Majors

And the Gem Award Winners Were …

MajorsJan 15, 2019

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.

20190115_Gem_header_Wicht.jpg
Stewart Wicht, who just retired as head of the U.S. market for Rolex, received a standing ovation as he took the stage to accept the 2019 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement. (Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)

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.
 

Town & Country Fashion Market and Accessories Editor Will Kahn beat out International Watch Editor-in-Chief Michael Thompson and National Jeweler Senior Editor, Gemstones Brecken Branstrator to snag the 2019 Gem Award for Media Excellence. (Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)

Brazilian-born, U.K.-based designer Fernando Jorge—who

got his start exhibiting as part of Stephen Webster’s Couture room of up-and-coming designers, Rock Vault—topped fellow Brazilian Silvia Furmanovich and Paris-based Valerie Messika for the Gem Award for Design.


Fernando Jorge makes his way to the Gem Awards stage to accept the 2019 design award. (Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)


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.


Sophie Quy, head of fine jewelry and watches for Threads, accepted the Gem Award for Retail Excellence on behalf of the company. Broken English and New York City independent Cellini Jewelers were the other nominees in the category. (Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)


Ferg Alert
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.”


Rapper A$AP Ferg (born Darold D. Brown Ferguson Jr.) on stage Friday night presenting Tiffany & Co. with the Gem Award for Marketing & Communications. A$AP Ferg recorded a contemporary version of “Moon River” and performed at Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flagship as part of the “Believe in Dreams” marketing campaign. (Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)


“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.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

De Beers CEO Al Cook and Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos
SourcingMay 24, 2024
Signet, De Beers Have a Plan to Promote Natural Diamonds

The two industry giants are working together on a new marketing campaign.

Stock image of a diamond engagement ring
SourcingMay 24, 2024
De Beers’ Sales Slide in Fourth Round of Sales This Year

The company sold $380 million in rough diamonds, compared with $479 million in the same period last year.

Tiffany Venetian glass bead ear clips
TrendsMay 23, 2024
State of Jewelry Design: 3 Themes That Will Shape the Next 5 Years

Color, storytelling, and the use of nonconventional materials are the signatures of today’s most innovative and influential designers.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Van Cleef & Arpels tie necklace
AuctionsMay 23, 2024
Sotheby’s to Offer Rare VCA Necklace, ‘Lavender Dream’ Diamond

A tie necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels and a pinkish purple diamond are highlights of the upcoming New York jewelry auction.

Weekly QuizMay 23, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these seven questions.
Take the Quiz
Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingMay 22, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

The Eden Rose, a 10.20-carat fancy intense pink diamond
AuctionsMay 22, 2024
Christie’s Website Back Online, Announces Plans to Auction 10-Carat Pink Diamond

The fancy intense pink “The Eden Rose” is estimated to sell for up to $12 million at the New York “Magnificent Jewels” sale next month.

Royal Chain gold chains
Brought to you by
Record Gold Prices Have Consumers Undeterred. Here’s Why.

Despite the rising prices, consumers continue to seek out the precious metal.

Pandora Essence jewelry
CollectionsMay 22, 2024
Pandora’s New Jewelry Collection Reimagines the Essentials

The “Pandora Essence” collection brings a contemporary and sculptural feel to staples like gold hoops and pearl necklaces.

Instore show 2024
Events & AwardsMay 22, 2024
InStore ‘Cram Day’ To Focus on Lab-Grown Diamond Education

The limited-seating learning event precedes its second annual trade show, which starts Aug. 11.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Dame Shirley Bassey’s
AuctionsMay 21, 2024
Dame Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Ready for Their Encore

Sotheby’s will auction jewelry belonging to the “Diamonds Are Forever” singer in Paris this October.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsMay 21, 2024
Successful Vendor Relationships: A Win-Win Approach

Sherry Smith shares tips for fostering successful vendor-retailer partnerships, from marketing investment to fast-seller replenishment.

Jennifer Herold, Independent Jewelers Organization vice president
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
Jennifer Herold Promoted to VP at IJO

Herold has been with the organization for 22 years and will continue in her current role of conference director.

Studs pop-up
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Studs Opens Luxury Piercing Pop-Up in NYC

“Fancy Studs” will feature revamped branding and a new lab-grown diamond fine jewelry collection.

Nivoda executive team at table
SourcingMay 20, 2024
2 Business-to-Business Platforms Secure Millions in Funding

Nivoda and Liquid Diamonds both have big plans for the new capital.

Stuller Packaging & Displays 2024-2025 catalog
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Stuller Issues New Packaging & Display Catalog

The 2024-2025 edition features new colors and styles, as well as storytelling elements.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingMay 20, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingMay 20, 2024
Anglo American Confirms It Is Looking to Sell De Beers

The mining giant also wants to offload its platinum business as part of an overhaul designed to “unlock significant value.”

Buccellati jewelry
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Richemont Appoints Van Cleef & Arpels’ Nicolas Bos as New CEO

The announcement coincided with its full-year results, with growth driven by its jewelry brands.

Watches of Switzerland Mall of America store
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Watches of Switzerland’s Fiscal-Year Sales Flat

Looking ahead, the retailer said it sees “enormous potential” in Roberto Coin’s ability to boost its branded jewelry business.

My Next Question webinar series graphic
Recorded WebinarsMay 17, 2024
Watch: Preparing for Trade Show Success

Jewelry trade show veterans share strategies for engaging buyers, managing your time effectively, and packing the right shoes.

Cartier ring-tailed lemur brooch circa 1991
AuctionsMay 17, 2024
Piece of the Week: Cartier’s Ring-Tailed Lemur

This little guy’s name is Ricky and he just sold for more than $200,000 at Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction.

202.18 carat fancy intense yellow diamond The Yellow Rose
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Christie’s Holds 2 Sales Despite Cyberattack

Though its website has been down for a week, Christie’s proceeded with its jewelry and watch auctions on May 13-14, bringing in nearly $80 million.

The Allnatt yellow diamond
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Sotheby’s Withdraws 101-Carat Yellow Diamond from Auction

Despite the absence of “The Allnatt,” Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction totaled $34 million, with 90 percent of lots sold.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsMay 16, 2024
The PR Adviser: What the Designer Should’ve Done

Lilian Raji gives advice to designers on how to make the most of great publicity opportunities.

Mothae Diamond Mine Lesotho
SourcingMay 16, 2024
Lucapa to Shed Stake in Lesotho Diamond Mine

The mining company wants to divest its 70 percent holding in the Mothae Diamond Mine in an effort to streamline its portfolio.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy