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Among independent luxury watchmakers in NYC, one of the most sought after brands is Cellini. In an interview with WatchPro, owner Leon Adams discusses the strength of the industry during the pandemic, and Cellini's story so far.

Leon Adams Cellini

"The watch business has been very strong," said Adams when presented with thoughts on the strength of the luxury watch industry during the pandemic. "The jewelry business on the other hand has been a bit quiet. We are not getting the walk in traffic that we usually do. There is no tourism. New Yorkers for the most part have traveled to warmer climates. The jewelry, which is a little more personal and has to be tried on and looked at has seen sales on the decline. Branded product has done a lot better."

Adams was asked to talk about the history of Cellini up to the present day, to which he said, "We ran a boutique in the Waldorf Astoria hotel for 41 years and had a small satellite boutique on Madison Avenue. When the Waldorf closed because Chinese investors bought it and are renovating it we had to evacuate in February of 2017."

"We closed down around March 15 and we were closed for three months," said Adams about how the company did last year during the start of the pandemic. "During that time we did get quite a lot of inquiries because of our website and social media from our clientele base. What we did was come into the store for a couple of hours one day every two weeks or so, just to get those shipments out and take care of those clients.

"It was very difficult because there were things that we did not have in stock and we could not be on the premises to take deliveries. Everything was delayed and it was a bit of a trauma to say the least. When we did open back up around June 15, we were able to catch up on a lot of the back-ordered product and get the shipments out.

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"I would say that business has been OK. It hasn’t been terrible. A lot of people have been cooped up. A lot of money has been made on the stock market. There is a lot of liquidity out there. And people are bored and shop online, do their research online, they are reading magazines and watching the social media blitz that the watch brands have generated. That has sparked interest and people have been purchasing. A great number of customers did not spend [during the lock down] because they want to come in and try stuff on, and some of them are also resistant to coming into stores. Thankfully, that is getting better."

Information originally sourced from WatchPro.