Annie Doresca and Michelle Graff welcome Reggie Johnson and Sheryl Jones for a frank conversation on the state of DEI in fine jewelry.
And the Gem Award Winners Were …
A New York-based journalist, a Brazilian-born designer and an innovative fashion company that is everywhere were honored alongside Rolex’s Stewart Wicht and Tiffany & Co.
New York—When Stewart Wicht was 21 years old, he had no idea what he wanted to do.
But he was “working out” what he didn’t want to do, he told the crowd at the 17th Annual Gem Awards Friday evening after stepping onto the stage to accept the 2019 Lifetime Achievement award.
He did not want to: be a priest, work in a factory, go into IT or HR, work for a company that produced plastic bottles or hair-care products, or wear a canary-yellow jacket while renting cars at an airport.
In the summer of 1975, Wicht started at the one job that stuck—working for Rolex in Geneva where, Hodinkee founder Benjamin Clymer shared in introducing Wicht, he was put in charge of “a little of bit of everything” as the only native English speaker at Rolex Geneva at that time.
Over the years, he worked all over the world for Rolex while establishing departments that proved key to the company’s future success, trademarks and domain names.
In 2011, following the death of Allen Brill, Wicht received his most important assignment yet—come to the United States to head the watch brand’s No. 1 market. Here, he strengthened both the brand and its relationship with retailers and led the company in achieving phenomenal growth during his eight years at the helm.
Wicht retired as president and CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. as of Jan. 1, though he remains on the company’s board of directors.
In accepting his award Friday, he thanked a few of the many people who helped him in the U.S., including Ed Bridge and the late Martin Gatins of Cartier.
“I always say that you can go faster alone but you can go further together, and I think that is what you have to understand (about) the way I think about things,” he said.
And the Winners Were …
In addition to Wicht, the Gem Awards recognized achievement in jewelry media, design, retail and marketing.
The first award of the night, Media Excellence, went to Town & Country’s Will Kahn, who has been covering jewelry for more than a decade and created #willsnotebook for Instagram.
Brazilian-born, U.K.-based designer Fernando Jorge—who
The Gem Award for Retail Excellence went to Threads Styling, a personal styling service that provides fashion editorial to its clientele—largely high-net-worth millennials—then finds what they want, sources and ships it to them, all via mobile chat platforms.
While the Media, Design and Retail Excellence awards were the only winners revealed Friday night—Tiffany & Co. already had been announced as the recipient of the Gem Award for Marketing & Communications, and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is always known in advance—there was one more surprise to come.
Rapper and New York City native A$AP Ferg, who released an updated version of “Moon River” for “Believe in Dreams,” the innovative marketing campaign that netted Tiffany a Gem Award, came on stage to present the award to Senior Vice President of Marketing Andrea Davey.
A$AP Ferg told the crowd how as a kid growing up in Harlem, he would walk past the Tiffany flagship on Fifth Avenue on his way to the subway, look in the windows and think, “One day, I’ll be able to actually walk in the store and get something.”
“This is a huge moment for me because … I come from New York City, (from) Harlem. We look and aspire to get diamonds, and we love this lifestyle.
“When you go from the inner-city kid to the Gem Awards ...,” he trailed off to applause from the crowd.
The Gem Awards was the first in a string of jewelry events that took place in New York over the weekend.
On Thursday, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee held its annual luncheon, while the Jewelers’ Security Alliance’s annual event was Saturday afternoon.
The JSA honored journalists Rob Bates of JCK and National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff along with the Paramus (New Jersey) Police Department’s Deputy Chief Robert M. Guidetti, Detective Lieutenant Frank Scott and Detective Nicholas J. Luciano.
On Saturday night, the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York held its yearly gala at the New York Hilton Midtown—the banquet’s longtime home, the Waldorf Astoria, is still undergoing renovation—with entertainment by legendary R&B group The O’Jays.
Artisan Martin Roberts fashioned lunar meteorites into 48 beads to create this out-of-this-world necklace.
Jacob & Co.’s new “Billionaire” timepiece features more than 200 carats of yellow diamonds.
Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.
Heidi Horten, wife of department store magnate Helmut Horten, collected jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels.
The jewelry industry insurer and solutions provider is celebrating 110 years in business this month.
The statement came as the National Retail Federation released its retail sales forecast for 2023.
De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.
Sotheby’s will auction the diamond, which it says is “arguably the most significant pink diamond to ever appear at auction,” in June.
The retailer, recently acquired by Signet Jewelers, will lay off 119 employees in July.
The Swiss watchmaker introduced 17 new models at Watches & Wonders Geneva.
As part of the promotion, Smith will share his sales expertise during a 90-minute training session.
At Watches & Wonders, the Swiss brand unveiled a follow-up to last year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante.
The “rêve” collection’s engagement rings and wedding bands are geared toward “sustainability minded customers.”
A new word appears on the dial each day of the week.
Bensons Jewelers closed for good Feb. 24, impacted in part by the decline in foot traffic downtown since the onset of the pandemic.
Kolja Kiofsky has been with the crystal and jewelry company since 2010.
The Kruse GWS Auctions sale will include the replica “Taj Mahal” necklace Elizabeth Taylor made with Avon as well as a costume piece Marilyn Monroe wore.
Massimo Basei is moving up, while Chief Commercial Officer Martino Pessina is stepping down.
AGTA GemFair and the Denver Gem & Mineral Show also will have a presence on the show floor.
Sold by Christie’s Hong Kong, this masterwork of complications now holds the record for most expensive watch ever auctioned online.
The watch company expects first-quarter sales to fall as much as 15 percent due to inflation and tough comps.
Adam O’Grady, general manager of the Lightbox Lab, has taken on the new role and will report directly to Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde.
The watch marketplace gathered data from 1.3 million collectors, highlighting the most popular timepieces and exploring value appreciation.
Burgundy has opted not to exercise its option to buy the mining claims Gibb River Diamonds currently owns.
Patented and specialty cuts now can receive an 8X Proprietary Certificate, which can be customized to include a company’s brand and logo.
The organization said it will recognize those who exemplify the idea that doing good is good business.