The watch that thinks it’s a necklace

Hermes Kelly sautoir - rose gold - black alligator

‘Secret’ watches are my thing. The Hermès Medor is my favourite, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso* is the gold standard.

The story goes that a 1930s businessman and watch collector was tasked with creating a watch for polo players to wear that would withstand the rough and tumble of the game. The result was the sleek JLC Reverso whose case was engineered to flip over to protect the watch face – and back again after the game. 90 years later, there’s a market for mind-bendingly intricate paintings on that smaller-than-postage-stamp caseback, with limited editions models selling for €80,000.

Necklaces are an extension of this two-way trick. Last year Hermès brought out its extremely handsome clochette Kelly (top and below) an anonymous-looking box calf or alligator clochette with a Kelly watch peeking out of it secured on a leather cord. Van Cleef & Arpels’ classic Perlée sautoir watch works as a delightful peekaboo fidgeting device, while Chanel’s Haute Horlogerie lacquer and beaded pendant* has a diamond-dusted lion’s head concealing the watch face (below). This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre also went down the long, lean deco route, with its diamond-dotted and beaded chain dangling a dainty gem-set Reverso watch face (below).

So far, so subtle.

But Bulgari takes things up a whole other level. Its new Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace (below) boasts a diamond and brilliant-cut ruby-covered cameo profile of Cleopatra on a diamond-bedazzled rose gold chain, opening to reveal a skeleton watch movement inside the case. So macho, so decadent, I love it.

Bulgari Cameo Imperiale Necklace
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Secret Necklace watch
Hermes Kelly - steel clochette watch
Chanel Sautoir Lion watch
Bulgari Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Hermès Kelly clochette watch; Bulgari Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace; Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso secret necklace, Hermès Kelly clochette watch; Chanel Lion watch necklace; Bulgari Cameo Imperiale secret watch necklace
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Shop the post: summer beauty update

Audrey Hepburn Cartier lipstick

I finally made the pilgrimage to Sephora UK! It was good but not as epic as I’d built it up to be. I really like the self-service element – it feels like the only truly self-service beauty store where the advisors aren’t poised to ambush you. And the brand curation is well executed – a good combo of Gen Z buzzy new brands and proven classics. There was a queue, but with literally less than five people in it.

The store itself was very busy, with not enough floor space for all the prams (aka strollers) and frenetic shoppers. I guess that’s a nice problem for Sephora to have. But it also meant a lot of shelves were bare. I made a beeline for Necessaire, Kosas and Rose Inc, but went home with Sephora Collection Brow Gel* (good hold and tiny brush), Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30* (a clear matte gel that applies beautifully under make-up) and Byoma Moisturising Gel Cream* (my go-to lightweight moisturiser).

In other beauty newness news…

BYOMA HAS A CLEANSING BALM. I’m very happy Byoma now has a balm cleanser. Its gel cleanser is good but doesn’t have the tactile slip of a balm. This one is perfection with a similar not-too-oily feel to Clinique’s classic Take The Day Off balm. In keeping with Byoma’s skin barrier protecting USP, the Melting Balm Cleanser contains skin-loving niacinamide and ceramides. Buy it here*.
Byoma Melting Balm Cleanser

Clinique is an expert in turning its hero products into mini ranges. Its fabulous lightweight Moisture Surge gel-cream now has an SPF counterpart. The new Moisture Surge SPF 25 Sheer Hydrator rehydrates and protects skin against drying elements while defending it against UV rays. Unlike the original translucent gel-cream formula, this one looks opaque but it blends sheer. Buy it here*.
Clinique Moisture Surge SPF 25

Chanel’s cult Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream limited edition bronzer minis* are creating a buzz. There are three shades in these travel-friendly 15ml tubs, which means if you’re between shades you can also mix two together. Chanel’s Water-Fresh Tint is still my barely-there foundation of choice (my shade is Light Deep). There’s now a limited-edition 15ml travel size of these too, so don’t snooze if you think you’ll want one. Buy it at Fenwick* and John Lewis*.
Chanel les Beiges travel size bronzer

More minis: Le Labo’s body care travel set is great if you love its Hinoki fragrance. I’m a fan, so I’m fully on board for the Hinoki shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body cream travel minis. Buy it here*.
Le Labo Hinoki travel body care

The shift to position sun care as aspirational skincare is ramping up, and that’s a good thing. Aesthetics and scent are part of that drive, so expect to see more brands jumping on the sensorial sun care train. Darling (below) is a new name to me, based in Italy, but inspired by California dreaming. Its spray and lotion sun-pro products* contain skin-friendly hyaluronic acid, squalene and niacinamide and are scented with a tropical Monoi de Tahiti fragrance. Meanwhile, Kosas’ tinted DreamBeam Silicone-Free Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 with Ceramides and Peptides* (below) has a similar Glossier-meets-Summer-Fridays vibe to target the Barbie Girl Summer crowd.
Darling sun care brand
Kosas DreamBeam Silicone-Free Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 with Ceramides and Peptides

Too much sun and sheen? Y2K-era designer blotting papers are back. Hermès brought out its logo blotting sheets* last year and Dior has joined the party with its Dior Backstage Mattifying Sheets. Available at Selfridges* and Fenwick*.
Dior Matifying Sheets

In retail news, Lisa Eldridge’s coveted lipsticks, foundations and skincare are finally available on counter. Selfridges Oxford Street has just opened a permanent concession opening on 1st June along with a dedicated two-week pop-up. Selfridges Manchester Trafford also gets a pop-up from 19 June to 2 July, while Selfridges Birmingham gets one from 10-23 July. Shop Lisa Eldridge at Selfridges here*. (For the origin story, do revisit this fantastic Lisa Eldridge saga of bidding for Audrey Hepburn’s Cartier lipstick holder a few years ago.)
Lisa Eldridge Selfridges concession


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Audrey Hepburn; Byoma; Clinique; Chanel; Le Labo; Darling; Kosas; Dior; Lisa Eldridge
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to buy my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare

The art of fashion in the Instagram age

Khaite store SoHo

There’s definitely a synergy between a certain type of upscale American designer and stores that think they’re art galleries. We’ve seen it from The Row, we saw it (briefly) from Raf-era Calvin Klein, and now it’s the turn of Khaite, whose first store opened last week in SoHo.

Think minimalist concrete walls, even minimalist-er merchandising (a lone dress on a rail), contemporary art touches and a general air of austere intimidation. Reader, I love it. (more…)

More on floopy Birkins and not-so-pristine status bags

Floopy Birkin Mary Kate Olsen

‘Floopy’ Birkins are in the news again.

Last year I noticed the move towards not-so-pristine heritage handbags, the kind that look like they’ve been inherited from a wealthy aunt rather than bought box fresh from Luxury Promise. Vogue Business (pay wall) has dug deeper into the phenomenon with new stats from The RealReal that show people are buying visibly lived-in Hermès Birkins and Chanel Double Flaps at a lower price than the ‘mint’ standard usually expected on vintage sites. In the past, luxury resale sites wouldn’t really entertain shabbily treated luxury bags, so it’s very revealing to note the shift. (more…)