Archive for the Category Watches


La Mine d’Or’s Top 10 Christmas Gifts – 2015 Jewellery Edition with Brownie Points

Well it’s that time of year again. Many of us are left scratching our heads wondering how to spoil that Special Someone. If you’re reading this, hopefully it isn’t 6pm on December 24th while waiting Brownie Pointsin line at your local pharmacy with a handful of Gift Cards (I have a fond memory of being “that guy”).

Anyhow, this is our Second Edition of La Mine d’Or’s TOP 10 Christmas Gifts, Jewellery Edition. We hope it inspires all of you fellow Romeo and Juliettes! To make things even easier, we’ve added a Brownie Point scale to each of the gift suggestions, just in case you’re keeping count ; )

Happy Holidays!!!

Fancy Bezel Ring


#10 – Custom Diamond Ring: Does she have a couple diamond lying around? Perhaps something that means the world to her, but just isn’t her style anymore. Well, let us take the diamonds out of her old jewellery and place them into one of these beautiful rings! Repurposing has it’s merits ; ) – Mounts start at $1000, and rings already made start at $2100.

Brownie Points: 2 to 4 depending on the customization factor.


Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring#9 – Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring – This masterpiece carries a diamond so yellow you’ll feel the warmth of the sun staring back at you. We have a variety of styles mounted with some of the most stunning fancy yellow diamonds you’ll ever see! Starting at $5399.

Brownie Points:  4 to 10 depending on whether you’re proposing or if it’s a “just because”.



T-Complication#8 – Tissot T-Complication Squelette – Pure art! This limited production timepiece is an absolute statement for his wrist. Very hard to get, this piece is a very special addition to a lucky guy’s collection. $2250.

Brownie Points: 4 to 8, and he may be wondering what you “really want”.




Pink Gold Diamond Hoops#7 – Diamond Hoop Earrings: Ears deserve to sparkle! Need we say more? Available in a variety of sizes and colors, starting at $219.

Brownie Points: 2 to 5.





#6 – Stackable Diamond Rings – Stackable rings is the perfect addition to any jewellery box. They add variety to any finger they adorn, and not only that, they’re fun! $279 each.

Brownie Points: 2 to 4.



Sapphire Bracelet - Side


#5 – Sapphire Tennis Bracelet: Some of the most mesmerizing blues she’ll ever see! A bracelet fit for a queen, starting at $7000.

Brownie Points: 5 to 7.


Gucci Watch



#4 – Gucci Watch – A Swiss Classic, guaranteed never to go out of style.  Starting at $595.

Brownie Points: 2 to 3.







#3 – Rolex Submariner: A true Classic Rolex, and almost every man’s dream watch. $9750.

Brownie Points: 5 to 7.







Morganite Set


#2 – Morganite Earring, Pendant and Ring Set:  If fashion is what she likes, then Morganite has definitely entered her vocabulary at some point. The pastel pink of Morganite is like no other. See store for details.

Brownie Points: 4 to 5.





Forevermark Studs#1 – Forevermark Diamond Studs: Beautiful, Rare and Responsibly Sourced, these are by far some of the MOST BEAUTIFUL diamonds we’ve ever seen, and we’re sure she’ll agree! Forevermark Diamonds are the TOP 1% of the World’s Diamonds and are now available EXCLUSIVELY at La Mine d’Or. Starting at $1500.

Brownie Points: 4 to 8.

Swiss Watch Prices are Going Up

Swiss FrancWell, as with the previous article we wrote about the value of the Canadian Dollar affecting jewellery prices, the Swiss Franc (Switzerland’s unit of Currency) made a major overnight move on January 15th, 2015, vaulting its value 20%. You would think something like this would be temporary, but in this case, it’s here to stay.

Without getting into the technical mumbo-jumbo and economic jargon, it all boils down to the fact that Switzerland sells watches worldwide and that their prices are going up in consequence to this increase in the Swiss Franc. Brands such as Rolex, TAG Heuer, Tissot, Gucci, just to name a few, produce and export all of their watches from Switzerland. Thus, the unit of currency often used for buying watches made in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. When the value of the Swiss Franc increases 20%, it costs everyone needing to exchange currency into Swiss Francs an extra 20%.

Swiss Watch Logos

So let it be known, Swiss Watch prices are going up. Increases are scheduled to start in the beginning of March. So if you’re eyeing a beautiful watch and aren’t sure about making the move, now’s probably a good time if you want to save a couple bucks.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

La Mine d’Or’s Top 10 Christmas Gifts – 2014 Jewellery Edition

Well, after perusing through a few Google searches about “What’s Hot and What’s Not” for Christmas gifts in 2014, I quickly realized that jewellery was amiss. On that note, we decided to put together our first edition of La Mine d’Or’s Top 10 Christmas Gifts, Jewellery Edition.

Maple-Leaf-Diamond-Bangle-Bracelet#10 – Maple Leaf Diamond Bangle Bracelet – Give her a piece of Canada with this unique bracelet. Beautifully crafted, this bracelet holds seven upper grade Canadian diamonds that weigh a total of 0.69ct. $3400

Elma-Gil-Pendant-Swivel-Halo-Diamond-Pendant-DP300#9 – Elma Gil Designed Swivelling Pendant – This masterpiece can be worn three different ways! Each piece of the pendant swivels to reveal a side littered in upper grade diamonds and the other side in beautiful polished rose or white gold. All this to showcase an exquisite diamond dangling in the center. $4500.

The beauty of these pendants is that they can easily be used to re-purpose a diamond you might not be wearing. So you can pick a style, and we’ll mount your diamond!



Simon-G-Dinner-Ring-MR2616#8 – Simon G Designed Dinner Ring – Pure art! The handcrafted detailing on this ring is sure to take her breath away. Etched by the finest artisans in the world, Simon G never ceases to impress. $3400






#7 – Rolex Yacht-Master II – For the man who has everything, this timepiece is a trophy for his wrist. This watch screams classy, and you likely won’t see two of these in the same room at the same time. $20000




#6 – Stackable Diamond Rings – Stackable rings is the perfect addition to any jewellery box. They add variety to any finger they adorn, and not only that, they’re fun! $269/ea





#5 – Waterman Exception Rollerball Pen – As much as we use keyboards and touch screens to write these days, sometimes we still need to sign on the dotted line. Do it in style. This is what we call a “Closing Pen”. $600

in-out-diamond-hoop-earrings#4 – Diamond Hoops – A Classic. Guaranteed never to go out of style. The inside out style keeps her sparkling on all angles, as she should. $2500

Hoops come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We have them all.





Pearl-Necklace-Akoya#3 – Pearls – Adorned by civilizations going back as far as history records itself, pearls are the true organic gem. Beautiful Akoya Pearls are enough to inspire any outfit. $700

We have every color, size and type of pearl you might be looking for. From the rarest Tahitian Pearls to beautiful freshwater pearls. get a jeweller you trust to explain the differences between the types of pearls. It’s truly a remarkable gem.





KOR4658-RETOUCH_ONLY2#2 – Michael Kors Watch – If fashion is what she likes, then Michael Kors has definitely entered her vocabulary at some point. Littered with crystals, Michael Kors has definitely set the trend for Big, Bold, and Beautiful.  $335






Diamond-Stud-Earrings#1 – Diamond Studs – A gift that keeps on giving, these will be her favorite for years to come. She’ll wear them every day and probably sleep with them on. Now that’s love. Starting at $450





One thing’s for sure, make sure spoil that special someone this Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

The La Mine d’Or Family

The Inventor of Rolex – Hans Wilsdorf

Rolex - Hans Wilsdorf









visionary par excellence – 

Few individuals can be said to have been both of their time and ahead of their time. And yet, Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex and visionary par excellence, was precisely that. This rare and timeless mix epitomizes both the man and the brand he created. The prodigious and prolific innovator, who died in 1960, left an invaluable legacy to watchmaking in general and to Rolex in particular.

Today, it is impossible to imagine a world where the wristwatch is not common currency. Yet, that was the case in 1905. Times were however changing. Lifestyles and dress codes as well. Hans Wilsdorf, only 24, “convinced of its enormous potential in a sports-minded country . . . like Great Britain”, was determined to create a wristwatch as robust and reliable as the pervasive pocket watch, then the order of the day. No easy task. Precision had yet to be perfected in a case of such minuscule proportions, as he distinctly reminds us: “At that period, the wristlet watch was . . . an object of derision. Watchmakers all over the world remained skeptical as to its possibilities and believed this new-fangled object was bound [for] failure.”


Hans-Wilsdorf-Tommy-TaylorIt was especially Hans Wilsdorf’s unbridled daring and determination that led to the development of the ubiquitous wristwatch and catapulted the Rolex brand to the distinguished position it has occupied for over acentury. As early as 1914, in a letter from a body of lifelong and lively correspondence, the resolute Hans Wilsdorf proclaimed: “We want to be the first . . . and the Rolex watch should be regarded as the one and only, thebest!” A crystal ball could not have been any clearer.

Indeed, not only did Hans Wilsdorf shape our perception of the wristwatch per se, its place, its purpose and its potential. He also made Rolex the ultimate reference in fine watchmaking, by consistently upholding the immutable values that defy time. Quality, passion and excellence. To this day, that very spirit, fired as much by dedication and perseverance as by foresight and imagination, permeates every Rolex workshop, every research laboratory, every department, confirming what Wilsdorf knew, in his heart of hearts, to be true from the very start: “Originality and quality [must be] our slogan for the future in every country. Every [Rolex] watch must be an ambassador of quality.”


Rolex Chronometric CertificationHans Wilsdorf’s uncanny ability to take the pulse and set the pace of his times, respond with incomparable deftness and reactivity, and anticipate customers’ evolving needs translated into an unprecedented number of firsts for the brand and for the industry. From chronometric certification to the Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, from the Perpetual rotor to the Professional watch models.

COSC logo“Rolex must continuously strive to think and act differently from the rest. Therein lies my greatest strength,” wrote Hans Wilsdorf.

That non-stop spirit of enterprise and innovation extended to every conceivable domain, from intellectual property – and the wisdom of coining, registering and protecting, as early as 1908, a resonant brand name such as Rolex – to avant-garde marketing, communication and testimonial advertising strategies, light years ahead of their time.



By adhering tenaciously to the traditional values he held dear, ever vigilant in the present and continuously imagining the future, Hans Wilsdorf created a truly timeless brand, at once classic and contemporary, and found a virtually magical formula for perpetuity, the very alchemy of the Rolex brand. At 70 plus, Hans Wilsdorf displayed the same unflagging spirit of his early years: “I am over 75 years old. However, I am still full of enthusiasm for the watchmaking cause, to which I regularly contribute fresh ideas.”


No doubt, his resounding message to us today would be the selfsame message of yesteryear: “Step boldly. Success demands courage and iron will.”

The Origins of the Rolex Brand Name

resizedimage600338-watch-legends-rolexThe origins of the Rolex brand name go back to 1908, when Hans Wilsdorf was trying to conceive a name to register for intellectual property purposes. He had it in the back of his mind that a successful name had to havecertain criteria:

–          It had to be short; for instance, no more than five letters.

–          It should be easy to pronounce in any language.

–          It should “have a good ring to it”.

–          It should be easy to remember.

–          It should appear well on the product.

50 successful years later, Hans was quoted as saying “I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave me hundreds of names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the city of London, a genie whispered “Rolex” in my ear.”.

rolex defying elementsHowever, in the early years watches didn’t carry manufacturer brand name; in fact, retail jewellers would place their names on watch and try to keep the manufacturers secret. Hans started by putting the Rolex name on one out of six watches, and then two out of six, and so on, without too much pushback from retailers. It was in 1926 when Rolex introduced its first waterproof Oyster that Hans believed it was time that all Rolex’s should bear the name Rolex. Since that day, only the name Rolex has appeared on Rolex watches.

As if to have had a wish answered by a magic genie in a lamp, Hans had registered the name that would now be the most recognized and coveted watch brand in the world.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

Watches and Magnets

As we were going through some repairs recently we came across an interesting letter from a supplier. It was regarding a watch which had been sent for repair because it wasn’t keeping time properly. It read the following:

Tag CarreraThere are internal working components of your automatic watch which are constructed of steel. If your watch comes into contact with a magnetic field, such as a strong electric motor, magnetic bracelet, etc., it is possible that the steel components of your watch will become magnetized.

This will cause drastic timekeeping issues.

The condition is not permanent, but the watch must be sent to our service centre to be demagnetized.

It is best to avoid exposing your watch to sources of magnetism.

Thank you.

We found it funny how little we sometimes think of small things like magnets and where we may come into contact with them. This caused a brainstorm of ideas as to where we find magnets around the house that we may not often consider:

–          Speakers

  • Including headphones

–          Small toys with motors

–          Kitchen cabinets with magnetic latches

–          CD Readers

–          The refrigerator

  • The ones that hold pictures
  • A strip inside the door which helps hold it closed
  • The motor

Fridge Magnet


This is just to name a few without even considering your workplace. So be careful around magnets with your cherished timepieces (particularly automatic watches), it’ll save you a trip to the shop. But either way, feel free to visit anytime!


Kind regards,


The La Mine d’Or Family

Watches: Waterproof and Water-Resistant

Lately we’ve seen a few water damaged watches come through the repair department. It’s unfortunate when this happens, but people often misinterpret and even misuse the terms “Water-Resistant” and “Waterproof”. I remember when I was about 10 years old when the big hit in the school yard was the latest digital watches (even the old wrist calculators) which had all the gadgets imaginable, but were also what we considered “waterproof”. At recess, we’d proudly run up to the water fountain in the hall and show-off how our new watch was invincible to water; which in some way made us closer to a superhero than Aquaman himself. Fact is, these watches were never “Waterproof”, they were “Water-Resistant”.

The point here is that there’s actually no such thing as a “Waterproof” watch, only “Water-Resistant” ones. Some of you may be looking at your watch right now and scratching your head as to why it says clearly on the dial that it’s rated for XXX meters and is designed for diving, so consider the following: if you went underwater and pulled the crown to adjust the time, would water come in? The Answer is YES (for the sake of your watch’s wellbeing, please don’t try this). The difference between a watch which is designed for underwater activities and those that are not usually revolves around how well the crown seals into the watch; usually by screwing it in (i.e., screw-down crown). When the crown is properly screwed-in the watch is said to be water tight; however, if it isn’t, water easily makes its way into the watch ruining a few things along the way.

The same is also true for your chronograph buttons. Normally, on high-end diving watches, these button also screw-in to avoid the mistake of pushing one while under water. If these buttons are pushed while under water they act as a pump which sucks water into the watch (again, ruining a few things along the way).

Another important factor to consider with regards to water-resistance is a watch’s depth rating. For instance, a watch which is rated for 50 meters can withstand 5 atmospheres of pressure. Essentially, this means that the watch can withstand 5 atmospheres of water pressure while completely immobile. The caveat here is that when you’re doing water sports you’re never at a standstill; in fact, when you’re swimming you’re likely creating much more pressure pushing water with your hands than your watch can handle. As another example, imagine the pressure which would be exerted if you fell while waterskiing at a speed of 25mph (I’ll spare you, and myself the physics lesson). You’re not in deep water, but the pressure exerted on the watch mimics pressure at a depth much deeper. Thus, it’s not as much about water depth, it’s more about water pressure.

The two points to take out of this are:

1)      To label a watch as “Waterproof” is a misnomer; there are only Water-Resistant watches and only when they’re used properly.

2)      If you plan on wearing your watch under water, choose your watch accordingly.

Kind regards,


The La Mine d’Or Family

Watch Maintenance

People often wonder why watch repairs cost so much; particularly if they own a high-end watch such as Rolex or TAGHeuer. Normally, the answer revolves around the lack of maintenance done on their timepiece, which has in turn damaged the watch. That being said, few people understand that regular maintenance should be done on their timepiece; usually every five years.

Consider this: a watch movement is similar to a car engine. They’re fuel normally comes from a battery (i.e., quartz watches) or from the movement of your wrist which winds the watch (i.e., automatic watches). Like car engines, watches have many moving parts such as metal springs, gears, and even synthetic rubies which are used as friction points (i.e., “17 jewels”). These parts are oiled in order to reduce friction, which in turn keeps the watch working smoothly. As you can imagine, these oils eventually dry up. When this happens, metal rubs on metal and metal rubs on rubies; this is the equivalent of running a car without oil and is where expensive damage is normally done.



So what should you do?

1)      First off, you should ask your authorized retailer how often the manufacturer recommends maintenance should be done; usually every five years. Perform this maintenance.

2)      Second, even if you don’t wear a battery operated watch, it keeps running (automatic watches stop after a few days without being worn). Pulling the pin stops the watch; however, it lets air and moisture enter the watch, so this is not recommended.

3)      If your battery dies, get it replaced as soon as possible. It lowers the chances of your old battery leaking inside your watch.

Lastly, like a car, a watch that’s properly maintained lengthens battery life and keeps more accurate time. If your watch battery dies often or your watch looses or gains more than 4 minutes per month, you’re likely overdue for a check-up.

Taking care of your timepiece will ensure your investment adorns your wrist for years to come.

Kind regards,


The La Mine d’Or Family

Buying Watches Online or at Auction

This conversation popped up a couple times lately, so we felt like sharing two recent stories. One story didn’t end so well (we’ll let you guess which one). Consider this a sequel to our former blog posts How to Spot a Fake Rolex and DANGER: Online Jewellery Shopping and Seizure Auctions.

Ever see the episode of Pawn Stars when someone comes into the shop with Bernie Madoff’s 1936 Rolex which he had won at auction for $32,000? Like any Rolex connoisseur, Rick (the owner of the pawn shop in the show) diligently inspects the watch and finds that the dial and hands are not authentic. The watch was instantly worth a fraction of what the auction winner was lead to believe (the seller was originally asking for $75,000 until Rick bursted his bubble). Try and correlate this with the following story:

About a week ago, a gentleman walks in with a Rolex he bought at auction which had stopped functioning within the first week of winning it. The auction company had given him a handful of papers; every paper except the original Rolex documentation. On top of that, the auction house gave him a one-year warranty on the watch, but would only allow him to send the watch directly to them for repair; not Rolex. Doesn’t this seem odd to you? Why wouldn’t you want Rolex to have a free look at your watch and give you an assessment of what’s wrong with it?

Another regular client walks in and makes a fairly typical statement: “I can get this Rolex NEW online for a lot less than that. What’s the deal!?”. First off, the statement “NEW” should have some fine print associated to it which should read “Refurbished Rolex with Aftermarket Parts”. Second, Rolex does not allow any Authorized Retailers to sell their watches online; in fact, they’re probably one of the strictest in the industry in upholding this policy. To bring this point home, Rolex has recently sued online retailer for selling versions of its watches with counterfeit parts.

Need more? On October 16th, 2012, $34 Million in counterfeit watches were seized in Paraguay. Many of these end up being sold through irregular channels; i.e., online.

So, what should you be asking yourself, or even the auctioneers, before placing a bid? Here’s an idea, how about asking if they guarantee the authenticity of the item. When you send the piece to Rolex, will they come back and tell you it contains aftermarket parts? Do they have the original paperwork that comes with the watch?

If you get the slightest hesitation to any of these questions, steer clear. Watch this video from Pawn Stars of each member telling you what their biggest busts were.

We hope this saves a few of you from a nasty surprise.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

DANGER: Online Jewellery Shopping and Seizure Auctions

These days, everyone is looking for the best deals, and who can blame them. Online shopping has made most consumer goods readily available with a click-of-a-button in the comfort of your own home. Also, the increased popularity of “police seizure” and storage locker auctions by primetime TV shows such as Storage Wars and Auction Hunters has everyone thinking they’re pros. There are certain things, however, you should be extremely weary about buying online and buying at auctions, and jewellery is no exception. We’ll address both.

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