Maurice Moradof knows what his customers are looking for. “People want whimsical, wearable, fun jewelry,” he says. “They are tired of buying jewelry that sits in a vault unworn.”
The founder of Yafa Signed Jewels, Moradof specializes in pieces signed by jewelry houses or individual makers, including brands like Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and David Webb — a practice that seeks to assure quality and value through recognized provenance. But that doesn’t mean the items in his inventory are only for formal occasions. A perfect example of the kind of joyful pieces Moradof is describing? A pair of vintage David Webb bracelets, one of which guards a secret.
The unique cuffs feature a woven motif composed of yellow-gold panels interspersed with eight total carats of diamonds set in white gold. However, the real delight is that one of these voluminous, curved, bombé-style bracelets contains a delicate watch with a rectangular face and a manual-wind movement that is almost completely concealed by the ingenious craftsmanship of the celebrated American jewelry house.
The cuffs’ gently flexible structure allows for surprising comfort. In spite of their intricate details, “the texture of the gold is smooth, so that it’s wearable,” Moradof explains. “These pieces demonstrate highly considered design.”
The 1980s set reflects current trends while retaining a classic appeal: Bold, architectural gold designs like these are echoed in new pieces from young brands; matching bracelets are always chic; and the gold and diamonds feel festive in any situation.
“It’s very, very rare to find a pair of bracelets like these, of this exceptional quality and condition, that haven’t been separated in the 50 years since they were created,” Moradof notes.
Whether they’re styled together, with one adorning each wrist, or the watch is sported alone, the exuberant pieces allow the wearer to discreetly track the time while exuding timeless glamour. Who would ever want to relegate them to a vault?