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Watches by Jewelers

While the big boys of fine watches, such as Swatch Group and Richemont, are in the midst of expanding their watch brands into fine jewelry, some fine jewelers are turning the tables.

By introducing fine watches into their collections, these jewelry companies expand their depth for their independent retail accounts and increase their consumer presence—the same reasons watch brands are expanding their range. But these jewelry watches are aimed at an interesting niche: fashionable, colorful, diamond, and gemstone watches for women, often women self-purchasers.

Patricia Naomi of Paul's Jewelry, Lafayette, Louisiana, says she bought watches by Color Story because, "They aren't bulky and they have a feminine appeal that will appeal to women who want something unique." Although she has a separate watch department, the Color Story watches will be merchandised with the jewelry. "If they are successful, we will look into carrying other jewelry watches."

Even though big brands have made a concerted effort to attract more women with diamond watches, often these are sport watches with diamond bezels, not true jewelry styles. While lower-end watch brands have addressed this market, there's still a dearth of middle and high-end jewelry watches.

Some companies have abandoned the business as part of their global marketing priorities. So there's a window of opportunity for jewelry designers and companies to enter the business.

The biggest advantage for a jewelry company is to enable their retailers to sell an existing client a timepiece to coordinate with jewelry purchases. Some have a direct link to the jewelry, such as Kwiat's diamond watch and Tycoon's watch, which has a distinctive crystal that mimics the cut of the Tycoon diamond.

But this category isn't just for diamond-intensive watches. For example, Angelique de Paris, a resource known for its resin and sterling silver jewelry, introduced a limited edition watch collection, "Watch Envy," with retail prices starting at $375 and up. "The line was designed with the same passion for irresistible hues and shining gems that our jewelry collection is known for," says Chrissy McCarthy of Angelique de Paris. The line's mother-of-pearl dials and leather straps come in an array of hues.

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Color Story's enhanced colored diamond watches
Color Story’s enhanced colored diamond watches, (800) 223-1232.
Kwiat's 18k gold and diamond watch
Kwiat's 18k gold and diamond watch, (212) 223-1111.
Giorgio Visconti's
Giorgio Visconti's "V One" watches in sterling silver with diamonds, (800) 670-6003.