Since 1926 — when Polish émigré Charles London based his eponymous store on Faculty Avenue in Glen Cove, LI — watch mecca London Jewelers has serviced and provided the best timepieces from the world’s prime craftsmen. And whereas wristwatch tendencies have come and gone within the intervening many years, life has a manner of coming full circle.
“Abruptly, the type has grow to be extra traditional,” says vp Zachary Udell, who oversees the impartial retailer’s timepiece class. “Just some years in the past, all people was in search of the most important watch obtainable. We have been promoting circumstances as much as 50 mm, which on this business was very huge and breaking with custom utterly.”
However demand for old-school types (like Rolex’s Submariner, Patek Philippe’s Calatrava and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak) has grown so intense that dealing in premier pre-owned fashions is now huge enterprise for London Jewelers.
“Persons are asking for conservative, conventional sizes once more,” says Udell, who collects vintage pocket watches and clocks. He says shoppers regularly request a classic luxurious watch from their beginning 12 months.
The throwback development is suitable for a corporation that received its begin servicing watches and clocks of outstanding households — just like the Whitneys, Vanderbilts and Morgans — from Gatsby-like mansions on Lengthy Island’s Gold Coast.
“Again then, there have been 5 jewellery shops on this small stretch of Glen Cove,” says Udell. “Now, we’re the one one left in enterprise.”
Within the 1960s, below the cautious supervision of London’s daughter, Fran, and her husband, Mayer Udell, London Jewelers added positive jewellery to its ever-expanding repertoire. Quickly their son, Mark, and daughter-in-law, Sweet, additionally joined the household enterprise, and in 1975 got here a partnership with Rolex. (Immediately, London Jewelers is one of the highest Rolex sellers within the nation.)
The firm’s astonishing progress throughout the superluxury watch commerce additionally means a rising listing of outposts — in Southampton, East Hampton, downtown Manhattan, Wheatley Plaza and, of course, a glittering flagship in Manhasset. “It’s a fairly wonderful legacy,” says Udell, who represents the fourth technology of the household enterprise, together with cousins Randi and Scott. “Each technology has added a chunk to the puzzle.
“Enterprise is all the time evolving,” he continues. “So we’ll evolve with it.”
LJ’s Randi Udell-Alper embraces watches as bijoux
Watches could also be mechanical marvels, however that doesn’t imply they will’t double as beautiful items of bling. London Jewelers’ vp Randi Udell-Alper — a fourth-generation chief in her household’s enterprise — notes that stylish clients are actually incorporating timepieces into their bauble collections.
“So much of individuals are turning their watches into jewellery,” she says. “They’re having enjoyable taking their oversize Rolexes and mixing them with stackable bracelets.”
Luxurious manufacturers are additionally in on the development, designing high-fashion timepieces that may simply be part of any arm occasion. Suppose: diamond-encrusted bezels, splashy band colours, playfully patterned faces and trending supplies, like rose and yellow gold.
“If a lady is carrying loads of yellow gold, as an alternative of shopping for a metal or white-gold watch, she’ll get a yellow-gold watch to include into what she is already carrying,” Udell-Alper explains.
The jeweler factors to traditional watchmakers like Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier, who’ve readily embraced a jewelry-centric worldview, in addition to manufacturers for whom vogue is already bread and butter: Chanel, Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels.
“Watch manufacturers are getting in sync with how you reside your life-style,” Udell-Alper says. “Ladies are carrying timepieces to the gymnasium. They’re carrying them to go meals buying. They’re carrying them to take their children to highschool. They aren’t enthusiastic about them as timepieces. They’re actually enthusiastic about it as a chunk of useful jewellery.”
Her recommendation to all these busy fashionistas? “When you’ve got a lovely watch, put on it. Don’t maintain it within the protected. Put it on, maintain it out and put on it.”
TWO by London engages next-gen ring consumers
By embracing the brand new methods millennials dwell and store, London Jewelers has rapidly grow to be a prime vacation spot not only for watches however for 20-somethings’ different first-milestone jewellery buy: an engagement ring.
“I grew up within the household enterprise,” says London Jewelers vp Scott Udell, a GIA-graduate gemologist. “I used to be watching my buddies get married, however folks simply didn’t assume to come back to me for his or her first-time engagement ring. Individuals got here to us for his or her first Rolex or their first piece of Van Cleef & Arpels. It left me pondering.”
His answer? TWO by London — an open-concept, millennial-friendly engagement-jewelry boutique, which he launched in 2011 adjoining to London Jewelers’ flagship in Manhasset, LI.
Udell succeeded in constructing an area that’s as instructional as it’s tactile — the place nobody feels pressured to purchase from behind a glass case. At TBL, clients are capable of deal with rings freely. They’ll additionally make the most of new pc hubs to create digital renderings of custom-designed rings — then, in an revolutionary technological twist, admire them on their very own palms.
However Udell says that TBL’s most important attracts for ring consumers stay transparency and belief.
“Shopping for a diamond could be an intimidating course of,” he says. “When you see a man [in the Diamond District] on 47th Avenue, and you don’t actually know absolutely what you’re looking at, half the time you can find yourself with one thing that isn’t top quality. You shouldn’t really feel such as you’re being taken benefit of throughout what needs to be a extremely joyous time.”
To assuage such fears, TBL permits clients to peek backstage of the ring-creation course of.
“As a shopper, you wish to know the way it all occurs,” Udell says. “We’re empowering you to make the choice.” Such transparency, together with 90 years of expertise, builds belief, he says, which may convert first-time patrons into loyal jewellery patrons for all times.
“Whether or not you’ve got a price range of $5,000 or $20,000, we would like the first-time engagement-ring-buying expertise to be completely satisfied,” Udell says. “Then, in your anniversary, if you’d like a Rolex, we now have you lined. You possibly can’t try this with a man in a sales space on 47th Avenue.”