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The Apple Watch – Technology versus Beautifully Engineered Luxury

The Apple Watch - Technology versus Beautifully Engineered Luxury

Apple Watch about to hit the streets – yep, not the iWatch. Apple has now finalised all the details including Apple Watch release date and UK price information. The announcement was made at the Spring Forward event a few days ago, which was attended by analysts and media and took place in San Francisco. The event shed light on the exact release date for the Apple Watch, as well as the final pricing structure for the various different models on offer. In a nutshell it will be priced from £299 – to the special edition £8,000, with availability from 24th April worldwide. Already this seems like a marmite product, one half scrambling gripped in a frenzy for Apple’s latest product – the other half, the camp that I am in,

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

The Swiss Currency Cap Over the past week we have delighted in the magnificent timepieces that were shown at SIHH. There was however an Elephant in the trade show room – the Swiss currency cap, or now the lack of it. The Back story. Two weeks ago, The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said the cap, which was introduced in September 2011, was no longer justified. It also cut a key interest rate from -0.25% to -0.75%, raising the amount investors pay to hold Swiss deposits. This move has been described as a “tsunami of pain” for the Swiss watch industry – which incidentally is one of the key “homegrown” money making industries in Switzerland. The decision to remove a cap on Switzerland’s local currency has resulted in backlash from a

SIHH 2015 – The Most Opulent Trade Show You’ve Never Heard Of

SIHH 2015 – The Most Opulent Trade Show You've Never Heard Of

SIHH 2015 – the most opulent trade show you’ve never heard of. This week Geneva played host to the 25th annual Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first major event of the year for the wristwatch industry. This is the first glimpse of the watches that will be in fashion in 2015. Only 16 brands show at the invitation-only event, the 13 owned by luxury conglomerate Richemont and three high-end independent brands that opt for the gentility of SIHH over the Baselworld show that takes place each March. There are literally hundreds of watches unveiled at SIHH in a matter of days. A real smorgasbord for the collectors eye, from the simply divine and understated creations from Lange & Sohne and Cartier – to vintage from Panerai and the

The Gembank – Roundup of 2014

 The Gembank – Roundup of 2014

Happy New Year! Now we’ve said goodbye to 2014, perhaps it’s time to reflect on what a great year for the Jewellery industry it was. From headline grabbing coloured diamonds being unearthed (blue ones in particular), to the world’s most complicated watch – the The Supercomplication, made by Patek Philippe, being sold at auction for a whopping 20.6m Swiss francs (£13.4m) , to technology becoming wearable in the form of the iWatch. Controversy, as always was abound, with the arguments of diamond grading still raging, to platinum pricing coming into question and those pesky lab grown diamonds still causing a stir, or indeed still no final agreement on what to refer to them as; synthetic, lab grown, engineered, who knows? But one thing that we can all agree on, is

A Quick Thought… On Add-on Sales

In this, the busiest time for sales of the year – there is still room to maximise profits with add-on sales. According to hosted e-commerce solution provider Shopify, 30% of consumers will make an additional, last-minute purchase when offered an item that complements what they’ve already decided to buy. Add-on sales represent a significant source of revenue and profits to a company. The add-on sale is generally suggested by the salesperson once the buyer has made a firm decision to buy and is sometimes known as “upselling.” Christmas Day falls on a Thursday this year – so Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas) has a further four days of selling after it, which is a great opportunity to really maximise those profit margins! A few tips for accomplishing add-on

A Quick Thought… On Customer Complaints

A story that was covered in this week’s Thank TheGembank.com it’s Friday “The best ways to handle online complaints.” talks about a very real problem that all businesses face, and unfortunately it’s the smaller businesses that are mostly affected by this. This week a hotel hit the news because it charged its customers £100 on their credit card for leaving a negative review of their nights stay on Trip Advisor. As it happens the customers were genuine and had a genuine gripe about their stay. Yes, perhaps there is a better way of handling customer complaints online – as this medium is where British customers are venting their anger more often and more venomously than any other country in Europe. But this seemingly innocuous news story has opened up many

A Quick Thought… On Diamond Overgrading

A Quick Thought... On Diamond Overgrading

A story that was covered in this week’s Thank TheGemBank it’s Friday was “Rapaport Calls Diamond Overgrading “Significant Threat” to Industry – and it poses the question; can diamond dealers and retailers be trusted to sell honestly graded diamonds? Honesty is imperative in business, especially one such as ours where much of our trading, certainly where diamonds are being sold at consumer level, is built on trust. If only one diamond dealer or jeweller’s business practice was brought into question in this way, and the public found out about it – it could bring into question the entire industry. And once trust is lost, it can be difficult at best, and impossible at worst to win back. So yes, everybody has to be trusted to sell honestly graded diamonds, if

Fashion Week Jewellery Trends Autumn/Winter 2014

Fashion Week Jewellery Trends Autumn/Winter 2014

Small pockets of tinsel are arriving surreptitiously in the shops – it can no longer be ignored, Christmas is coming. And as we have just watched the fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2015 unfold on the runway, it may be pertinent to now take a closer look at the trends that consumers will be spending their money on for the next few months – this is the buying season after all! As always there is a huge diversity of styles and vibes – but big, bold and vibrant gemstones run across all trends this season. In fact there is an oversized predisposition that is given to all jewellery in general. Steampunk and Victoriana are also very big – which come in heavy metals, copper, brass and gold. Chokers, are very on

Everything Starts with a Stone

Everything Starts with a Stone

Where do you gain your inspiration from when you are starting to design a new piece of jewellery? The chunk of precious metal that is waiting to be fired, cut, hammered or polished in any fashion that you desire? Or the stone, which has already been cut by master cutters to show each stones personal magnificence and radiance? Why not take a pointer from some of the world’s best jewellery designers? And start the same way as they do – with the stone. At Harry Winston, they believe that no two stones are alike. And that each gemstone must be chosen for its nature and distinctive beauty. Only then do the designers and master craftsmen at Harry Winston fashion the setting. David Morris fine jewellery, whose clients range from royalty

Sapphires Back in Vogue

Sapphires Back in Vogue

Beautiful blue Sapphires have been sought by man as a precious gem stone throughout history. So to imply that they are back in vogue in 2014 is a bit of an oxymoron. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that for the past 40 years or so fewer people have been purchasing blue sapphires, but now that lull has passed, once again putting sapphires into the forefront of the consumers’ minds. As you already know, white diamonds have had a strangle hold on jewellery since that famous De Beers campaign slogan “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Although the white diamond is certainly the most sought after of all gemstones, something which I can’t see changing any time soon, people are once again seeking out pops of colour to bring

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