Fortrove News

California's Silicon Valley has seen the rise of jewelry and watch brands such as Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry. In an interview with WatchPro, President Jared Silver, son of Stephen Silver, talks of the pandemic, the hottest brands and more.

When asked about his experience through the pandemic, Silver said, "In my opinion, the pandemic has not brought about major changes in the way independents do business. Rather, the best of them are responding to existing macro trends in the industry, including right-sizing their production to draw attention and demand toward their most popular models. It has also really separated the haves from the have nots when it comes to social media branding and the results which we feel as an owner operator at retail. Collectors are beginning to see that the most desirable watches, like MB&F’s LM Perpetual Evo or the Ressence X Anniversary watches are now only available for very short periods for the most loyal customers."

Stephen Silver Boutique Anniversary Celebration 2018

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When asked to say which watch brands have been looking the best this year, Silver said, "Brands like MB&F, Urwerk, and Ressence have been on fire this year. They understand that success is achieved together, which allows their artistic genius to flourish. It does not happen on its own."

"We originally turned to the independent sector, because we thought it would be a cultural fit for the jewelry we make at Stephen Silver and our customers," said Silver regarding his thoughts on the benefits of working with independent watchmakers. "We are entrepreneur and creators of rare and world-class hand crafted pieces of exceptional artwork, just like the watchmakers we represent. Working with these companies also allowed us to create our own environment free from the large-scale and ubiquitous branding now seen at retail. This seems to work with the culture in Silicon Valley, which is a sophisticated and discreet."

When asked to mention if there have been any independent brands on an upward trend and how, Silver said, "I think the dynamic of the independent market has changed, just as it has across the general market. Buzz used to support independent brands and the latest young maker to emerge would get a boost in sales from interested collectors. This still exists to some extent and talents like Rexhep Rexhepi at Akrivia are getting the due they deserve. Many collectors today are driven by the secondary market and availability—the same thing experienced by the large brands. Unavailable means most desirable and the most successful independent brands have a great idea of who exactly will be interested in buying a new watch and they tailor their production figures to that. The companies who are best at that game are the ones who will have the real momentum."

Information originally sourced from WatchPro.