal events, one after another, one can start to think in terms of “time” as a clock of infinite proportions. So we enter the measurement of time – to be future explored in Part II in the next issue of Leo Hamel Times. 34 LEO HAMEL TIMES

Photography by Aimee Hargrove

Fitting the number rings of the panorama date

The Senator Navigator Panorama Date. Every piece of this Glashütte Original is an example of the highest precision thanks to the tiniest production tolerances of up to 3/1000 mm. Its automatic movement boasts the finest mechanics, hand-crafted in Glashütte Original’s time honored watchmaking tradition. Find out more about us at or telephone 866-382-9485.

Precision. Perfection.








ounded in 1848, Omega remains one of the most recognized and prestigious watch companies in the world with their long history of improvements to the science of the measurement of time. Their recently introduced co-axial escapement* movement has been heralded as one of the most significant horological advances of the last 100 years. It is this kind of innovation that makes the Omega timepiece not only appealing to the serious collector but to anyone who wants to own a sophisticated Swiss watch. *The co-axial escapement functions with virtually no lubrication, thereby eliminating one of the shortcomings of the traditional lever escapement. Through using radial friction instead of sliding friction at the impulse surfaces, the co-axial escapement significantly reduces friction, theoretically resulting in longer service intervals and greater accuracy over time.

The Newest Watches from 36 LEO HAMEL TIMES

a. SS, Ladies Constellation with Diamond Guilloche Dial and Diamond Bezel, $3,200 / b. 18kr/SS, Ladies Constellatioin with Diamond Guilloche Dial and Diamond Bezel, $5,700 / c. SS, Ladies Seamaster Aqua Terra, Diamond Tapestry Dial, $3,200 / d. SS, Gents Seamaster James Bond 007, $2,500 / e. SS, Ladies Seamaster Aqua Terra, $3,400

*All prices subject to change

The Newest Watches from a.



“This watch looks fantastic in person. A must see!” -Leo Hamel


ertolucci, the most Italian of the Swiss brands, owns the Mediterranean magic. Unique with a crystal clear DNA, Bertolucci is anchored in the marvellous world of the Mediterranean. Confluence of civilizations, mystical source of extraordinary tales, emblematic and evocative places, the Bertolucci world naturally suggests the pleasure and the joy of living from a timeless Riviera that fills us up with dreams. Bertolucci is a strong blend of creativity and sensuality. Both men and women purchasing a Bertolucci timepiece will find a pure expression of the Bertolucci 4 C’s: Creativity, Curves, Comfort and Construction.


a. 18kr/SS, Ladies Serena Garbo with Sapphire Crystals, 1.29ctw, $8,200 / b. SS, Ladies Doppia, $2,900 c. SS, Gents Serena Garbo, PVD*, $4,300 / d. SS, Ladies Stria with Sapphire Crystals, 0.70ctw x 162, $7,900

*PVD (Physical Vapor Deposit) - Very hard black coating


Birthstones a.

for the upcoming months July


The red glow of the ruby is said to have come from a flame within the gem that can never be extinguished. This symbol of an everlasting flame makes the ruby a perfect gift for someone you will love forever. Ancient lore has it that wearing a ruby ring on your left hand will bring the wearer good fortune making it a perfect engagement ring with its strength and durability. a. 14ky, Diamond (0.10ctw x 6) and Ruby Bangle Bracelet, $335 b. K  wiat, 18kw, Diamond (0.17ctw) & Ruby (0.19ctw) Channel Set Band, $850 c. 14kw, Diamond & Ruby Hoop Earrings, 0.50ctw, $489 d. Kwiat, 18kw, Ruby Milgrain Band, 0.40ctw, $850




August Throughout history, August’s birthstone has been used as a means to connect with nature. Peridot was also used by early Egyptian priests to makes cups believing that drinking from peridot would draw them closer to Isis the goddess of nature. Tied to nature, the peridot is a symbol of vitality within a single person or unifying relationship, promising growth just as nature intended.



e. 18kw, Small Oval Peridot Earrings with Diamond Frame, $595 f. Judy Mayfield, 18ky, Peridot (3.55ct) & Diamond (0.11ctw) Fancy Ring, $2,785 g. 14ky, Oval Peridot & Diamond Vintage Ring, $525


September i.

Sincerity and faithfulness are associated with this gemstone. Because sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness, a gift of sapphire says that your love will remain strong forever. h. Judy Mayfield, 18kw, Blue Sapphire Bangle Bracelet, $1,395 i. 14kw, Emerald Cluster Ring, 0.80ctw, $1,650 j. Judy Mayfield, 18ky, Oval Sapphire & Diamond Earrings, $1,705


Photo on pg. 32-33 taken at: The River Valley Ranch Premier Equestrian Center (619) 977-8496 38 LEO HAMEL TIMES

*All prices subject to change

Italian Luxury

at its Finest


ith the genesis and growth of a new brand, there is a story worth telling; this is the story of Marco Bicego. Marco Bicego has redefined the phrase “everyday luxury” with sensuous, extraordinarily beautiful jewelry that blends old world Italian craftsmanship with tradition, passion, and imagination; his uniquely crafted pieces are exceptional enough to make a statement, yet personal enough to wear everyday. This unique combination has attracted many modern and cosmopolitan women to this artisan’s work. Bicego began his training as a gold artisan at his father’s fifty-year-old atelier in the Vento region of Italy. His instincts were refined at the workbench and led him to create unique, multitextured items that were both beautiful and unexpected. This pure artisanship by Marco and his team of craftsmen in Trissino, can be found in the manipulation of gold; transforming this luxurious element into spirals and hand-engraved beads. The Marco Bicego brand has emerged as a leader in the world of fine jewelry. Design, marketing, sales, and customer service consistently work together to achieve the organization’s goals. Every individual who works for and with Marco Bicego shares the same passion and vision. Youth, effortless sophistication, and luxury are the elements of Marco Bicego jewelry; Creating a unique, accessible luxury experience that begins with the team and resonates with the consumer. Should we be surprised that a revolution in style and passion stands on a solid foundation? Absolutely not. To visualize a global image and see it materialize we must first know our roots, our families, and our communities. Marco sees and appreciates the everyday life at home, small gestures, friendly faces and precious moments. These moments that change and inspire as the days go by; this is the foundation of Marco Bicego.

New from Marco Bicego... a.



e. d.


a. Jiapur Double Strand Earrings w/ Amethyst, Red Tourmaline & Citrine, $1,780 / b. Jiapur 47 1/4in. Mix Stone Necklace, $4,870 / c. Jiapur Gold & Green Tourmaline Necklace, $9,370 / d. Jiapur Large Lemon Citrine Ring, $1,970 / e. Jiapur Small Red Tourmaline Ring, $1,090 / f. Jiapur Medium Orange Citrine Ring, $1,390

*All prices subject to change


Romance of the

Written by Robin Hart


Presenting a spectacular diamond ring from the extraordinary house of Van Cleef & Arpels


his magnificent 7.70 total carat weight oval diamond ring by legendary jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels is now available for viewing at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Few are privileged to own such a significant piece from this celebrated family; could this be your opportunity? The chronicle of Van Cleef & Arpels began with the 1896 marriage of Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stone wholesaler, and Alfred Van Cleef, son of a Dutch diamond merchant. In 1906, Alfred and his brother-in-law, expert gemologist Charles Arpels founded Van Cleef & Arpels and moved into the prestigious boutique at 22 Place Vendome. Brothers Julian and Louis Arpels joined the fledgling firm soon after, and what was to become a world renowned house of jewelry had begun. Truly a family affair, Alfred’s daughter Renee Puissant and Julian’s sons Claude, Jacques and Pierre all came on board in the 20s and 30s. In 1939, Van Cleef & Arpels became one of the first European jewelers to venture into the New World when Claude opened a Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in Rockefeller Center in New York. Soon after the move was made to the now famed address at 744 Fifth Avenue. Van Cleef & Arpels has always been on the cutting edge of innovation in the jewelry world, while at the same time retaining a timeless and classic sense of style. The Mystery Setting or Serti Mystérieux was invented in 1933, a technique by which square gemstones are set seamlessly side by side with no visible metal prongs holding them in place. The perfection of this process allows Van Cleef & Arpels to design what appears to be glittering flowers of solid red ruby or stunning pure emerald leaves, with flowing curves the like of which had never before been seen in gemstone design. In 1939 the Duchess of Windsor asked Renee to create a zipper of platinum set with diamonds for one of her evening dresses. The technique was perfected and patented, and in 1951 the Zip Necklace was unveiled, a variety of fully functioning bejeweled zippers to be worn open or closed. Van Cleef & Arpels was commissioned in 1956 to design the tiara worn by Grace Kelly when she became Princess of Monaco. Her engagement gift from Prince Rainier the year before had been a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond and pearl necklace. Other signature series include the Snowflake Collection which debuted in 1940, dazzling diamonds capturing the fresh shapes of nature, and the Alhambra Collection, reflecting in its colors and design the pop culture of the 1970s. The family was also accomplished in watch making and created some exceptional time piece designs throughout the last century.


Because only the premier quality becomes such a legend, Van Cleef & Arpels insists on setting only diamonds of IF to VVS2 (Internally Flawless to Very Very Small Inclusions) clarity and the highest color ratings in their jewelry. The diamond color scale ranges from D (totally colorless) down the alphabet through Z (fancy yellow). The oval diamond at the center of this platinum ring weighs 6.51 carats and is of VVS2 clarity and D color. It is framed by two pear shaped diamonds on each side weighing 1.19 carats total. The elegant minimalism of the setting is typical of the understated chic of Van Cleef & Arpel bridal designs, allowing the diamonds to speak for themselves. The certificate of authenticity is included, indicating the piece’s individual serial number as recorded in the Van Cleef & Arpels Archives. Call today for an appointment to view this exceptional piece of jewelry couture and become a part of the celebrated saga that is Van Cleef & Arpels.





hings happen in a jewelry store that are very funny and I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I like telling these tales. About 15 years ago I received a call from a guy who said that a friend had given him a Rolex and he wanted to know if it was real. I didn’t tell him what I was thinking: “If you have to ask, it isn’t!” Instead I told him to come in and I would help him make that determination. He was resistant, “No man, I don’t want to drive all that way. Just tell me how to tell if it’s real!” I repeated, “Sir, I can’t tell you that without seeing it. You’ll need to bring it in.” He whined, “Come on dude, it’ll cost me two bucks in gas to drive to you. Just tell me what to look for!” Once again I insisted, “I can’t tell you if it’s real without seeing it! I am not a psychic jeweler!” He protested, “You are just messing with me. You can tell me something…” I was getting exasperated so I said, “Ok, ok. Hold it up to the phone.” I could hear some rustling as he did. Then he asked, “Is it real, man?” I said, “Hold it closer and hold it still.” Apparently he did because I could hear some movement and then all was quiet. After a few moments he came back on to the phone. “Is it? Is it real?” I paused to build suspense and slowly replied, “It… is… A FAKE!” Suddenly a light went on in his head which was so bright I nearly had to avert my eyes from the phone. He yelled, “Hey that’s bull! You can’t say it’s a fake, if you haven’t seen it.” Silently I muttered, “Duh!” Out loud, I replied, “That’s what I’ve been telling you. You have to bring it in!” “Ok… whatever.” And he ungratefully hung up. If you know me, you know that I am a kind, gentle and considerate jeweler who kisses babies and wishes well to all people. But I couldn’t help myself that day! A few hours

Written by Leo Hamel

later an old jalopy drove up and I knew it was him because his right hand was hovering over his front pocket as if he was protecting a 25 carat flawless ruby. As he entered the store, he looked around with the superior air of the recently rich. When we locked eyes his hand went for his pocket like a gunslinger. I threw up my hand and stopped him cold. He froze. The air was crisp with excitement. He was sure he had struck gold and I knew he had not! Eyes still locked, I said, “It’s not a Rolex!” Uncertainty crossed his face. “But... but… how… you…” I stared him in the eye and emotionlessly said, “I know who you are. You have a watch in your right front pocket and it’s a cheap fake!” Anger replaced the confusion. “No way, man! You can’t know it’s a fake without looking at it!” I repeated, “It is!” He reached again for his treasure so I got a little bit naughty. “No! No! No need to take it out. It’s just a fake!” Skeptical and yet with a touch of fear he thrust it at me. “Look! Look at it!” I turned slightly away and sniffed, “Fake, I say. Only a fake!” Dano, my brother-in-law took pity on him because the poor guy was nearly blubbering and held out his hand to give a second opinion. After scrutinizing the watch in question for a long second, Dano pronounced, “Yep. It’s a rip off.” Dejected the recently “rich dude” turned away, mumbling, “Why didn’t I listen and not drive all this way…” Just as he reached the door he turned back and said, “Hey really, how did you know it was a fake without looking?” I took a final jab. “Remember earlier on the telephone when I told you I wasn’t a Psychic Jeweler? I lied!”


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Love Story A


t was a second wedding for both JJ and Eve. JJ was married to his former wife for 40 years and Eve spent 48 years with her first husband, until each was sadly widowed. They were fortunate to find each other, although their paths had crossed before. Their families had attended the same church for years. Eve was even a guest at the wedding of JJ’s daughter over 25 years ago where she remembers speaking with him briefly, never imagining that she would one day become his wife. After being blissfully wedded for nearly eleven years, JJ continues to express his love for Eve with thoughtful gifts on their special occasions. Often JJ would hunt for vintage perfume bottles for Eve’s treasured collection, but this year he wanted to do something unexpected. Three days before her birthday, JJ invited all of Eve’s girlfriends over for a luncheon that he prepared and served all on his own. After the food had been cleared, JJ presented Eve with the magnificent estate pendant that he had discovered among the unique selection of vintage jewelry at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Needless to say Eve was thrilled with JJ’s thoughtful and generous gift. Creating these special moments for each other is what keeps this second marriage going strong.


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Leo Hamel Times Vol. 2