By Michelle Graff

The Italian's set the bar high as they kicked off a new year of jewelry design in Vicenza last week. But I have faith that the rest of the world's designers can meet the challenge.

Roberto Coin, (800) 853-5958
One-of-a-kind haute couture cocktail rings in 18-karat white gold with rubellite and diamonds. Each piece of Roberto Coin jewelry features a tiny, hidden ruby. The practice echoes a tradition among Egyptian pharaohs who believed rubies brought good fortune.

Suggested retail prices are, from left, $26,700 (includes pink sapphires) and $38,800.

Ritmo Mundo, (310) 246-3959
The rich color of this watch makes it fun, but its size (37 mm) is all serious. It also features a sunray dial, Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case and decorative side-knob detailing. It's shown with a rubber strap but comes with an interchangeable leather band.

Ritmo Mundo has only been around for about five years, but the company has already made a splash with celebrity placements among such diverse, high-profile personalities as Diddy, Sarah Jessica Parker and Bill Clinton.

The watches are inspired by the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s but have a distinctly modern flair, striking the perfect balance between contemporary and classic. Crafted in Italy and Switzerland, each watch comes in a variety of color choices, diamond treatments and band options, allowing wearers to effortlessly change their look.

Suggested retail price is $400.

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