It’s All In The Hands: The recent History of Bedat & Co.

The recent history of Bedat & Co. is more twisted and dramatic than a love story on a soap opera. Loved and lost, and loved again would be the best way to describe what the respected brand has gone through in the last decade or so. Its talented namesake co-founder Christian Bedat wasn’t even formally associated with the brand for a while now. Things looked fantastic when the Gucci Group fluttered their eyelashes at up-and-coming Bedat & Co. after only about two years on the market. After a casual relationship and then full on marriage, things soured for Bedat & Co. as Gucci unloaded the brand during the failing economy after almost 10 years of romance. Bedat & Co. was rumored to close its doors forever—in what would be a painful loss of a brand the defined what quality and good designs can accomplish.

 I partially attribute Bedat & Co.’s success to the imaginative design of their iconic watch hands.

And then a new life began for Bedat & Co. One of its former distributors picked up the rights, uplifted the brand’s spirits, which has recently released exciting new pieces. And with new energy comes new opportunities and one from an unlikely competitor, Cartier. The famous watch and jewelry brand, Cartier, has been pulling its goods out of third-party retail locations en masse recently—in favor of brand-owned boutique stores, as well as its online boutique. Jewelers and high-end watch stores have been looking to Bedat & Co. to fill the big Cartier-sized holes open in their shops. Bedat & Co. is now again poised to capture the hearts of consumers with its new 2010 collection of timepieces.

The Bedat & Co. Number 8 watch is new this year. Here it is displayed in one of the two women’s varieties. The ref. 827 and 828 represent two sizes, in a 26.5mm wide case and a 36.5mm wide case (depending on your tastes and wrist dimensions). The elegantly shaped, round, steel-cased watches have a ring of 151 diamonds (1.50 carats) around the bezel. The curved caseback of the watch enhances comfort, while the beautiful guilloche engraved metal dial enhances luxury. Other curves on the case are magically smooth, with the arc style crown guard ensuring an unbroken, graceful line around the side of the polished case. Inside the watches are two movement choices—a Swiss ETA 2892A2 automatic mechanical movement in the larger 828 model, and a Swiss quartz movement in the smaller 827 model.

I partially attribute Bedat & Co.’s success to the imaginative design of their iconic watch hands. Resembling mystic symbols without a specific origin, the different hands for the minute and hours represent an incredible mixture of both style and legibility. Done here in blue steel, they look marvelous against the silver opaline dial with black Roman numerals. It’s Cartier in theme but purely Bedat & Co. in execution. And its beautiful, famed “1000 link” polished steel bracelet adds a healthy sense of substantiality to the timepiece. An alligator strap is also available.

$11,550  |